DS Smith partners with Eat Happy to develop fully recyclable packaging for sushi
The tray and the lid of the recyclable packaging are created with natural and renewable materials using corrugated cardboard. The packaging also features a 100 per cent home compostable plastic-free window to provide a view of the sushi whilst on store shelves.
DS Smith says that the packaging has been designed to be water and grease-repellent to protect and preserve the quality of the sushi and is designed in a range of shapes and sizes – from single to party-sized platters.
Florian Bell, CEO of Eat Happy Group said: “We spent a long time working on a new, more sustainable packaging solution that meets the stringent requirements for our products. We’re delighted that, with DS Smith’s help, we can now finally launch packaging that does just that.
“The new innovative packaging solution will allow us to meet our retail partners’ and customers’ increasing demand for more environmentally friendly packaging. But it also means we as a company can help protect the climate and the environment. So, moving to a sophisticated, fully recyclable packaging solution made of natural, renewable materials is particularly important for us.”
What impact will the recyclable packaging have on plastic waste?
Using Circular Design Metrics, DS Smith designed its packaging using eight set criteria that include recyclability, renewable materials and supply chain optimisation. These design metrics are aimed at measuring the product’s suitability to the circular economy.
DS Smith estimates that the new sushi packaging could help prevent up to 1,250 tonnes of plastic waste each year, a figure calculated using Eat Happy’s annual plastic tray use.
The packaging can be recycled using community or private waste paper bins. Clear messaging is outlined on the packaging to provide recycling guidelines and direct consumers towards the correct method of disposal.
Migration tests, referring to analysis of the transfer of chemicals from packaging into a foodstuff, were conducted on the packaging and successfully passed in a neutral laboratory to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.
Volker Quaas, Head of Design for Germany and Switzerland at DS Smith commented: “The fresh food segment is one of the future growth markets that always presents us with exciting tasks.
“The biggest challenge for us is that freshly prepared sushi remains in direct contact with the packaging during the refrigeration process at the counter level. It’s also vital that the product can be seen and is visible via a window within the tray and these careful design elements need to fit fully with materials that work within the circular economy.
“The solution is beneficial for our clients because it is fully in line with current legislation to avoid single-use plastic”.
The development of the new sushi packaging fits with DS Smith’s broader strategy of reducing waste in the fresh food sector and the company envisions various areas of application for the packaging beyond sushi.
Volker Quaas added: “In our ‘Now & Next’ sustainability strategy, we set ambitious near and long-term targets that confirmed our commitment to the Circular Economy and our Purpose of Redefining Packaging for a Changing World.
“One of the targets is to help our customers take one billion pieces of problem plastics off supermarket shelves by 2025. The packaging solution for Eat Happy is just one of many examples to achieve this goal.
“We are continuously helping customers to reduce plastic packaging and replace it with fully recyclable solutions made out of corrugated cardboard. The fresh food sector is an interesting growth area for these solutions”.