Mondi and Veetee are jointly releasing a paper-based pack for dry rice, using Mondi’s recyclable FunctionalPaper as a direct and recyclable replacement for standard plastics.

Thought to be the first pack of its kind in the UK, it features ‘fit-for-purpose’ barrier properties set to protect against moisture and extend the product’s shelf life. It also expects to meet increasing consumer demand for sustainability-minded packaging solutions.

The pack is OPRL-certified and apparently suitable for kerbside recycling in the UK, with Veetee taking advantage of FunctionalBarrier’s reported high printability by displaying information about its disposal on the package itself. These features are hoped to streamline its treatment at end-of-life and contribute towards a circular economy.

Mondi and Veetee claim to have collaborated closely throughout the packaging’s creation, conducting several trials to test its capabilities. By sourcing certified renewable material, producing certified kraft paper, incorporating barrier functionality, printing the pack, and delivering the final paper-based reels, Mondi has provided a full in-house solution.

Its ‘customer-centric approach’ seeks to evaluate the needs of the product, customer, and consumer alike, using paper where possible and plastic when useful. Meanwhile, Veetee intends to increase the recyclability of its packaging and cut down on its use of plastics.

“This is a quality collection of food products, being sold in a recognised UK retailer,” says James Yarrow, Regional Sales UK & Ireland Consumer Flexibles, Mondi. “Like us, Veetee has their eyes on sustainability at all times: targeting net zero carbon emissions, reducing single use plastic and increasing closed loop recycling - our MAP2030 target is to make all our packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Veetee on their transition to a paper-based packaging.”

James Brett, group marketing director for Veetee, adds: “Our goal was to eliminate unsustainable packaging and we are very proud to have achieved that as a first to market in the UK – both with paper packaging and our unique Rice Box.

“Mondi shared our vision and was committed from the outset; the team’s expertise is second to none and we have both thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration. Following some capital investments enabling us to handle this new paper packaging, we are excited about this launch which we know consumers will welcome.”

In another project, Mondi and Syntegon created a recyclable paper packaging solution from recycled fibres; it is set to package pasta, sugar, flour, and other dry foods.

The company has also developed recyclable kraft paper bags for Holz-Bauer’s wooden pellets in a bid to phase unnecessary plastics out of the wood sector, and worked alongside Baumit to pursue waste reduction in the construction industry with a water-soluble paper bag.

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