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Compostable packaging boost for food waste recycling aims

Compostable packaging is crucial if food waste recycling is to be increased, according to a new report based on responses from experts across Europe.

The report, published by environmental consultancy Ricardo Energy, is being circulated to encourage the Government to support compostable packaging to help meet its food waste recycling objectives and reduce plastic contamination in organic waste streams.

The Government aims to roll out separate household food waste collections across the country by 2023, followed by eliminating food waste from landfill by 2030.

Key insights from the report included:

  • 72% of respondents stated that compostable packaging would help increase food waste captured and decrease plastic contamination.
  • 82% of respondents felt that compostable materials would help reduce plastic contamination in organic waste streams.
  • 100% of respondents agreed that the most likely and easiest application for compostable plastic material would be for bags.

Home-compostable bags are popular within the C-Range of bio-plastic products that we launched last year. The C-BAG is suitable for fresh produce, bakery, and meat and makes particular sense to consumers being perishable packaging for perishable products. 

It meets the Soil Association Standard for packaging materials and has TUV certification, which was developed to guarantee complete biodegradability in garden compost heaps and other slower-paced processes.

The C-BAG also has excellent impact and puncture resistance, good material perforation, and can be used as a carrier or waste bag for food and non-food applications. 

Sustainable flexible packaging solutions

Other products in our C-Range are:

  • C-SHRINK: Industrially compostable shrink film that’s ideal for packaging of vegetables, bakery, and other foodstuffs as well as bundling multi-packs and as a secondary wrap for packed goods.
  • C-STRETCH: Home compostable stretch or cling film made from bio-based renewable sources.
  • C-TAPE: Industrially compostable adhesive tape that is made from bio-based sources and natural gum.
  • C-NET: Industrially compostable net suitable for a wide range of applications, with superior tear and heat resistance.

The C-Range – developed in partnership with Treetop Biopak – enhances our portfolio of sustainable, flexible packaging solutions and offers customers a more comprehensive range of choice. 

Compostables are not a blanket solution for all plastic applications. However, there are many instances where biodegradable packaging is the right choice depending on specific products and requirements, particularly for single-use packs. 

For example, UK organic veg box company Riverford recently announced it has switched to home-compostable packaging for all of its fruit and veg items. 

Protection, presentation and preservation

Manufacturers using compostable packaging products benefit from a similar look and feel as plastic. They also continue to gain reliable properties that provide protection, presentation, and preservation for primary and secondary packaging applications. 

And, according to a survey by YouGov, more than half of people in the UK say they’d pay more for products with eco-friendly packaging. 

There have also been calls for the UK to follow Italy’s example and ban all single-use plastic carrier bags, replacing them with compostable bags that could be reused as food waste bin liners.

In addition, the Plastics Pact has been signed by many countries, including the UK, Australia, and the US. The UK’s commitment includes 100% of plastics packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and 70% of plastics packaging to be effectively recycled or composted.

KM Packaging’s commercial director Graham Holding said: “As well as the other important reasons to include compostable products, the C-BAG and our C-Range enhance our overall product portfolio.  

“It builds on our core strengths, offering material choice and ensuring the right material is selected for the application. The range helps us to ensure customers always gain the solution that’s tailored to their needs.”

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