Colpac has announced an extension to its Zest Eco packaging heat seal range – creating a sustainable range for chilled food to go.
The range continues the company’s heritage of introducing the latest sustainable materials and concepts onto the market through its innovative food packaging solutions.
In the creation of the Zest Eco-, Colpac has avoided the need for plastic coatings and laminates, by utilising the latest in grease resistant board coatings together with PEFC sustainably sourced cellulose for windows.
Colpac will launch five new products, including a square cut sandwich pack, a wrap pack, two different sized sandwich packs and a salad pack.
Significantly, technology used within the range tackles many of the sustainability concerns that are impacting on the food service and retail markets today.
The cellulose used is made from wood sourced from sustainably managed woodland, carries the PEFC accreditation and is manufactured in the UK in a highly sustainable way. While cellulose is a polymer, and, as such, a plastic, it carries the Vincotte OK Home compost accreditation, the EN13432 accreditation, and isn’t made from carbon contributing fossil fuels.
The Zest range is manufactured from a recyclable and sustainably sourced board, that is commercially compostable to EN13432. Moisture and grease resistance are high (KIT 12) the water-based coating which performs well under shelf life tests.
‘Our team works tirelessly with material suppliers and extensively test sustainable alternatives in the creation of our products,’ explained head of marketing and product Kate Berry. ‘We have achieved less than 5% bioplastic, meaning that these packs are future proof with regards to recyclability and if too contaminated with food waste can be composted where facilities exist.’
The 5% bioplastic content importantly is well within the OPRL guidelines published in January 2020.
Zest heat seal packaging will still be recyclable when the aspirational 5% plastic content comes into effect, extending its appeal internationally where some countries have already set the 5% goal.
The window can be easily removed should a consumer wish to compost it as it is both commercially compostable to E13432 and home compostable. Cellulose also improves the clarity of the window to showcase product compared to the usual fossil fuel based alternatives, while providing additional UV protection.
Heat sealing the packs – which can easily be done on a large scale by a food manufacturer or in a kitchen using Colpac’s flexible range of heat sealing equipment – also helps to minimise the use of extra materials such as labels which can complicate the recycling process further.
The range also helps to tackle the major issue of food waste as it seals the pack and so extends food shelf life by two or three days. Typically, the carbon contained in food packaging compared to food is far less than 10%, so the ability to extend the shelf life of the food by just one day could make a huge dent in the current food waste crisis. WRAP chief executive Marcus Gover recently announced that the average family annually wastes £700 of worth of food – equating to 4.5 million tonnes, and the organisation has also declared that by extending product shelf life by just one day could save 250,000 tonnes of this waste.