Environmentally focused packaging company KCC Packaging says that its plant fibre-based food trays are now suitable for use for wet food ready meals.
According to the UK-based company, which produces a “unique” barrier coating made of bagasse – a by-product of cane sugar production – new tests show the KCC barrier trays perform “as well as traditional trays” for durability, wet strength and effectiveness in cooking.
“The new tray can be microwaved, used in an oven, frozen and then either recycled as paper fibre or put on the compost,” the company says.
Following talks with a number of European supermarket chains, KCC has installed a new pilot production line to apply its bagasse coating to biodegradable food trays for the ready meals market.
KCC Packaging’s developer, Chartered Environmentalist Kevin Clarke, says: “In discussions with a number of supermarkets during our pilot production phase we see that environmental managers are realising the advantages that bagasse or bamboo trays have over conventional CPet and aluminium: the ability to biodegrade, lower carbon footprint needing fewer carbon credits and subsequent reduced impact on landfill.”
KCC barrier trays will be the same size as existing CPet ones, Clarke adds, so there will be no “expensive changes” necessary to the manufacturing process, allowing an “easy changeover” for food manufacturers.
Clarke concludes: “With ever more ready meals being sold, and subsequently trays going to landfill, I’m confident that our plant-based, low carbon trays can help supermarkets reduce their carbon footprints, as these trays are the most natural green alternative for supermarkets and food manufacturers.”