Kellogg’s to trial paper based cereal bags, replacing plastic in UK16 Dec 2021
In January, Kellogg’s will begin a partnership with U.K. supermarket chain Tesco to pilot a paper-based cereal liner in its Corn Flakes cereal. This trial will be on a small scale at select Tesco stores and is intended to be an alternative for the company’s plastic cereal liners that are not widely accepted in curbside recycling programs in the country.
Kellogg’s is working toward its commitment to making all its packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of 2025. While this move toward a fiber-based liner is a step in that direction, it is not the decision that the company would have made if recycling programs more readily accepted plastic liners.
Plastic liners for cereal are recyclable in both Ireland and Belgium, but in the U.K. there is a limited market for recycling this type of plastic.
Not only are its fiber-based liners not 100% recyclable, the Recycling Association’s chief executive Simon Ellin told Yahoo! News U.K., but Kellogg said its plastic liners are actually better for the environment over the course of the packaging’s lifecycle.
Chris Silcock, the managing director of Kellogg in the United Kingdom told the industry publication Food Manufacturer that “Ultimately, we would prefer plastic liners to be accepted in home recycling as our data tells us that they are better for the planet over the full life cycle of the packaging.” Nevertheless, these paper liners provide an alternative option for the cereal manufacturer that is more easily recyclable for consumers since they can be put into the recycle along with the exterior box. The outer packaging of the cereal box is fully recyclable and has been for years.
While this technology is an improvement for consumers looking to purchase eco-friendly packaging, it is a solution that was not simple for the company to create. This paper-based inner packaging needed to be designed in a way that allows packaging equipment to automatically fill and seal bags that will keep the cereal fresh inside over the course of its 12-month shelf life.
This partnership with Tesco is not the first time that the two companies have worked together. Nor is it the cereal manufacturer's first packaging innovation. As Kellogg works toward 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging, the company says on its website that 76% of its packages are already recyclable. As part of its efforts to reach its goal, the company partnered last year with Tesco to trial a fully-recyclable paper can for Pringles.
As 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the oceans every year and 311 million tons are produced annually, According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Kellogg said it is committed to working to reducing its own plastic imprint over the next several years.
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