Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, has partnered with Silbo, a Polish leading producer of compostable packaging, to create a paper-based high-strength packaging for the Irish farm potato business Meade Farm Group. The innovative bags replace hard-to-recycle plastic with paper, a renewable resource enhanced with a bio-based coating and are certified as compostable. Working closely for two years, Silbo, Meade and Mondi developed the FSC-certified bag using speciality kraft paper to ensure strength in handling while providing barrier properties to keep the produce fresh. The bag has multiple sustainability features: a corn starch-based netting for a small cut-out window, water-based ink and Mondi’s biodegradable Sustainex coating, which provides heat sealing and moisture barrier protection.
The packaging has been launched across Ireland, Poland, France and Germany, winning the silver Fruit Logistica Innovation Award. The new solution helps Meade to achieve its sustainability goals: using packaging that is reusable, recyclable, renewable or compostable wherever possible. Jan Murzyn, Extrusion Solutions & Speciality Kraft Paper Sales Manager Poland, Mondi, says: “The bags need to withstand very heavy weights, while providing a solution that is kinder to the planet. Our Eco-Solutions approach means we work very closely with our customers to reach their sustainability goals and create a bespoke solution that represents the best possible option for the customer, the consumer, and the environment.”
Marcin Śpiewok, Silbo Business Development Manager, explains: “The hybrid solution combines the excellent strength of speciality kraft paper and the tailor-made barrier and heat-sealing properties of compostable materials. Mondi’s speciality kraft paper in combination with our net, waterbased print, and unique technology was a long sought solution in the food industry and allowed us to substitute the conventional combination of plastic and mesh. We created the worldwide first compostable form-fill-and-seal potato bag with net window to deliver strong, durable, breathable, eco-friendly packaging for Meade.”
Jeni Meade, Sustainability Manager at Meade adds: “We believe in sustainability not only because it’s the right thing to do for the environment and future generations, but because it’s the right thing to do for any growing business that is forward-thinking and values efficiency. This new potato bag is an excellent example and was integral in our winning the Best Sustainable Packaging Strategy at the Green Food & Beverage Awards. By changing from the previous plastic pillow pack to this bag, we completely eliminated hard-to-recycle plastic. Additionally, when compared to a traditional block bottom paper bag of similar size, our compostable paper pillow pack reduces the paper usage by 34%. As a food producer, our company focuses on supplying the best tasting potatoes to our customers, and as a packaging user, we are committed to reducing the climate impact of our packaging for the wellbeing of the planet.”