Finnish packaging manufacturer Huhtamaki will trial new fibre-based ready meal packaging in the UK throughout May and June.
Huhtamaki developed the packaging concept in partnership with Södra and Saladworks as part of an EU-funded project called Fresh, as the company aims to develop and formally release a bio-based ready meal package for the UK market.
Made from a fibre called Durapulp, which is derived from Forest Stewardship Council certified sources, the new packaging feels like cardboard and offers a “viable alternative to black plastic packaging”, according to Huhtamaki.
Black plastic packaging is difficult to recycle, and many UK-based retailers such as Waitrose and Iceland have agreed to phase out the packaging in the future amid concerns from consumers about its environmental impact.
This concept will be trialled with two Italian style ready meals available from a major, unnamed UK retailer, and Huhtamaki claims that it hopes the trial will eventually lead to the adoption of bio-based packaging in this segment.
Steve Davey at Huhtamaki said: “We hope this novel solution will be well received and that this project will be a tipping point for the adoption of bio-based packages in this segment.
“We know that alternatives based on renewable materials are needed.”
Catrin Gustavsson, senior vice-president of innovation and new business at Södra added: “Both producers and consumers are demanding alternatives to plastic packaging.
“The material Durapulp is a renewable alternative and suitable for sensitive substances such as food.
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