Researcher creates fully recyclable raw meat packaging

The product won the Sustainable Supplier Award at the 2021 Footprint Awards. (Image credit: Swansea University)

A Swansea University researcher has invented a new type of plastic packaging for raw meat which avoids the need for non-recyclable pads inside the trays to soak up juices.

It means that the whole pack tray can now be recycled, with the new packaging already in use in ‘mainstream’ UK retailers.

The work to create the packaging was led by Alaa Alaizoki in collaboration with Klöckner Pentaplast and the Materials and Manufacturing Academy.

Swansea University said that the packaging meets the required standard of raw meat packaging, with the tray itself retaining juices from the meat through ‘specially’ designed and manufactured small-scale cavities at the base which pin and traps the juice.

It also ensures that the juices from the meat stay in place during storage or transport, which the learning institute said maintains shelf life and appearance of the product – whilst also making the packaging itself fully recyclable.

Lead researcher, Alaa Alaizoki, of Swansea University, said, “This product will help cut the amount of plastic going to landfill, making the trays 100% recyclable. I am very pleased to see results of my research already in action by Klöckner Pentaplast; reducing waste, helping reduce the environmental impact. It has been great to work with the company and the whole research team, I really appreciate their pro-active attitude towards environmental issues.”