New fully recyclable rice packaging launched for retailer

PACKAGING manufacturer Coveris has announced a collaboration with rice specialist Veetee to launch fully recyclable packaging for Aldi’s own-brand rice.

Supporting the retailer’s aim for all of its own-label packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of the year, the launch of Coveris’ MonoFlexE for two SKUs has been described as a ‘significant development’ in the rice category.

Previously packed in a non-recyclable, OPP to PE mixed laminate, Aldi has switched to the MonoFlexE monomaterial PE to PE laminate packaging for its own-brand Worldwide Foods 1kg basmati rice and 1kg brown rice SKUs.

Coveris said the move will enable around 30 tonnes of film to enter the soft plastic recycling stream annually. The MonoFlexE packaging launched this month for 50% of the two SKUs, with the remaining 50% to switch throughout the remainder of January and February.

The launch of MonoFlexE for rice is the result of a two-year development project with Veetee. Packed in the same block bottom, FFS (form, fill seal) format, Coveris added that MonoFlexE for rice has been developed with ‘like-for-like’ shelf-life properties and packing speeds as the former mixed laminate substrate. MonoFlexE rice packaging is available with up to nine colour HD flexo print and gloss or matt varnish.

The packaging artwork has been updated and features the retailer’s recycling logo on the front, supported by OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label) recycling guidance on the back.

Richard Gorman, plastics and packaging director at Aldi UK, said, “We are always open to innovative solutions to reducing plastic waste, so we are pleased to work with Coveris and Veetee to launch our own-brand rice in fully recyclable packaging, which marks a further step towards achieving our plastic and packaging goals.”

Raghu Bansal, production engineer for Veetee, added, “This successful, collaborative project with Coveris has helped deliver another exciting step in Veetee’s journey to fully reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging materials. It’s a great success for the category.”

Mark Robinson, Coveris’ UK flexibles technical director, commented, “Aligned with Coveris’ sustainability strategy NO WASTE, we continue to use film science technology to advance our recyclable flexible films into new categories. The launch of MonoFlexE for Aldi rice following a successful, collaborative project with Veetee is a breakthrough for this market and we can be very proud to work with Aldi and Veetee to innovate packaging for improved recycling.”