First Seaweed-Based Packaging Gets OPRL Nod for Recycling - Papermart

First Seaweed-Based Packaging Gets OPRL Nod for Recycling

Wales-based PlantSea has become the first company to be awarded OPRL certification for its seaweed-based packaging, which can replace traditional paper and card in stationery, boxes and bags.

Apr 9, 2024


A Welsh start-up has become the first company to be awarded On-Pack Recycling Label (OPRL) certification for its seaweed-based packaging. 

As per OPRL, PlantSea has become the ‘first’ company to use the OPRL ‘Recycle’ label for such a material, highlighting its potential to replace traditional paper and card in various applications such as stationery, boxes, and bags.

The packaging is manufactured from a blend of seaweed-derived fibres with recycled and virgin paper pulp. This combination has been tested under the CEPI v2 protocol, confirming its compatibility with standard paper mill recycling processes.

The use of seaweed adds another layer of sustainability in PlantSea’s packaging, which comes in a range of weights. 

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Alice Harlock, Director of Technical and Member Services at OPRL, said, “It is always exciting to see innovation and the successful application of novel materials in packaging. As businesses look to adapt or replace current packaging types to meet sustainability goals or legislation, OPRL is keen to support them with labelling that helps consumers make the right choices around recycling.”

Gianmarco Sanfratello, Co-founder and CTO at PlantSea, said, “Achieving the OPRL label has been a huge boost. It is easy to claim that products are fully recyclable, but independent assessment brings credibility that is especially valuable for a start-up and innovation business. It helps us to demonstrate our commitment to honesty and to give consumers a choice.”

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The seaweed used in PlantSea’s packaging is a by-product sourced from the growing UK aquaculture industry which itself, supports aquatic life and marine conservation. In addition to the paper and card, which has been awarded the OPRL label, PlantSea has developed other seaweed-based products, including water-soluble film and agricultural mulch.

OPRL Limited is the entity behind the UK-wide OPRL scheme, a programme utilised by more than 750 member companies and charities.