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Latest News Wrap-Up / 24.11.2023

Mouth-watering packaging for weeknight meals

In our latest Wrap-Up … Mouth-watering packaging for weeknight meals.  Growth for global meat packaging market.  Combining the internet and the barcode. Simpler Recycling plans. Funding for sustainable flexible packaging. And more …


Mouth-watering packaging for weeknight meals

Asda aims to “revolutionise weeknight meals” with its launch of new ready meal ranges. It features some mouth-watering packaging including gold trays that we supplied to help make the product stand out and give it a fresh, premium feel.


Meaty demand forecast

A new study by Future Market Insights has revealed that the global meat packaging industry is expected to grow substantially, generating over £4 billion in incremental opportunities between 2023 and 2033.

The modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) technology segment – including products in our wide range – is predicted to dominate the market. Polyethylene (PE) demand is expected to expand significantly due to its excellent chemical and tear resistance properties.


  • On the paper trail: Snacks manufacturer Walkers is set to roll out the use of paper outer bags across all of its Baked multipacks. Walkers claims that the paper outer bags are a first for savoury snacks flexible packaging in the UK and can be recycled kerbside.
  • Shrink-wrapped chocs:  Galaxy chocolate bars have become the latest victim of “shrinkflation after the brand’s owner, Mars Inc, reduced the size of the bars from 110g to 100g. The company confirmed that Galaxy bars are now 10% smaller than before, blaming “growing pressures”.
  • No choking: Kraft Heinz has recalled some Kraft Singles due to faulty plastic packaging. The company said the plastic film can stick to the slices and cause a choking hazard. Singles was rebranded earlier this year, and its packaging was revamped to make it easier to open.
  • Compostable collaboration: Food and drink brand SMUG has collaborated with Parkside to develop a 100% compostable crisp packet made from a certified home compostable laminate.
  • Rice paper first: Rice supplier Veetee has introduced what is said to be the UK’s first recyclable paper-based dry rice packaging.


  • Scrapping recycling pointsSainsbury's is discontinuing its recycling points at over 270 stores in the UK. These points currently allow customers to recycle household waste like cardboard, paper, glass bottles, and tins. However, customers can still recycle flexible plastic packaging, such as carrier bags, crisp packets, and cake wrappers in-store.
  • Zero targets approved: Tesco is one of the first retailers to have its net-zero science-based targets validated by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi). Tesco is working towards becoming carbon neutral by 2035.
  • Information shortage: A study has found that two of Australia’s leading supermarkets are largely failing to apply physical product labelling requirements to their online stores.The study of more than 20,000 food products on Coles and Woolworths websites found under half provided nutrition information panels, 53% provided allergen declarations, and 34% provided ingredient lists.
  • Information confusion: M&S is changing the labelling on its salad pots as customers complained the two-portion serving size was misleading. Retailers can halve the amount of calories, fats etc shown on packs when the serving size is for two, as these are labelled “per portion”.  M&S is now updating its packaging to state that the salad can serve one as a main or two as a side, with nutritional information to be displayed per 100g.


  • Watch this code space: After celebrating the barcode’s 50th birthday, GS1 UK has launched a pilot programme to encourage its 59,000-strong membership to help develop the future of on-pack labelling – QR codes powered by GS1. Combining the internet and the barcode, the technology allows businesses to provide a wide range of data without space limitations.
  • Chemical attraction: A team at Canada’s top university is creating a sustainable alternative to the petrochemical ethylene, which is widely used in food packaging.
  • Latest films: Chemists have improved the effectiveness of antibacterial chitosan films by adding iron and a new chitin derivative to chitin nanoparticles.


