A new consortium led by Brightlands Materials Center in Geleen has been formed to explore the development of fully recyclable, sterilisable, stand-up pouches for soups, sauces and other “wet’ food applications.
Participants from the entire value chain have joined the effort. The knowledge gained will be shared worldwide, enabling food producers around the globe to benefit by using circular packaging in the future.
The project will focus on the development of a mono-material packaging based on recyclate suitable for packaging sauces and soups.
Harold Gankema, who is the programme manager for Circular Packaging at Brightlands Materials Center - TNO, explained the approach of the consortium: “We’re developing a stand-up pouch entirely based on PP and another one that’s entirely based on PET. The latter is a world first; there’s never been a sterilisable stand-up pouch based on PET.”
The European targets on circularity require brand owners and retailers to switch to the use of recycled materials in their packaging. Ideally, these materials should also be recyclable, although this has not yet been achieved with the current stand-up pouches for “wet” food applications that are required to be sterilised.
While the current multi-layered, multi-material structure of these pouches renders them compliant with the requirements in terms of shelf life, sterilisability, water vapour permeability, and oxygen permeability, they are not recyclable. However, a recyclable alternative may be expected to become a requirement in the short term..”
The consortium will kick off in February 2022. The results will be presented before the end of 2023.
The participants in the consortium range from producers and retail suppliers to knowledge institutes, and inlcude the raw material suppliers Indorama and Sabic; film producers Dupont Teijin Films and Oerlemans Packaging Group; brand owners and retail suppliers Greenyard Prepared and Four Seasons Food; knowledge institute Zuyd University of Applied Sciences, and research centre Brightlands Materials Center.