Why are we undertaking this project?
Plastic packaging is widely used for food and drink products. There is growing awareness of the environmental impact that some plastics can have
when discarded irresponsibly – most noticeably with ‘single-use plastics’. There is a need to reduce or remove these plastics, but in doing so
businesses often face significant technical challenges.
What are we doing as part of this project?
Testing alternative materials for a range of food/drink applications and producing practical case studies. We’ll also explore consumer
understanding of recycling and their acceptance of alternative packaging materials.
Current status of the project
We have created an information sharing link resource to act as a ‘go to’ window to find
useful documents and research carried out by specialist companies. We have been speaking with members
across the supply chain Inclusive of each stage of the life span including packaging manufacturers,
packers, retailers, waste management and consumer to gather information on where their technical challenges lie.
Our first case study has focused on ‘black plastic’ with testing commenced to include ready meal
type applications involving potential alternative to CPET. Testing has been carried out on CPET,
aluminium, paperboard and bagasse trays to assess their performance using a range of test methods
at different test environment conditions. The final piece of work within year 1 includes a
consumer study to allow for an in-depth perception into consumers attitudes and behavioural
characteristics, alongside knowledge of materials. We have received the surveys back and analysis
is currently on-going with the results will be published at the end of year 1.