‘First’ fully recyclable paper crisp packet launched

THE UK’s ‘first fully recyclable paper crisp packet’ has been launched.

Unveiled by the British Crisp Co, the solution is designed to address the issue of packets being thrown away and ending up in landfill or incinerated.

Consumers can dispose of the product in their normal kerbside recycling collection along with other paper recyclable items.

The new paper packet, which has been developed in partnership with flexible packaging specialist Evopak, uses a polymer, Hydropol, developed by Aquapak, instead of conventional plastic. A very thin layer of vacuum deposited aluminium keeps the crisps fresh without impacting the recyclability of the packets.

Hydropol can be recycled, re-pulped, composted, and is described as ‘distinctively compatible’ with anaerobic digestion. If unintentionally released into the natural environment, Hydropol – which is non-toxic and marine-safe – will dissolve and subsequently biodegrade. It is already being used in products such as reusable, heat sealable paper mailing bags.

The packets have been certified as recyclable in standard paper recycling mills by OPRL, the on pack recycling labelling scheme. This means they feature the green recycle logo and can be disposed of in consumer kerbside collections.

Aquapak Polymers specialises in designing and manufacturing polymer-based material technologies that deliver performance and environmental responsibility at scale. Hydropol is a polymer developed by Aquapak’s own research chemists. When extrusion coated or laminated onto paper, Hydropol adds strength and barriers to oxygen, oil and grease, and its solubility allows 100% paper fibre recovery through paper recycling mills.

Tom Lock, CEO of British Snack Company, said, “Brits consume over eight billion packets of crisps each year, the majority of which are not recyclable and end up in landfill or incinerators – that’s a lot of waste and a huge environmental problem. In partnership with Evopak and using exciting new polymer technology, we have created the first fully recyclable crisp packet – something that consumers have been demanding for a long time.”

Mark Lapping, CEO of Aquapak, added, “Today’s launch marks a significant milestone for Aquapak and our Hydropol technology, which can be commercialised at scale. This is a huge opportunity for brands and producers who now have a viable, functional and recyclable alternative that enables full fibre recovery in a standard paper recycling process.”

Daniel McAlister, director of business operations at Evopak, commented, “We have developed a unique paper which has the potential to revolutionise packaging as we know it, thanks to the unique properties of Hydropol. The paper can be used in a range of applications from snacks and confectionary, to pet care and dry foods and cereals, and costs the same as existing materials.”