FEI Foods, a major processor of ready-to-eat (RTE) rice and grain pouches in Europe, launched a recycle- and retort-ready mono-material polypropylene (PP) flexible pack that maintains all the mechanical properties of a conventional stand-up pouch. The new packaging material comes from JM Packaging (JMP), a supplier of bespoke flexible packaging to the UK food industry. The pioneering pack format is available in supermarkets now.
Both FEI and JMP began working on the project in early 2019. A press release from J M Packaging indicates that this launch will be the global first in the industry to provide consumers and food manufacturers with a product that can be retorted, ready-to-heat, and recyclable where recycling framework permits.
Recently, Mars Food announced the launch of a microwavable mono-material stand-up polypropylene pouch for a range of its rice brands (read more here) as well. Regardless of the actual first, the bigger and more noteworthy picture is that both projects reflect a larger movement toward more easily recycled, mono-material flexible packaging that's still functional for consumers.
“Quality and innovation are at the forefront of our DNA at FEI Foods,” says Simon Lewis, Managing Director of FEI Foods. “As a market leader in this category in Europe, it was imperative that we led the way in developing a recycle-ready pouch. We are determined to provide the most sustainable product possible, and the development of this pouch has been a key strategic objective for us for some years. 24 months of diligent testing of this new material has culminated in this launch. We are delighted, and proud to be first to market with this solution. As a predominantly Private Label manufacturer, this is an outstanding achievement for our business, and the major retailers that we work with, now have a more sustainable offering for their customers.”
The pouch size, shape, and function remain the same as the previously existing packs, and the design continues to provide attributes required by customers such as food-safety, ease of use, and convenience, all while providing ground-breaking environmental benefits. -PW