Location
UK
Date
2019
Project Partners
Wilko

The challenge: making the switch to plastic-free responsible

Wilko, the well-known high street retailer, had decided to shift all its own-brand wipes – from personal wipes to cleaning supplies – to a new supplier to make them plastic-free.

Recognising our expertise in sustainable products, Wilko asked Bioregional to review its plans to make sure it was making as sustainable a decision as possible, and highlight any potential risks.

Bioregional’s sustainability know-how and expert advice helped us to balance the needs of our customers, the environment and our business. Their insight meant we were able to replace our entire range of wipes with new, plastic free wipes with greater confidence.

Simon Finch, Head of Corporate Communications and CSR at Wilko

How we helped: from supply chain research, to communication guidance

Bioregional to undertake a desk-based, due diligence review that:

  • identified the sustainability implications of upstream impacts (what the materials are, where they’re from and how they’re processed) and downstream impacts (how the customer uses, and disposes of, the product)
  • outlined the risks and how to mitigate these
  • considered how stakeholders, including customers, would understand the switch
  • examined how other brands were positioning similar products.

The outcome: a well-researched report detailing best practice and key actions

Our final report enabled Wilko to understand potential risks and feel confident in marketing the new product, making recommendations on the appropriate language to use (eg biodegradable or compostable) and what claims they could make to customers.

Wilko's full testimonial

“At Wilko we’ve been helping hard-working families be the best they can be for 90 years. We do this by providing great products at great prices so that our customers can get their jobs done in their homes and gardens. Our customers told us that plastic reduction was important to them and we’re on a journey to do just that. From cleaning to health and beauty and personal hygiene wipes play a big part in our customers' everyday shop. So, how to switch to plastic-free across all our wipes without passing on additional cost or reducing the quality of the product was critical for us.

Bioregional’s sustainability know-how and expert advice helped us to balance the needs of our customers, the environment and our business. Their insight meant we were able to replace our entire range of wipes with new, plastic free wipes with greater confidence." Simon Finch, Head of Corporate Communications and CSR at Wilko

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Claire Brady
Programme Manager - Sustainable Business

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