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Supermarkets chains are to trial paper-based packaging for takeaway lunches in recycling boost 

Plastic sandwich packs… to go! Supermarkets chains are to trial paper-based packaging for takeaway lunches in recycling boost

  • Trials of plastic-free sandwich packs will start in supermarkets from September
  • Sainsbury’s, Aldi and Coop will all start using packs which are 100% recyclable 
  • About 600million pre-packed sandwiches are consumed every year in the UK

Trials of plastic-free sandwich packs are set to start at Sainsbury’s, Aldi and the Coop from September.

The packs, which are 100 per cent paper-based and recyclable, follow 18 months of research and development with flexible packaging manufacturer ProAmpac.

The retailers have joined forces with sandwich producer Greencore after research showed customers struggled to separate the outer packaging from the plastic film in traditional sandwich skillets.

About 600million prepacked sandwiches are consumed every year in the UK, according to Greencore.

Sainsbury’s, Aldi and the Coop will use sandwich packs which are 100 per cent paper-based and recyclable after 18 months of research with manufacturer ProAmpac (stock image)

The company’s head of sustainability, Andy Wright, said: ‘Consumers are increasingly aware of the impact their food has on the health of the planet. 

‘Developing a fully recyclable sandwich skillet is one of the key ways we can reduce waste and do our bit to protect the environment.’

Aldi said the initiative, if introduced across all its ownlabel sandwiches, could result in the removal of 23.8million pieces of unrecyclable plastic every year.

Its plastics and packaging director, Richard Gorman, said: ‘We are looking at every product we sell to see if there are ways we can remove plastic packaging or replace it with recyclable alternatives.

It comes after research showed customers struggled to separate the outer packaging from the plastic film in traditional sandwich packs. Pictured: Sainsbury's sandwich in current packaging

It comes after research showed customers struggled to separate the outer packaging from the plastic film in traditional sandwich packs. Pictured: Sainsbury’s sandwich in current packaging

‘Food to go is one of our most popular categories and we are confident this initiative will be well received by our customers.’

Co-op’s director of delicious food, Breige Donaghy, said: ‘We’re looking forward to seeing the new packaging on shelves this autumn and are confident it will resonate with our members and customers.’

Sainsbury’s plans to halve plastic packaging by 2025.

The company also recently extended its in-store flexible plastic recycling system to 520 branches across the country to make recycling easier for customers.

Its director of product, packaging and innovation, Claire Hughes, said: ‘We are pleased to be trialling this innovative new sandwich packaging with Greencore and helping our customers reduce plastic when they shop with us.’

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