BRITISH SANDWICH WEEK: Putting the focus on the packaging as well as the sandwich

Award-winning recyclable sandwich packs from Sirane

IT’S BRITISH Sandwich Week – the perfect time to celebrate the humble sandwich, and discover our award-winning plastic-free sandwich pack, Earthwedge

British Sandwich Week celebrates the sandwich in all its glory as well as the contribution that the sandwich industry makes to the economy. The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association organises the annual week which runs from May 16-22.

Sirane’s recyclable and plastic-free sandwich packaging solution, the Earthwedge, recently scooped a top industry prize in the annual British Sandwich & Food to Go Association’s Sammies Awards – winning the Environmental Award.

Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, said: “While British Sandwich Week quite rightly focuses on the actual sandwich, we’d like to shift some of the focus onto the packaging.

“Traditional sandwich packs are difficult or impossible to recycle, PE-coated and laminated packs invariably end up in landfill, despite any claims on the packs, and this is a chance to offer the market a genuinely recyclable alternative.

“The Earthwedge recently gained the Environmental Award, and it ticks all the boxes. It is recyclable as part of the paper stream and offers the shelf-life needed. It’s a recyclable sustainable solution to a packaging format which is a real problem.”

Nationally, the sandwich is still the go-to lunch option for the vast majority of Brits – with 72% of spending at lunchtime going on sandwiches.

Jim Winship, Director of The British Sandwich & Food To Go Association, said: “As lockdown restrictions ease and we all start to get back to normality it’s no surprise the love for everything sandwich is reigning supreme.

“British Sandwich Week celebrates the sandwich in all its glory as well as the contribution that the sandwich industry makes to the economy.

“This year, it has the even greater aim of supporting the industry as it comes back after a year of lockdowns. Sandwiches are a British staple to be enjoyed at any time of the day, and as we can see in these statistics, it’s clear we still love our sandwiches.

“It’s the perfect time to be exploring the wider range of options that the professional sandwich industry has to offer. Sandwich shops, supermarkets, and retailers will have their fridges stacked high with freshly made sandwiches for British Sandwich Week, so look out for your favourite fillings or try something new.”

British consumers manage to munch their way through an incredible 11.5 billion sandwiches each year. If you laid each one end to end, they would go around the world about 44 times. Well over 3.6 billion sandwiches are purchased from retail or catering outlets each year and we paid over £8 billion for them.

Sirane has two different types of sandwich packs now on offer – heat-sealable, for use in commercial sandwich packing, and tabbed for use in delis/sandwich shops where the packs are made up and sold the same day.

Rigorous testing has been done on the packs to make sure they offer the shelf-life required for use in commercial operations as well as running on machines.

Our tabbed Earthwedge will soon be added to our Field & Fare site, where customers will be able to buy direct for use in their own sandwich shops etc.

The Earthwedge has been developed using a combination of coated boards and papers. This means that the whole pack can be recycled as part of the paper stream.

Simon Balderson, Sirane MD, said: “Our Earth Packaging range now includes many ways to replace plastics effectively in the supply chain. Many plastics can be replaced, and new materials and technologies are coming on board all the time.

Earthwedge is a great example of somewhere it is possible to remove the plastic entirely whilst allowing the product to still be functional and fit for purpose. And end of life is important – these packs will be able to go in with the paper recycling.

“We’ve put them through extensive trials, to make sure they offer the necessary ease of use as well as the needed shelf-life. Coated boards are used for a reason – commercially the sandwiches need a certain shelf-life to make the supply chain work – but we can now offer a viable alternative which is environmentally friendly.

“While the stats of how many sandwiches are sold are amazing, it’s also a frightening number of non-recyclable packaging that’s heading for landfill – and so we would love to see some of these packed in our recyclable sandwich packs.”

Sirane is an innovative packaging development-to-manufacture company, with expertise in absorbency and material science. Specialisms include board, bags and pouches, absorbent products, shelf-life extension and dual-ovenable products.

It has four main divisions: food packaging; medical & healthcare; horticultural and industrial. The company is based in Telford, Shropshire, with additional manufacturing in Guadalajara (Mexico) and Moscow (Russia), and we have a network of agents/distributors around the world waiting to help.

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