Coveris has teamed up with Veetee, one of the UK’s largest rice suppliers, to launch fully recyclable packaging for Aldi’s own-brand rice. The retailer has a public aim of making 100% of its own-label packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of 2022 and the launch of Coveris’ fully recyclable MonoFlexE for two SKUs is a significant step towards this.

The rice was previously packed in a non-recyclable, OPP to PE mixed laminate, but Aldi has switched to Coveris’ fully recyclable MonoFlexE monomaterial PE to PE laminate packaging for their own-brand Worldwide Foods 1kg basmati rice and 1kg brown rice SKUs. This transition will enable around 30 tonnes of film to enter the soft plastic recycling stream annually.

The launch of MonoFlexE packaging for rice is the result of two-year development project with Veetee. The new packaging has been developed so that it has with like-for-like shelf-life properties and packing speeds as the former mixed laminate substrate. Coveris has also used its extrusion and film science capabilities to support the performance, functionality and clarity of the recyclable solution.

MonoFlexE rice packaging is available with up to nine colour HD flexo print and gloss or matt varnish for on-shelf appeal. The packaging’s artwork has also been updated in order to clearly communicate its recyclability to the consumer. It now features the retailer’s highly visible recycling logo on the front, supported by OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label) recycling guidance on the back.

Richard Gorman, plastics and packaging director at Aldi UK, commented on the new packaging. ‘We are always open to innovative solutions to reducing plastic waste, so we are pleased to work with Coveris and Veetee to launch our own-brand rice in fully recyclable packaging, which marks a further step towards achieving our plastic and packaging goals.’

Raghu Bansal, production engineer for Veetee, added, ‘This successful, collaborative project with Coveris has helped deliver another exciting step in Veetee’s journey to fully reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging materials. It’s a great success for the category.’

Finally, Mark Robinson, Coveris’ UK flexibles technical director, concluded, ‘Aligned with Coveris’ sustainability strategy No Waste, we continue to use film science technology to advance our recyclable flexible films into new categories. The launch of MonoFlexE for Aldi rice following a successful, collaborative project with Veetee is a breakthrough for this market and we can be very proud to work with Aldi and Veetee to innovate packaging for improved recycling.’