Sausage supplier Westaways is claiming to be the first meat producer to create an eco-friendly pack tray out of a natural material normally used for cattle feed.

The Devon-based premium sausage maker plans to use non-porous trays made out of compressed natural palm fibres, a bi-product of the palm oil industry.

The trays are suitable for the home recycling bin and the company is awaiting accreditation that will allow them to be labelled as suitable for home composting.

The smooth tray is a natural light brown colour that complements the appearance of uncooked meat, the company said.

"It offers an economically viable alternative to the ordinary plastic we previously used for the trays," said director Charles Baughan.

The outer sleeve has been redesigned to convey West Country provenance.

From mid March the new packs will be available in 750 multiple, convenience and independent stores across the south west.

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