Creating a closed loop in your business: One Planet Pizza explain how

  • Rowan W
SMEs Upcycling inspiration

Joe Hill, the co-founder of One Planet Pizza, talked to business writer Huw Sayer about his firm’s commitment to sustainability and our free-to-join Upcycle Your Waste project for SMEs. 

When Joe Hill and his father Mike set up One Planet Pizza in 2016, they had a clear idea of the sort of company they wanted to run. Not only would it be the first UK company to make delicious, healthy, all vegan frozen pizzas but it would also have a strong commitment to ethical business practices and sustainability.

“Sustainability has been a key part of our brand since the start,” says Joe. “We sell frozen vegan pizzas because that’s the most efficient way to get them to shops and customers in prime condition but virtually all our ingredients arrive frozen too. That immediately means your food waste is practically zero because you only use the ingredients when you need them – that’s good for the business and the planet.”

“Standard cardboard boxes make up at least 75% of the packaging that enters and leaves our site. That’s from the ingredient packs to our pizza boxes: it’s all recyclable. The other 25% is currently non-recyclable plastic bags that the food comes in but we are working on that with our suppliers.”

“However, we knew that simply sending our cardboard waste off for recycling wasn’t good enough. For a start, a huge amount of such waste never actually gets recycled because the system in the UK is not as good as it could be. It would also involve paying someone else to collect it, which is a cost to the business, and to transport it by lorry to somewhere else, which is a cost to the planet in terms of additional air pollution.”

“We were determined to do things differently and decided to invest in a large commercial paper shredder, which now sits in the back of our unit. Every day a member of our team feeds it from our small stockpile of used but clean cardboard boxes (we flatten these as we empty them of ingredients). We then use the finely shredded upcycled card to pack up our pizzas safely for delivery to our customers across the UK.”

“As well as being an environmentally friendly option that’s cheaper than many alternatives, shredded cardboard is also an excellent insulating material and so ideal for packing frozen goods. We use DPD to send our pizzas direct to consumers twice a week – and every box contains the equivalent of two or three shredded boxes as packaging material. Our consumers appreciate this reuse of resources – and many then reuse it for their own packaging or compost it for their gardens.”

“We try to ensure that all our packaging is as biodegradable as possible and our individual pizza boxes, which we get from a UK supplier, have always been fully compostable. The boxes have a message on them encouraging people to think about how they dispose of them and we ask for creative upcycling ideas through our social media channels. We’re particularly fortunate to have customers who are already thinking along the same lines and are often ahead of us in their commitment to environmental protection.”

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Find out more about One Planet Pizza on their website.

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This case study is based on a longer piece by business writer Huw Sayer, which can be read on the Norwich BID website

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