We don’t always agree with claims about the superiority, recyclability and reduced environmental burden of paper-based packaging solutions versus plastics sans detailed life cycle analyses but nevertheless, we feel obliged to report on interesting developments with an unbiased perspective if we see something technologically innovative.
Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, in partnership with Fiorini International, a world leading converter and packaging producer based in Italy, has created and launched a recyclable paper packaging for a premium Italian pasta brand.
Following a complete overhaul of its packaging design, Antico Pastificio Umbro decided to combine the expertise of Mondi and Fiorini International to design and produce a paper bag with a viewing window for its premium pasta ranges. After the complete roll out, this new packaging solution will support the company’s sustainability goal of reducing plastic by saving up to 20 tonnes of plastic per year.
Rather than debate in terms of recyclability and whether reducing plastics use is really the most sustainable route, we’d like two technological innovations here.
· The “transparent” (we’d deem it translucent) paper window does allow the pasta to be seen;
· A new closure system sealed with a special food contact hot-melt glue, together with a reinforced patch on the bottom, improves hygiene and ensures easy opening.
The high paper recycling rates in Europe of over 80% mean that paper that has reached the end of its life can contribute to a circular economy.
The packaging was included in the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Upstream Innovation Guide to Packaging Solutions, published in November 2021. It was also part of The Waste Age Exhibition, hosted by the London Design Museum and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which was open to the public between October 2021 and February 2022. Here it was recognized as an innovative example of substitution for better recyclability, an approach that is in line with the Foundation’s vision for a circular economy for plastics.