Mondi and Skånemejerier have repackaged ICA’s Hushållsost cheese in a mono-PP base web and lidding film, which has been designed for recycling and aims to close the material loop without compromising on food quality.
Printed and produced by Mondi, the film is converted for 1kg and 2kg blocks of Hushållsost cheese by Skånemejerier, ready to be sold at ICA. Reportedly, it offers high barriers against oxygen and water vapours, puncture resistance for product protection, and ‘great’ printability for on-pack brand communication.
As it is designed for recycling, the packaging is expected to be sorted for recycling at the soon-to-open Site Zero – Swedish Plastic Recycling’s 60,000 square-metre recycling plant that aims to recycle all kinds of plastic packaging without emitting carbon dioxide.
“30% of the world’s food is lost or wasted – that equates to 1.3 billion tonnes – so fit-for-purpose packaging design has a crucial role to play,” explains Helene Brynell, Regional Sales Nordic Consumer Flexibles at Mondi. “Fresh products like cheese need to be packaged properly – and protection must go hand in hand with sustainable packaging.
“Our new mono-material solution is fulfilling exactly that: it keeps the cheese fresh while also keeping the packaging materials in circulation through design for recycling.”
Ingemar Jönsson, packaging manager at Skånemejerier, continues: “Our collaboration with Mondi has been a thorough process: we started our first test and trials in 2019 and are delighted to be bringing this fully recyclable packaging to market before the end of 2023. The great working relationship we had, meant that we were able to adapt materials and machinery efficiently, resulting in a successful, fit for purpose solution.
“We have strong, effective and good-looking packaging that keeps materials in the loop and responds to consumer demands for more sustainable solutions.”
“We are very positive about the new packaging that Mondi has developed together with Skånemejerier for ICA,” adds Rickard Jansson, development engineer at Swedish Plastic Recycling. “By using mono-material film instead of laminate consisting of different types of plastic, we can sort out and recycle the packaging that is left in the system, thus avoiding incineration.
“With Site Zero’s new technology, this PP film-based packaging will be able to become new products, which has not been possible in any facility in Sweden before. It provides circular plastic flows that reduce the need for fossil raw materials and combustion.”
The mono-material pack was also named as the winner in the Food category at PackNorth 2023 and recognized at the Empack fair in Stockholm.
Another solution for cheese packaging comes from the GO ORLEANS research project, which has produced an active packaging solution made of whey, a pollutive by-product of cheese manufacture. It is anticipated that the solution will extend the shelf life of cheese by five to ten days.
Cathedral City’s grated cheese has also been repackaged in a recycle-ready flowpack developed by Amcor and Saputo Dairy UK. Thought to reduce the carbon footprint of its previous pack by 47%, the solution was named ‘Flexible Plastic Pack of the Year’ at the UK Packaging Awards 2023.
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