Pot Noodle Paper Pot

Source: Unilever

A limited run of 500,000 Chicken & Mushroom pots made from FSC-certified paper have rolled exclusively into Tesco

Pot Noodle is trialling paper packaging with Tesco.

A limited run of 500,000 Chicken & Mushroom pots made from FSC-certified paper have rolled exclusively into the retailer.

They feature a single layer of plastic film to provide barrier protection, ensuring freshness and protecting the paper when water is added. However, according to Pot Noodle owner Unilever, this does not impact their recyclability and the pots can be recycled at home.

The empty sauce sachets can be taken to soft plastic collection points for recycling.

The packaging innovation is the result of three years’ development by Unilever, which wanted to significantly reduce plastic while ensuring the pots retained their original shape.

Shopper feedback from the trial will be used to support the subsequent scale-up of the innovation at the Pot Noodle factory in Crumlin, south Wales, where Unilever has introduced new capabilities to switch from plastic to paper-based production.

If the trial is successful, Unilever plans to transition the full Pot Noodle range to paper pots – a move it claims could prevent 4,000 tonnes of virgin plastic waste each year.

“From material development and testing through to new manufacturing processes and capabilities, big packaging innovations require the investment of time and expertise across many teams and partners,” said Unilever UK&I foods (nutrition) GM Andre Burger.

“There have been plenty of challenges along the way, but we are committed to reducing the plastic in our packaging and to a paper-based future for our pots, without compromising on the Pot Noodle experience our shoppers know and love.”

It comes after rivals PepsiCo and Mars have also trialled sustainable packaging options with Tesco in recent months.

Mars wrapped a limited run of Mars bars in paper packaging in May. In the same month, PepsiCo dropped the outer bags from Snack a Jacks multipacks, having already trialled cardboard boxes for Walkers crisps multipacks and paper-based outer packaging for Walkers Baked multipacks.