Packaging Innovation
sustainable food packaging
December 16, 2013

Creating sustainable food packaging from grass

The past decades the packaging industry has been forced, either externally or internally, to continuously invest in the field of eco-friendly and sustainable products. In its search for new innovations the Welsh government is now funding two universities and six industrial partners to convert grass into a range of products, including easily recycled fibre-based packaging for foods. In other words: sustainable food packaging is growing ever more important.

Optimize and commercialize ryegrass food packaging

Will we be taking fruit and vegetables from grass-made packaging products in the near future? It certainly looks like it! Researchers at Bangor University in Wales are investigating a new environmentally friendly way to produce sustainable food packaging by means of ryegrass. The process is still in an early phase but first results certainly do look promising. The Welsh academics’ goal is to optimize and commercialize a new process of heating ryegrass to press and mould it into fruit and vegetable packaging products.

Helpful know-how of the industry is necessary

To do so the university is teaming up with some of the leading industry partners, such as Waitrose and Adare, which will be supplying the fibre based packaging for store trials. Their expertise and insight in the market, it is thought, will be crucial to maximize the chances of the product being commercialized.

Funding the whole project is the Welsh government, who are contributing nearly 600.000 £. “Activating a green industry is a key aim of Welsh Government and it’s positive to see our Academic Expertise for Business (A4B) programme facilitating such progressive collaborative working between universities and industry to bring new products to market”, the Welsh government stated.

Ecological concern of luxury packaging industry

That issues of sustainability and ecology are growing ever more important in the packaging industry was illustrated last month at Luxe Pack, the luxury packaging exhibition held in Monaco. All the major carton packaging companies focused on lighter boards, enhanced printability and all-in-all eco-friendly production methods.