British Crisp Co introduces UK’s first fully recyclable paper packet

The British Crisp Co. has launched the first fully recyclable paper crisp packet, providing an environmentally friendly and scalable alternative to the eight billion packets thrown away each year in the UK.

The new paper packet, which has been developed in partnership with Evopak, a manufacturer of sustainable paper based flexible packaging, uses a polymer, Hydropol, developed by Aquapak, instead of conventional plastic. A very thin layer of vacuum deposited aluminium keeps the crisps fresh but doesn’t impact the recyclability of the packets.

Mark Lapping, CEO, Aquapak, said the launch marks a significant milestone for Aquapak and 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.”

Hydropol can be recycled, re-pulped, composted and is distinctively compatible with anaerobic digestion. Furthermore, if unintentionally released into the natural environment, Hydropol – which is non-toxic and marine safe – will dissolve and subsequently biodegrade. It does not break down into harmful microplastics, so it still has a safe end-of-life even if it is not disposed of as intended. 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 only evidence-based on pack recycling labelling scheme. This means they feature the green recycle logo and can be disposed of in consumer kerbside collections along with other paper material, unlike other crisp packets.

Daniel McAlister, director of business operations at Evopak, said the paper can be used in a range of applications from snacks and confectionary, to petcare and dry foods and cereals, and costs the same as existing materials.

“We have developed a unique paper which has the potential to revolutionise packaging as we know it, thanks to the unique properties of Hydropol.”

Tom Lock, CEO of British Snack Company, said the packaging is something that consumers have been demanding for a long time.

“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.”

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