Iceland frozen seafood paper packaging

Source: Iceland/Parkside

The new packaging can be recycled via local authority kerbside collections across the UK, according to Parkside

Iceland is using a newly developed recyclable paper pouch for its Northcoast frozen seafood range, in a claimed milestone in the quest for alternatives to plastic.

It is said to be one of the world’s first paper recyclable packaging solutions for frozen food, replacing the plastic bags previously used for the range.

The new packaging is designed to withstand frost and moisture for prolonged periods, creating an effective barrier using water-based coatings that can break down when re-pulped in the paper recycling process.

It means it can be recycled via local authority kerbside collections across the UK, according to Parkside, the packaging company that collaborated with Iceland in developing the new solution.

The business said more testing was needed to confirm its compostability. 

“Bag sealing was a challenge, as was ensuring the material had the necessary barrier properties,” said Iceland packaging specialist Mark Armstrong.

“We also wanted the print to match the existing LDPE bag and therefore a lot of time was spent in artwork and repro to give us the best possible result.”

Parkside sales account manager Mark Shaw said: “Until recently, achieving a high level of grease and oil resistance and heat seal ability for frozen food has been extremely challenging. Typically, a plastic layer such as polyethylene would need to be extruded or laminated to the paper, which would then need to be removed when recycling post-consumer use.

“Our leading technology removes the need for the plastic and gives a truly recyclable paper solution with the added benefit of high barrier functionality.”

The news comes a month after Iceland MD Richard Walker said it would be impossible for the supermarket to hit a target it set in 2018 of eliminating plastic from own label ranges by the end of 2023, thanks to setbacks in the pandemic and a lack of viable alternative materials.