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Food safe eco materials

All of the shipping systems we manufacture for our Freshpac range are created using food safe packaging materials, but some do have more eco-credentials than others.

We’ve listed out our top 5 food safe materials and their eco-credentials below:

Natural paper

We use nothing but natural paper (both virgin and recycled) in our EnviroCool system and we love it! It has so many eco-credentials they’re literally sprouting out of our ears (sprouting – get it!) and we’re proud to say that we only use paper from trees controlled by the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC).

Paper is of course totally biodegradable; we use natural Kraft paper which is unbleached which makes sure the soil and water table aren’t polluted should it end up in landfill. The heavy grade virgin fibre paper we use on EnviroCool’s outer layer also has a natural resistance to moisture.

What else. Easier to list them:

  • Organic – natural and plant based
  • Biodegradable – paper takes around 2-6 weeks to fully decompose in a landfill situation
  • Recyclable – through household collections, so easy as anything to dispose of responsibly (and recycled paper can be re-recycled, too). Recycling reduces the demand for virgin paper.
  • Recycled paper – better for the environment than virgin paper, as less trees are being cut down (and less energy is being used to do so)
  • Vegan-kind – no animal products used whatsoever
  • Unbleached – no harm caused by dangerous chemicals leaching into the environment using natural Kraft paper
  • FSC controlled – the FSC ensures responsible management of forests across the UK and beyond
  • Compostable – natural paper is compostable as it has no heavy inks or dyes and will return valuable nutrients to the soil.

For more info on EnviroCool, see our product page. EnviroCool is the only eco-friendly system in our market to offer both the sheer amount of eco-credentials as well as the unrivalled strength and durability our customers require!

Cardboard

We use cardboard across a wide range of our systems; EnviroCool, Recycle-Air, Reflective-Air…they all use a cardboard outer box which in itself is eco-friendly.

Cardboard is:

  • Organic – it is one of the packaging materials out there that offers the least impact on the environment
  • Biodegradable – cardboard takes on average 3 months to fully break down
  • Recyclable – recyclable through household collections, recycling cardboard minimises the need to produce virgin cardboard, as well as the energy to do so. Reusing recycled cardboard does not reduce strength or durability.
  • Vegan-kind – as with paper, no animal products are used in the manufacture of cardboard.
  • Compostable – like paper, cardboard can be composted and returns nutrients to the soil. Cardboard should be broken into small pieces before composting to speed the process up; shredding is ideal. Tape should be removed first.
  • Reusable – as cardboard is by nature quite strong, it can reused a number of times as long as it doesn’t get wet or crushed.

Click for our full range of Freshpac Shipping Systems with outer cardboard boxes

Compostable film

Compostable film is one of our latest innovations and we’re getting ready to release it with our new EnviroGel and water packs very soon.

Our compostable film (made from bio-polymers) is extremely eco-friendly, as you can see below:

  • Biodegradable – our film will break down fully within 6 months, quicker under certain conditions. As it is plant-based, it will not harm in the environment in any way.
  • Organic – we’re using this film with our new environmentally friendly gel formula; together the two make the perfect organic pair!
  • Compostable – as this film is not plastic based, it can be composted (clue’s in the name).
  • Plant based – made from bio-polymers (plant based plastics) which come from EU grown maize. No palm, soya, virgin oil or deforestation involved! The crops used are also guaranteed to be GMO (Genetically Modified) free.

Bio-plastics are fast becoming a replacement for many traditional plastic uses; they have extremely positive reviews and of course are much more eco-friendly.

  • The EU grows 7.8m tonnes of maize each year
  • 14% is used for starch in paper and cardboard
  • 1% is used for bioplastics
  • When composted, the film will leave behind biomass, like a twig or a leaf would
  • If the film does end up in landfill, it will biodegrade without harming the environment, again much like a leaf or twig

Keep an eye on our website as we’ll be releasing EnviroGel very soon!

LDPE

LDPE (Low Density Polyethylene) is a type of plastic granted, but it has more eco- credentials than other types of plastic such as Polypropylene (which is what plastic straws are made from). LDPE is not biodegradable, but it does have other eco-benefits to save grace.

  • Recyclable – some LDPE can be recycled through household collections, others have to be taken to specialist recycling centres. As a rule of thumb, we would recommend any LDPE products that are flexible (such as our Reflective-Air bags) are taken to a specialist centre, as a lot of council-run recycling centres will not recycle flexible LDPE in case it clogs up their machinery.

We hope one day that all councils have the investment for recycling machinery that can definitely handle this type of LDPE, but until then, visit https://www.recyclenow.com/local-recycling?material=PL500-PL600 to find the specialist centre nearest to you.

  • Reusable – reusing anything made from LDPE as opposed to throwing it away or recycling it means that less energy will be used in making new LDPE (or other plastic) products, as well as the energy cost to recycle it.
  • Toxicity – LDPE is less toxic if it does end up in landfill than other types of plastic.
  • Food-grade – products made from LDPE in our line-up are food-grade quality.

We use LDPE in systems such as Reflective-Air and our Insulated Shipping Systems.

EPP

EPP (Expanded Polypropylene) is different to your normal Polypropylene. It is highly versatile and extremely strong, meaning it will not only protect your goods in transit but also absorb outside shocks and bumps.

We can’t say that EPP is as eco-friendly as other materials in our line up, but it is still:

  • Reusable – given its durability, EPP products can be reused many times, as long as it is looked after properly
  • Recyclable – like LDPE, EPP products can be recycled. It is best to check with your local council whether they will collect or whether the EPP needs to go to a specialist recycling centre.
  • Non-toxic – if EPP products do end up in landfill, they will not harm the environment whilst they break down. They do not contain hydrocarbon, volatile organic compounds and they are free of heavy metal
  • Food-grade – it also resists mould and fungi growth

We use EPP for our Deluxe Thermo Box range. These are suitable for any kind of hot or cold catering.