  • Plastics plant: Nestlé has invested £7million in a new recycling plant set to process hard-to-recycle flexible plastics, with the potential to recycle more plastic than the manufacturer places on the UK and Ireland market.
  • Simple plans: The UK government has revealed its “Simpler Recycling” plans for England, requiring councils to collect glass, metal, plastic, paper and card, food, and garden waste by 31 March 2026. Plastic film must be included by 31 March 2027.
  • Market disruptions: The trade association Plastic Recyclers Europe has warned that recyclers are reporting “severe disruptions,” with the prices of recyclates falling by as much as 50%. The association said that low demand for new products and high imports of cheaper virgin material is “heavily destabilising the market”.
  • Reforms call: The UK government should quickly implement its planned packaging reforms, according to the Second National Infrastructure Assessment from the National Infrastructure Commission. The commission also recommended the government should widen its restriction on plastic packaging.


  • Flexible funding: £1 million in funding has been awarded to an academic and business collaboration to design and manufacture sustainable flexible packaging. The project has been awarded under the pilot Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) early-stage Prosperity Partnerships scheme.
  • Joining the pact: Aquapak Polymers, specialising in polymer-based material technologies, has joined WRAP and the UK Plastics Pact.
  • Studying the labels: Could food eco-labels help us shop more sustainably? Good Housekeeping has explored whether sustainability scores and traffic light labelling could steer us towards greener choices when we shop.


  • Brand new: Xampla, a spin-off company from the University of Cambridge, has launched its first consumer brand, Morro, to promote its sustainable, plant-based packaging materials.
  • Bags of controversy: Controversy surrounds a study that shows compostable plastic bags release more toxins into the environment than conventional plastic bags. European Bioplastics has branded the research "scientifically questionable" and suggested that it does not replicate how plastics degrade in the real world.
  • Banking on seaweed: A start-up company, FlexSea, has gained investment worth £3 million to help commercialise a range of sustainable packaging solutions it has developed based on plastics derived from seaweed.


  • The winner is: ISHIDA’s new QX-500 tray sealer has won the Innovative Packaging Machinery category at this year’s PPMA Awards. The QX-500 is a compact tray sealer that fits easily into new and existing packing lines, offers “excellent” seal quality, high throughput, and helps meet sustainability targets.
  • Getting up to speed: Proseal has shone the spotlight on its GT line. It says: “Our high-speed machines are designed to evolve with your production scheme. This platform ensures that one machine can be outfitted to perform multiple seal cycles:”
  • Bubbling over: Packaging Automation has been teasing us with bubbles! The company has said: “We're bubbling with excitement! We’re supporting a major #bubbletea supplier with packaging options for a #bubbleteakit. Get ready to sip, stir, and enjoy the bubble tea experience at home. Stay tuned!


KM’s pioneers talk about journey

The pioneers behind KM Packaging, Charles Smithson and Graham Holding, have taken a retrospective look at their remarkable journey spanning almost three decades with the business.

In a candid discussion, they delve into their inspirations, the hurdles they've overcome, and their aspirations for the future.

Welcome to Mike

We’re delighted to welcome Mike Aho to the KM team as Director for our North America division. More to follow soon!

Double AA grade with global recognition

KM Packaging continues to set the highest standards in product quality and safety. We have been awarded an AA grade in our BRCGS Audit for the sixth year. BRCGS is among the most globally recognised standards in the food industry, and AA is the highest announced audit grade that can be awarded.


  • Cracked milk bottles: Under the headline “Proud to choose plastic”, Abel & Cole are boasting: “We’ve finally cracked our sustainable refillable milk bottles. It’s taken us three years. Seven teams of experts. Three failed experiments. But we’ve done it. Thanks to plastic.”
  • Newspaper hazards: For anyone who misses the days of takeaway food wrapped in newspapers, DMA has highlighted potential hazards. It seems eating food wrapped in newspapers can lead to various diseases and health problems due to ink contamination and harmful chemicals.
  • Market going to pot: The cannabis packaging market size is projected to increase by £4.86 billion by 2027, according to Technavio.

From the KM team … protecting, presenting, and preserving your products.

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