Innovation Zone Snapshot – supermarket moves to recycled coastal plastic for chilled fish trays
ThePackHub Innovation Zone Snapshot
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#1 British supermarket moves to recycled coastal plastic for chilled fish trays
UK supermarket chain Tesco has formed a partnership with international independent organisation Keep Sea Blue, which will mean that the plastic packaging for its fish products will contain a minimum of 30% Recycled Seaside Plastic (RSP).This is recycled coastal plastic collected from beaches, coastlines, and coastal communities within 10km of the Mediterranean Sea. A network of collectors across the region, including local authorities, non-profits, volunteer groups, and the private sector, collects the plastic, at which point the PET (polyethylene terephthalate) packaging will be sorted, ground, washed, and recycled to be utilised in food-grade packaging materials. The recycled PET will be used in trays to pack Tesco’s salmon, haddock, cod, and sea bass lines. A spokesperson for Tesco said that where they can, they are reducing the amount of virgin plastic they use in their business.
#2 Ice cream container is made from sustainable EPS
Italian packaging company Imballaggi Alimentari is using BASF’s EPS (expanded polystyrene) Styrofoam Ccycled for ice cream containers. Called the Remaxigel box, the manufacturing process starts from pyrolysis oil, obtained by chemically recycling various types of plastic waste that would otherwise have been used to generate energy or dumped. BASF says that compared to conventional Styrofoam, the production of packaging made of Styrofoam Ccycled produces around 50% less CO2, with no loss of functional quality. The recycled content is mathematically assigned to the end product using the so-called mass balance approach. Remaxigel is one of the seven winners of the Ecodesign Award for Circular Creativity, awarded by the Italian National Packaging Consortium Conai. Imballaggi Alimentari is working with BASF on an even more sustainable Remaxigel box version with a new inner shell made of recycled material, which will meet the strict requirements of the food industry.
#3 Fast food giant offers reusable cups in German restaurants
Fast food giant Burger King has formed a partnership with reusable cup company Recup to supply their reusable cups in German restaurants. From the start of 2023, customers in all 750 Burger King restaurants have been able to order drinks, milkshakes and ice cream in reusable cups. The move follows a successful trial in selected restaurants in the Cologne area as part of a reusable pilot project. The pilot project has provided important insights for the nationwide launch of an attractive reusable system that guests can easily use. A deposit of €1 (£0.88) is paid for Recup cups and lids, which means a deposit of €2 for a drink with a lid. The return is possible in every Burger King restaurant and at over 16,500 Recup partners throughout Germany. After being returned, the cups are cleaned in the catering dishwashers like normal tableware and then returned to the cycle.
#4 Dairy offers customers reusable lids for yoghurt pots
UK organic dairy Yeo Valley is offering its customers the opportunity to obtain reusable lids for its 350g and 450g yoghurt tubs. Consumers can go to the Yeo Valley website and exchange ‘Yeokens’ which can be earned by redeeming codes from Yeo Valley packaging, to obtain their own lid, which is set to replace the previous clip-lid design. Yeo Valley have made the decision to remove the clip-lids previously used, following successful trials on their Greek yoghurt pots. Removing the clip-lids will save an estimated 145 tonnes of plastic a year. Yeo Valley Organic’s 350g and 450g yoghurts are currently sold in Greiner Packaging’s K3 cardboard-plastic cups, which are recyclable, made from 100% recycled PET, and wrapped in cardboard made from FSC-certified material. The packaging can be cleaned and separated into the plastics and cardboard recycling streams, respectively.
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