Mondi and Unilever have jointly developed a recyclable, paper-based packaging solution for Unilever’s Colman’s brand to reduce the amount of plastic and aluminium used.
July 21, 2021
Unilever, together with Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, have developed a new high barrier paper-based packaging material for Unilever’s Colman’s dry Meal Maker and Sauces range by reducing plastic, increasing paper content, and consequently ensuring recyclability in the existing UK paper waste stream.
By replacing the previous unrecyclable multi-material laminate with recyclable paper packaging, Mondi supports Unilever in its sustainability targets. The aluminium, as well as all unnecessary plastic layers of the previous material, were eliminated. This resulted in a new packaging solution with a paper content of 85% and an ultra-thin functional plastic layer that seals the packaging and provides barrier protection for the food. Mondi and Unilever’s R&D teams identified this layer as the minimum acceptable protection needed to ensure a long shelf life while maintaining high quality and reducing food waste.
Mondi and Unilever closely collaborated throughout the entire development process, including mastering the challenge of limited access to production facilities during the Covid-19 pandemic. Starting with a proof of concept, followed by extensive line trials at both Mondi and Unilever’s R&D pilot plants provided the flexibility to quickly prototype and test the unique packaging material before scaling up. This collaborative method goes to the heart of Mondi’s EcoSolutions customer-centric approach of working closely with its customers to ensure that the best possible and most sustainable product is created while meeting the customer’s requirements, as well as that of its end-user and the environment.
Unilever focuses on the principle of a circular economy and the importance of creating value within it. Two of their key targets are to transform the entire packaging portfolio into technically recyclable, reusable or biodegradable solutions as well as to halve the amount of plastic used by 2025, which this new packaging solution addresses.