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M&S rewards Scottish Sea Farms for polystyrene purge

The SSF processing team with one of the bulk bins which have so far replaced more 780,000 single-use polystyrene boxes. Photo: SSF.
The SSF processing team with one of the bulk bins which have so far replaced more 780,000 single-use polystyrene boxes. Photo: SSF.

Scottish Sea Farms has been given an innovation award by retailer Marks & Spencer for its efforts to replace boxes made from expanded polystyrene (EPS), a widely used plastic.

A study commissioned by SSF and undertaken by the Caledonian Environment Centre at Glasgow Caledonian University found that replacing single-use EPS boxes with returnable and reusable bulk bins would not only eliminate more plastic, but it would also significantly reduce the carbon used: from production, processing and transport, through to washing and recycling. 

Significant investment

The fish farmer, which is the exclusive supplier of M&S farmed salmon, first introduced bulk bins to M&S deliveries in June 2017. To date, over 780,000 polystyrene boxes have been replaced as a result, saving an estimated 4,100 tonnes of CO₂.

M&S head of agriculture and fisheries, Steve McLean, said: “We are committed to producing food as sustainably as possible, so it is heartening to hear about a project like the one launched by Scottish Sea Farms to move away from EPS packaging and reduce their carbon footprint. 

“The business has remained committed to their initial idea over several years and invested significantly into the project. All of this hard work has now paid off and they have successfully established a new way to transport harvested fish in a far more environmentally friendly way.”

Alan Tangny: Runner-up in Young Producer category. Photo: SSF.
Alan Tangny: Runner-up in Young Producer category. Photo: SSF.

Career progression

The award was one of the M&S Select Farm Awards 2019 presented at the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston, Edinburgh on Thursday.

Alan Tangny, recently appointed manager at Scottish Sea Farms’ Loch Spelve farm on the Isle of Mull, was also named runner-up in the Young Producer category for his outstanding career progression.

In the four short years since joining Scottish Sea Farms, the 32-year old former chef has progressed from a trainee role to senior husbandry, been crowned LANTRA Aquaculture Learner of the Year 2018, then most recently taken up his first farm manager role.