• Consumers can dispose of the new crisp packs in normal kerbside recycling collections.
    Consumers can dispose of the new crisp packs in normal kerbside recycling collections.

Snack brand The British Crisp Co has launched the first fully recyclable paper crisp packet, claiming to provide a scalable alternative to the eight billion packets thrown away each year in the UK, ending up in landfill or being incinerated.

Consumers can dispose of the new crisp packet in their regular kerbside recycling collection along with their other paper recyclable items.

The new paper packet, which has been developed in partnership with Evopak, a manufacturer of sustainable paper-based flexible packaging, uses a polymer – Hydropol – developed by Aquapak Polymers, instead of conventional plastic.

“Brits consume over eight billion packets of crisps each year, the majority of which are not recyclable and end up in landfill or incinerators – that’s a lot of waste and a huge environmental problem,” said Tom Lock, CEO of brand owner British Snack Company.

“In partnership with Evopak and using exciting new polymer technology, we have created the first fully recyclable crisp packet – something that consumers have been demanding for a long time.

“At The British Crisp Co, we believe in more than just great taste and high-quality ingredients – we’re passionate about sustainability. That’s why we are delighted to be the world’s first crisp brand to bring to market a fully recyclable paper pack.

“In addition, we make our crisps on a UK farm that not only grows its own potatoes, but is powered by renewable energy. So, we like to say that our crisps don’t just taste good, they do good too.”

A very thin layer of vacuum deposited aluminium keeps the crisps fresh, but doesn’t impact the recyclability of the packets.

Furthermore, if unintentionally released into the natural environment, the company says Hydropol – which is non-toxic and marine safe – will dissolve and subsequently biodegrade.

The packets have been certified as recyclable in standard paper recycling mills by OPRL, an evidence-based on-pack recycling labelling scheme. This means they feature the green recycle logo and can be disposed of in consumer kerbside collections along with other paper material, unlike other crisp packets.

“Today’s launch marks a significant milestone for Aquapak and our Hydropol technology. Which can be commercialised at scale,” said Mark Lapping, CEO of Aquapak.

“This is a huge opportunity for brands and producers who now have a viable, functional and recyclable alternative that enables full fibre recovery in a standard paper recycling process.”

Hydropol is a polymer developed by Aquapak, that it says enables product and packaging design to meet all necessary functional and performance requirements.

When extrusion coated or laminated onto paper, the company says Hydropol adds strength and barriers to oxygen, oil and grease, and its solubility allows 100 per cent paper fibre recovery through paper recycling mills.

“We have developed a unique paper that has the potential to revolutionise packaging as we know it, thanks to the unique properties of Hydropol,” Daniel McAlister, director of business operations at Evopak.

“The paper can be used in a range of applications – from snacks and confectionery, to petcare and dry foods and cereals – and costs the same as existing materials.”

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