Replacing single-use plastics

Project title: Technical challenges associated with reducing or replacing single use plastic packaging within the food and drink industry
Member Funded Research project number: 147091

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.

plastic packaging

Project Lead:
Lynneric Potter

Steering MIG: Packaging

Information sharing links updated December 2022

Alternative materials

Circular economy





Project outputs

Related categories to this project

Manufacturing and processing Packaging

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