Plant-based food manufacturer Upfield has announced the “world’s first” plastic-free recyclable tub for its plant butters and spreads.
The result of four years of R&D, the new packaging format marks the beginning of Upfield’s transition to a paper solution across its portfolio, delivering on its ambition to reduce plastic content by 80% by 2030.
Developed in collaboration with Footprint, MCC and Pagès Group, Upfield aims to replace up to two billion plastic tubs by 2030, saving over 25,000 tons of plastic waste per year.
The pioneering paper tubs were developed using Footprint’s material sciences technology – they are made from compressed wet paper fibres and are waterproof, oil-proof and recyclable in local paper waste streams.
The tub received ‘Conventional Plastic Free Certification’ and uses paper from a PEFC-certified supplier. Upfield expects the packaging to achieve home compostability certification by 2025. The paper tubs do not have a plastic liner so they can be recycled along with other paper and cardboard household waste.
Karina Cerdeira, head of packaging at Upfield, commented: “We are proud to have created, with Footprint, an innovative paper-based tub that is durable, oil-resistant and appealing and which many thought would be impossible with paper. But after years of dedicated focus from joint Upfield and Footprint R&D teams and dozens of prototypes, we made the impossible, possible.”
She continued: “This new paper tub marks a true milestone for sustainable packaging that significantly minimises reliance on plastic. We will continue pushing boundaries through further innovation to adapt for compostability, develop new sizes and formats, and refine towards the optimal solution. We hope what we’ve achieved inspires other businesses to keep pursuing positive change.”
David Haines, Upfield’s group CEO, said: “When we established Upfield, innovating our way out of plastic tubs was our moon-shot and I am very proud of all Upfielders that continue to work towards this goal. Consumers today demand products that benefit both people and the planet. Our plant butters and spreads do exactly that. We’re excited about the potential to launch this across our most iconic brands in some of our most important markets.”
Yoke Chung, co-founder and chief technology and innovation officer at Footprint, added: “The introduction of a ground-breaking solution, in collaboration with Upfield, establishes a pioneering industry standard. This marks the introduction of the first oil-resistant paper tub for plant-based spreads. We are proud to collaborate with Upfield on this transformative endeavour, as it resonates with our shared objective of assisting customers in realising their sustainability goals.”
The pots initially launched in Austria with Upfield’s Flora Plant brand – the company expects further scaling of its paper solution in the future.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2024
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