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Pot Noodle to trial paper pots in Tesco

British instant snack brand Pot Noodle will trial switching to a new 90% paper pot design, to be launched with an initial 500,000 pots in Tesco exclusively. The new pot, made with FSC certified paper, will be trialled for the brand’s Chicken and Mushroom flavour. Parent company Unilever said its packaging and manufacturing teams have been developing and refining the paper pot for over three years, significantly reducing plastic usage while ensuring the packaging still holds its shape and delivers the same quality eating experience. Shopper feedback and insights from the trial will be used to support the scale-up of the innovation at the Pot Noodle factory, where Unilever has introduced new capabilities to switch from plastic to paper-based production. Innovating with alternative materials is part of Unilever’s sustainable packaging strategy. The company said it will play an important role in delivering its commitment to halving its use of virgin plastic, alongside increasing use of recycled plastic, moving to ultra-concentrated formulas which use smaller bottles and looking at other packaging innovations such as refillable bottles. If the trial is successful, Pot Noodle’s ambition is to move its full range to paper pots. Once complete, Unilever estimated that the move could remove 4,000 tonnes of virgin plastic each year. Andre Burger, general foods manager (nutrition) at Unilever UK and Ireland said: “From material development and testing through to new manufacturing processes and capabilities, big packaging innovations require the investment of time and expertise across many teams and partners”. Burger added: “There have been plenty of challenges along the way, but we are committed to reducing the plastic in our packaging and to a paper-based future for our pots, without compromising on the Pot Noodle experience our shoppers know and love”. The new pots can be recycled at home with other cardboard and paper packaging and include OPRL’s recycling labels to provide guidance to shoppers on how to dispose of their Pot Noodle packaging. A single layer of ultra-thin plastic film is used to provide barrier protection, but this does not inhibit recyclability of the pot, Unilever confirmed. Pot Noodle sauce sachets can be taken in-store to soft plastic collection points in selected retailers.

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