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‘World-first’ Recyclable Paper Pack for Frozen Food

Seafood producer Iceland collaborated with sustainable, flexible packaging specialist Parkside to deliver one of the world’s first paper recyclable packaging solutions for frozen food.

Iceland Parkside

The pack format has been designed for the supermarket’s Northcoast range of frozen seafood.

Iceland says the packaging solution is a significant milestone, both for its own pursuit of plastic-free packaging, and for the frozen food sector in general since it represents one of the first successful applications of flexible paper packaging for frozen food.

“As everyone knows, we are loud and proud about our forward-thinking ideas and commitment to plastic-free packaging across our products,” says Mark Armstrong, Packaging Specialist at Iceland. “We previously worked with Parkside in a successful bid to reduce food waste via a lidding film solution in 2017. But we know we can do more. As consumer sentiment continues to grow for circular solutions, it is the perfect time to collaborate once again in a bid to reduce unnecessary plastic in our packaging.”

Iceland’s Northcoast products were previously packed in an low-density polyethylene (LDPE) bag. They are now packed in a specially developed recyclable paper pouch with excellent grease and oil resistance.

The heat-sealable paper solution was designed to withstand the rigors of frost and moisture in a freezer environment for prolonged periods of time. This was achieved by creating high-performing heat seal-ability, and by using a range of water-based coatings with high barrier performance, which are designed to break down when re-pulped in the paper recycling process.

Armstrong continued: “Bag sealing was a challenge, as was ensuring the material had the necessary barrier properties. We also wanted the print to match the existing LDPE bag and therefore a lot of time was spent in artwork and repro to give us the best possible result.”

“It has been a huge privilege for us to work on this project with Mark and his team. Until recently, achieving a high level of grease and oil resistance and heat seal ability for frozen food has been extremely challenging,” adds Mark Shaw, Sales Account Manager at Parkside. “Typically, a plastic layer such as polyethylene would need to be extruded or laminated to the paper, which would then need to be removed when recycling post-consumer use. Our leading technology removes the need for the plastic and gives a truly recyclable paper solution with the added benefit of high-barrier functionality.” PW

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