PLASTIC-FREE PACKAGING: Veterinary testing kit take top honours at equestrian trade show

Westgate Labs Earthpouches

A VETERINARY animal testing kit which uses our plastic-free Earthpouch scooped the judges award at the recent British Equestrian Trade Association Show at the NEC.

Westgate Labs won the Choice Innovation Award Winner for their Faecal Sand Test Kit – it was selected from 64 entries by the judges who liked the ‘product that ticks all the boxes for design, technology, sustainability and visuals’.

The kit – one of a range – is designed to be sold as a retail product, and then returned to the lab in the post, before becoming part of the compost heap.

The kit contains everything to take and send two tests to the laboratory and will be available in retail outlets from Spring. The attractive pouches feature a unique zero waste design that leaves nothing behind for the consumer and enables Westgate to take responsibility for the journey of the entire product from start to finish.

Once the pouches arrive back at the lab the packaging material will be composted on the muckheap.  In a few months’ time the well-rotted manure will be used as fertiliser for tree planting in a new 74-acre nature reserve that Westgate has established on their family farm in Northumberland where the lab is based.

Westgate Labs marketing director Claire Shand said: “What a fantastic BETA, we’re blown away! We’ve always looked for creative solutions to problems, ever since my dad pioneered the idea of postal worm counts 21 years ago.

“We’re really passionate about horse health and the environment so we’re thrilled that we can bring this all together to create meaningful products that make a difference. Westgate is small family business and it means a lot to have our hard work recognised this way. Everyone has loved the new compostable packaging and it’s really exciting to be rolling this out. It’s going to be a busy year!”

The Westgate Labs team also won the TSM Marketing Effectiveness award.

The Earthpouch – part of our sustainable Earth Packaging range – will be one of many products we show at Packaging Innovations in Birmingham next month.

Simon himself will be giving a seminar in the Eco-Pack Theatre, on the topic of “Plastic food packaging: a tough act to follow. Where can plastic packaging realistically be removed from the supply chain, and what’s being done to develop solutions not currently available? The seminar is Thursday, February 27 at 1.35pm.

Our Earth Packaging range includes our award-winning plastic-free packaging ‘Earthpouch’ – a paper-based solution with a heat-sealable coating, which is preformed into a stand-up pouch, along with a flow-wrap film Earthfilm.

Both products are available in standard, barrier and high barrier.

Simon Balderson said: “Westgate Labs have designed a range of fabulous looking packs, and fully deserved their success in the awards. Their whole ethos of developing an eco-friendly solution that can return to the land is great.

“Not only that, but it’s removed a whole host of unnecessary plastics which would have ended up in landfill – projects like this really are a step in the right direction.”

The Earthpouch/Earthfilm is perfect for a range of dry and moist products – including granolas, seeds and snacks, confectionery, porridge oats, grains, health/diet supplements, pet foods, chocolate and more. We’ve also got a growing number of customers – such as Westgate Labs – from non-food companies.

2018 was a big year for the Earthpouch with some major industry recognition– it won a Green Apple Award, presented at the Houses of Parliament, and it also secured first place at the UK Packaging Awards in the Resource Efficient Pack of the Year category. The Earthpouch was also recognised at the Sustainable Food Awards in Amsterdam, where it finished third in the sustainable packaging category.

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

Packaging Innovations runs at the NEC, Birmingham, from February 26-27. Our stand at the show is L30 – right next to the popular Eco-Pack Theatre.

For more information, contact Jeremy Haydn-Davies, on 01952 230055, email

Sign up for our Newsletter: