Mondi has teamed up with UK frozen food retailer Iceland to introduce renewable, recyclable packaging, as part of the retailer’s target of eliminating plastic packaging from its shelves by the end of 2023.

Iceland is aiming to be the first UK supermarket to become plastic neutral, adapting to paper packaging wherever possible and offsetting its remaining plastic footprint by recovering and recycling environmental and nature-bound waste plastic.

This journey has now taken another step forward, with Iceland replacing its previous packaging with Mondi’s versatile functional barrier paper across a number of its ranges. The first newly packaged product to hit the shelves earlier this month was the retailer’s frozen chicken dippers, which reduces the amount of plastic used per year by 80%.

Mondi’s functional barrier paper offers complete product protection, ensuring the product has the same shelf life as it did with its previous packaging. The high stiffness of the paper means the packaging is puncture resistant and ensures an efficient filling process that works with existing machinery.

Moreover, Mondi’s functional barrier paper is made from renewable resources, with paper production and coating managed in-house. The paper packaging can be recycled in existing waste streams and, with paper being the most widely recycled material in the world – 74% of paper and 83% of paper-based packaging is Europe is recycled – this ensures that the paper can be recycled at the end of its life, contributing to the Circular Economy. This is complemented by Mondi’s EcoSolutions approach to collaboration to ensure the right questions are asked and the most suitable packaging options are developed.

Stuart Lendrum, head of packaging, quality and food safety at Iceland, said, ‘We’ve been bold in our aims to remove plastic, and were Landrum the first UK retailer to publish our plastic footprint along with our pledge to ultimately become plastic free. To deliver on this ‘Doing it Right’ promise, we knew we would need the expertise of global packaging suppliers like Mondi.

‘Its collaborative EcoSolutions approach meant that our teams worked together to consider all elements of the product manufacturing and delivery journey. We now have a sustainable solution that is efficient to use, protects the products and meets the expectations of our customers.’

Falk Paulsen, sales and business development director, extrusion solutions, Mondi, added, ‘Iceland has set out ambitious sustainability targets and has already made great strides in reducing plastic packaging. Some products need more specialised solutions to ensure consumers get safe, high-quality food. Mondi’s functional barrier paper uses a wafer-thin coating that provides all the necessary barriers to keep food fresh and can still be recycled. It is a pleasure to be working with Iceland on their range of frozen food products.’