Mono-material Cheese Pack Launch Coincides with Recycling Center

The PP mono-material pack provides high barriers against oxygen and water vapor, keeping the product fresh on the shelf. It also protects the cheese with high puncture resistance. And printability allows the brand and recycling messages to pop.

The mono-material solution provides high barriers against oxygen and water vapor, keeping the product fresh on the supermarket shelf. It also protects the cheese with high puncture resistance.
The mono-material solution provides high barriers against oxygen and water vapor, keeping the product fresh on the supermarket shelf. It also protects the cheese with high puncture resistance.

In yet another data point on the trend line toward mono-material substrates designed to be more easily recyclable, Swedish sustainable dairy co-op Skånemejerier rolled out a mono-material polypropylene (PP) pack for leading Swedish supermarket ICA’s own brand of Hushållsost cheese. The new pack comprises a mono-material base web and lidding film, all of which is produced and printed by supplier Mondi before being converted for 1-kg and 2-kg blocks of cheese by Skånemejerier.

The mono-material solution provides high barriers against oxygen and water vapor, keeping the product fresh on the supermarket shelf. It also protects the cheese with high puncture resistance. And great printability allows the brand and recycling messages to be communicated well on-pack, the company says.

“Our collaboration with Mondi has been a thorough process. We started our first test and trials in 2019 and are delighted to be bringing this fully recyclable packaging to market before the end of 2023,” says Ingemar Jönsson, packaging manager at Skånemejerier. “The great working relationship we had, meant that we were able to adapt materials and machinery efficiently, resulting in a successful, fit for purpose solution. We have strong, effective and good-looking packaging that keeps materials in the loop and responds to consumer demands for more sustainable solutions.”

This new pack format is being launched in conjunction with the opening of Swedish Plastic Recycling’s so-called Site Zero, which purports to be world's largest sorting facility for used plastic packaging. This state-the-of-art facility went live in November 2023, and now processes used plastic waste from both Sweden and Finland. Thanks to the new Skånemejerier pack’s mono-material design, the facility will be able to effectively sort it for recycling, contributing to a circular economy.

“We are very positive about the new packaging that Mondi has developed together with Skånemejerier for ICA,” adds Rickard Jansson, Development Engineer at Swedish Plastic Recycling. “By using mono-material film instead of laminate consisting of different types of plastic, we can sort out and recycle the packaging that is left in the system, thus avoiding incineration. With Site Zero's new technology, this PP film-based packaging will be able to become new products, which has not been possible in any facility in Sweden before. It provides circular plastic flows that reduce the need for fossil raw materials and combustion.”

The mono-material cheese packaging on ICA’s shelves won this year’s PackNorth Award in the ‘Food’ category and was also recognized at the Empack fair in October in Stockholm, Sweden. PW

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