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SOME interesting news in the world of food packaging this week, with Kellogg’s announcing that the iconic Pringles tube is undergoing an eco-friendly makeover. The instantly recognisable cylinder is going 90% paper-based and their new mantra can truly be “pop, play, eat, recycle!”

The Lowdown on the Old Tube

Previously, the Pringles packaging was made up of a combination of different materials. The tube itself was cardboard with a foil lining, the rim was made of metal and it was topped off with a plastic lid. With this packaging, the aim was to reduce any potential damage to the crisps and maintain freshness by having a snug-fitting lid. This gave the customer the flexibility to eat some pringles on one day, replace the lid, and be able to return to them when hunger strikes.

This of course makes good sense, however the use of different materials makes recycling Pringles tubes at home extremely difficult if not impossible, as they need to be separated. This has led Kellogg’s to come under fire for creating a “recycling nightmare.”

Following negative press, a partnership between Pringles and waste management company TerraCycle was formed two years ago. This led to the development of a nationwide recycling scheme for Pringles tubes. However, it wasn’t a simple solution, as customers had to register to have their tubes collected, or physically go to a designated drop-off station. One can imagine that this would have created a real barrier for those with good intentions, but who simply did not have the time to recycle their Pringles tubes.

So, What’s Changed?

The new tube will be 90% paper, with the other 10% being a plastic barrier that acts as a seal inside the tube to keep the crisps fresh. They are trialling two different kinds of lid – either recyclable paper or recyclable plastic. These will initially be available across three Tesco stores, which is also in line with Tesco’s commitment to remove all non-recyclable packaging where possible.

According to Kellogg’s, “the development of new solutions for the Pringles can is part of Kellogg’s commitment to ensure 100% of its packaging will be reusable, recyclable or compostable by end of 2025.”

Although these changes may seem small, this is an exciting prospect that reflects changing attitudes towards plastics and creating greener alternatives.  It is heartening to see such an industry giant make this commitment to sustainability. We can only hope that this serves as a signal to other key players within the food industry to follow suit. Here at Sirane we are constantly developing sustainable packaging options that we believe could become the norm in the near future.

ELLIE BALDERSON, MARKETING

SO, my daughters' school (I won't name names, for perhaps obvious reasons), have recently announced - in a blaze of eco-friendly publicity - that they have banned single-use plastic bottles in school. Or perhaps more accurately I think banned selling them. This was apparently voted for, by the students, almost unanimously.

Now, on the face of it, I fully back this decision. However, I do have issues. Issue number 1 is prior to the ban, no recycling bins for such plastics were in place in the school canteen. Therefore, the pupils were never given the opportunity to diligently recycle their bottles, or encouraged to put them in the right bin. They are, after all, a product which can actually be recycled. There's debate, obviously, about how many actually are ever recycled, but they can be. So appropriate recycling facilities might have been an appropriate first step? Most of them, after all, are made of PET - polyethylene terephthalate for the purists or those aiming for the big Scrabble score. And this is easily recyclable. Most councils collect it.

So the question is, has the right lesson been learnt? This is a school, after all. Lessons must be learnt. 

Issue number 2 is this. They are still allowing (to the best of my knowledge) single-use plastic cutlery. This is surely a far-worse evil? Because these are pretty much land-fill fodder.... So as I see it, the lesson learnt is this. Plastic bottles are bad, really bad. Plastic cutlery, yes, that's okay.... yet exhibit A is easily recyclable, and always should be, and exhibit B is perhaps technically recycyclable, but probably won't be. Which means the school is sending out very mixed messages. 

I'm awaiting an update on what they have replaced the plastic-water bottles with. The school was anxious to point out, after all, the rehydration is important, and that water fountains of some sort would be available. Now from what I have read, some of the water fountains with the massive plastic barrels are not great, as the barrels are only used a handful of times. And many of them come with plastic cups? Or am I just being silly thinking that they might have leapt out of the frying pan, and into the fire with this. 

There are undoubtedly some people out there who would say yes, this is a brilliant decision by the school. And to be honest, I am not against it, it probably is. But I am not sure it was made for the right reasons, and I am not sure the pupils were necessarily given the facts to allow them to make an educated decision.

MARK LINGARD, MARKETING 

 

NEW: Recent product developments include...

Plastic-free salad bags

Plastic-free salad bags

  • EARTHFILM
  • PLASTIC-FREE
  • PACKAGING FOR SALADS

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Plastic-free sandwich packs

Plastic-free sandwich packs

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  • SANDWICH PACKS

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Paper-based absorbent pads

Paper-based absorbent pads

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Recyclable PE bags and films

Recyclable PE bags and films

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  • FOOD/NON-FOOD

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