Mondi slashes 80% of Iceland’s plastic packaging with fiber-based solutions
20 Dec 2021 --- Iceland is partnering with Mondi to improve the environmental sustainability of its product packaging. Mondi’s functional barrier paper will give the supermarket an 80% plastic usage reduction, says the company.
The partnership comes as part of Iceland’s ambition to eliminate plastic packaging entirely by 2023.
Iceland’s current plastic packaging will be replaced with Mondi’s functional barrier paper solutions across various product portfolios. The first product to be converted is the retailer’s frozen chicken dippers, which has already achieved the targeted annual plastic reduction of 80%.
Iceland aims to be the first UK supermarket to become plastic neutral, replacing virgin plastic with paper packaging wherever possible and “offsetting” its remaining plastic footprint by “recovering and recycling environmental and nature-bound waste plastic”.
Innova Market Insights identified “Fiber-based Frenzy” as one of its top packaging trends in 2021. According to the market researcher, more than half of global consumers (52%) regard packaging’s recyclability as its most important sustainability credential.
A further 52% regard reusability as the most important credential, followed by recycled material use (41%). Meanwhile, 72% of global consumers and 62% of US consumers recognize paper’s “exceptional” recyclability.
Mondi’s functional paper barrier
Mondi’s functional barrier paper is made from renewable sources, says the company. Paper production and coating in-house, which provides full integration.
“It is easy for consumers to recycle the paper in existing waste streams and as paper is the most widely recycled material in the world – 74% of paper and 83% of paper-based packaging in Europe are recycled – the solution ensures that the paper can be recycled at the end of its life, contributing to a circular economy,” claims Mondi.
Stuart Lendrum, head of packaging, quality and food safety at Iceland, describes the retailer as “bold” in its plastic removal: ”We were the first UK retailer to publish our plastic footprint along with our pledge to ultimately become plastic-free. To deliver on this promise, we knew we would need the expertise of global packaging suppliers like Mondi.”
“Mondi’s collaborative EcoSolutions approach meant that our teams worked together to consider all elements of the product manufacturing and delivery journey. We now have a sustainable solution that is efficient to use, protects the products and meets the expectations of our customers,” adds Lendrum.
Innova Market Insights data shows 46% of global consumers would accept decreased product shelf life if it meant more sustainable packaging.
However, Mondi’s functional barrier paper ensures full product protection, ensuring an equal shelf life as with its previous packaging. “Thanks to the high stiffness of the paper, the packaging is puncture resistant and ensures an efficient filing process that runs seamlessly on existing machinery” claims the company.
Earlier this year, Mondi released an e-commerce packaging design for fresh food transport that replaces the need for cooling trucks.
By Natalie Schwertheim
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