Mondi has partnered with SILBO, a Polish producer of compostable packaging, to create a paper-based, compostable pack for the Irish farm potato business Meade Farm Group.

The bags replace plastic with paper via the use of a bio-based coating, and have been launched across Ireland, Poland, France and Germany, winning the silver Fruit Logistica Innovation Award.

Working closely for two years, SILBO, Meade and Mondi developed the FSC-certified bag using speciality kraft paper with the aim of ensuring strength in handling while providing barrier properties to keep the produce fresh.

The bag has multiple features, including a corn starch-based netting for a small cut-out window, water-based ink, and Mondi’s biodegradable Sustainex coating, which provides heat sealing and moisture barrier protection.

Jan Murzyn, extrusion solutions and speciality kraft paper sales manager for Poland at Mondi, says: “The bags need to withstand very heavy weights, while providing a solution that is kinder to the planet.

“Our EcoSolutions approach means we work very closely with our customers to reach their sustainability goals and create a bespoke solution that represents the best possible option for the customer, the consumer, and the environment.”

Marcin Śpiewok, SILBO’s business development manager, comments: “The hybrid solution combines the excellent strength of speciality kraft paper and the tailor-made barrier and heat-sealing properties of compostable materials.

“Mondi’s speciality kraft paper in combination with our net, water based print, and unique technology was a long-sought solution in the food industry and allowed us to substitute the conventional combination of plastic and mesh.”

Jeni Meade, sustainability manager at Meade, adds: “When compared to a traditional block bottom paper bag of similar size, our compostable paper pillow pack reduces the paper usage by 34%. As a food producer, our company focuses on supplying the best tasting potatoes to our customers, and as a packaging user, we are committed to reducing the climate impact of our packaging for the wellbeing of the planet.”