FOOD PACKAGING: How Iceland could boost its green credentials

SiraFlexResolveSlide2

ICELAND is the first major UK retailer to commit to eliminate plastic packaging for all its own-brand products – but how do you go about such a challenge? Well for some of the products Sirane’s food packaging range may be the answer.

The frozen food specialist, which also sells fresh produce, has promised to be plastic-free within five years to help end the “scourge” of plastic pollution.

There is definite public support for the move: the supermarket recently carried out a survey in which 80% of the 5,000 people asked said they would back the move.

Iceland managing director, Richard Walker, explaining the company’s move, said: “The world has woken up to the scourge of plastics. A truckload is entering our oceans every minute, causing untold damage to our marine environment and ultimately humanity – since we all depend on the oceans for our survival.

“The onus is on retailers, as leading contributors to plastic packaging pollution and waste, to take a stand and deliver meaningful change.”

Mr Walker said Iceland would ensure all packaging was fully recyclable and would be recycled, by supporting initiatives such as a plastic bottle deposit return scheme.

He said there “really is no excuse any more for excessive packaging that creates needless waste and damages our environment” as it is “technologically and practically possible to create less environmentally harmful alternatives“.

Iceland has said all current plastic packaging would be replaced with paper and pulp trays and paper bags, which would be recyclable through domestic waste collections or in-store recycling facilities – all replaced by 2023 at the latest.

Iceland’s fresh produce range could be packed in Sirane’s Sira-Flex Resolve. This is a breathable bag/film for packaging fresh produce which is made from a natural biopolymer. Not only does it extend shelf-life, but it is 100% compostable.

Sirane’s Sira-Flex™ Resolve® is a unique film which has been developed to have the optimum balance between humidity control and O2 and CO2 permeability.

The permeability is temperature dependant so that the perfect atmosphere is maintained inside the pack even if the storage temperature is variable.

Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, said: “Sira-Flex Resolve is a breathable film which is the perfect packaging solution for fresh produce. If Iceland, or any other retailer, wants to move away from plastics, this is the sort of solution that would work.

“Not only does the film actively extend the shelf-life of the produce – so helps with food waste reduction targets – but it is 100% sustainable and 100& compostable.”

And Iceland, or other retailers looking for more environmentally-friendly packaging, might also be interested in our compostable absorbent pad range.

Jeremy Haydn-Davies, Sirane sales director, said: “Absorbent pads are used in meat, poultry, seafood and fruit, and we can offer many of our pads in a fully compostable format, which will also help retailers boost their green credentials.”

Iceland has already removed plastic disposable straws from its own label range and new food ranges in the next few months will use paper-based food trays.

The move comes just a week after Theresa May pledged to eliminate all avoidable plastic waste within 25 years as part of the government’s environmental strategy.

The PM promised to extend the 5p levy on plastic bags to smaller shops (currently exempt), as well as exploring a potential charge on single-use plastic containers.

She also urged supermarkets to introduce aisles without any plastic packaging, where all food is sold loose, along with new research funding for “plastics innovation” and aid to help developing nations deal with their plastic waste.

For more information on Sirane food’s packaging solutions, call Jeremy Haydn-Davies on +44 1952 230055 or email jeremy@sirane.com.

ABSORBENCY: Read our 'Guide to Absorbency and Absorbent Products'

Sirane's guide to absorbency and absorbent products

ABSORBENCY is a key packaging component with many foods and Sirane manufactures a wide range of absorbent products for use throughout the supply chain.

Whether it is absorbent pads for meat, poultry, fruit, cheese or fish, ovenable pads, fish crate liners or absorbent tray dividers, absorbency forms a large part of our food packaging range.

But where do you start deciding what type of absorbency you need? Well Sirane are the experts, and so we’ve produced a ‘Guide to Absorbency and Absorbent Products’.

Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, said: “Absorbency and absorbent products is one of Sirane's core strengths, and the company manufactures a wide range of customised absorbent products – and this guide sums up what we can offer, and how, as the customer and the user of the product, you might work out what sort of product you actually need.

“Do you want a fairly straightforward absorbent pad or do you need something more? Do you know how much you want to absorb, and exactly what you need to absorb?

 “We can supply all types of absorbency levels and types, including liquid, blood, odour and ethylene – you name it, and we have a solution for absorbing it. We’re always pleased to talk customers through the options, but some people might find this a good starting point.

“For example, our absorbent products can be supplied with integrated odour control and anti-bacterial/anti-microbial or anti-fungal properties where required. We can offer a wide range of sizes, absorbencies and formats, and tailor the products to suit your needs; we can make it compostable… there’s lots of options, so what do you want to achieve?”

As a development company, Sirane is always looking to better what it has and further improve products for the customers - our new absorbent pad technology that delivers anti-microbial properties into the pack is the most recent example of that ethos in practice.

Sirane’s new Dri-Fresh ABM/V/S pads are for meat, soft fruit and seafood, and contain a blend of natural bio-flavonoids and organic acids which work together to extend shelf-life. Together with the absorbency within the pads, they offer an outstanding level of protection.

Jeremy Haydn-Davies, sales director, said: “AB pads are offering not just the shelf-life extension that using an absorbent pad will bring, but additional shelf-life extension on top – in some cases this can be a number of days, significantly reducing wastage.

“With food waste a big issue in the food industry at the moment, we’re finding more and more companies looking at solutions like this in order to do their bit in cutting waste.”

The technology can be supplied as standard absorbent pads or incorporated into many of our other pads including our odour-absorbing pads, absorbent inter-leavers and Ice-Mats. The AB technology is activated by moisture – so only functions when needed.

Sirane’s absorbent product range also includes ovenable absorbent pads, which provide absorbency during the cooking process which can contribute to a healthier end product. We can also integrate absorbency into products such as ovenable dividers and susceptor.

Other recent absorbent product developments include our Soft-Hold pad for soft-fruit – a pad which is both absorbent and cushioned, offering the fruit much more protection. We’ve also developed a product which allows an ovenable absorbent pad to deliver flavours during the cooking process. We’ve released this to the market with smoke (hickory and a wood blend) as the flavours offered – but we’re already working on additional flavours.

Simon Balderson said: “If you’re needing absorbency, then Sirane is the market leader. If it can be done, we’re the company to make it happen. Whether it’s for food packaging, medical and healthcare, or an industrial application, then give us a chance to help.

“Whereas most companies are manufacturing operations supplying a range of absorbent products – which of course we can also do from our range of standard absorbent products – Sirane’s NPD team is happy to look at your individual and perhaps unique requirements and design and develop an absorbent solution perfect for you and your customers.”

For more information on any absorbent product in the food packaging sector, call Jeremy Haydn-Davies on +44 1952 230055 or email jeremy@sirane.com

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    Sirane's divisions - food packaging, medical, horticultural and industrial

    Sirane Ltd. Stafford Park 6, Telford, Shropshire, TF3 3AT. Telephone +44 (0)1952 230055