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Greener food packaging – Economy

Cardboard to replace the plastic of butter dishes: Laïta, the Even group dairy cooperative innovates for the packaging of its Breton Paysan butters. “A first on the spreadable butter market,” emphasizes the industrialist from Finistère.

Another alternative to plastic, Gelagri, the branch Eureden frozen food, has been producing, under the private label for several weeks, vegetable gratins prepared in cardboard trays. Fleury Michon, for her part, has chosen glass to meet the need to develop recyclable packaging to replace ceramic, which also lacks a recycling channel.

Research and development

If the movement is accelerating, the sustainable approach has long been undertaken by manufacturers. Since 1997, at Even, with Madame Loïk. “These new packaging are often the result of several years of research and development,” emphasizes Blandine Lagain, packaging expert and co-founder of Pack Eko. And for good reason, behind the packaging, adaptations of the production lines are sometimes necessary. The micro-fluted tray Eureden, synonymous with a packaging saving of 20%, had to meet several constraints to adapt to the packaging line, says Blandine Coquio, marketing manager of the company: “We have done a lot of tests. As these are gratinated products, the tray should not catch fire. “

Consumer expectations

The stakes are economic for the food industry. First of all to meet the expectations of consumers, “which is expressed by the act of purchase”, underlines Thierry Varlet, the founder of Pack en transition, the very young association which brings together packaging players. Marketing Director of Paysan Breton, Marie-Paule Pouliquen confirms: “These commitments are just as important for us as for our consumers who are attentive to these measures. Last June, by removing the cardboard that wrapped its jars of whipped cheese, the company reduced the amount of packaging by 30%.

Bonus Malus

Manufacturers also meet the requirements of increasingly strict legislation on the use of non-recoverable packaging. From 2023, the degree of recycled material will become more and more important in the composition of packaging, up to banning petrochemical plastics in 2040 whose thicknesses are gradually reduced where the alternative does not yet exist. Regulations to which is added the weight of the contribution of manufacturers to the collection and sorting of packaging: a bonus-malus system favorable to eco-design.

“This pressure is forcing manufacturers to move very, very quickly,” underlines Thierry Varlet. Paradox: they are sometimes confronted with the absence of recycling channels. This is the case with wooden packaging.

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