The new packaging is a significant milestone for both Iceland – in its pursuit of plastic-free packaging – and the frozen food sector, as it represents one of the first successful applications of paper flexible packaging for frozen food.
The innovative packaging has been designed for the supermarket's Northcoast range of frozen seafood, previously packed in an LDPE bag.
The heat-sealable paper packaging was designed to withstand the rigors of frost and moisture in a freezer environment for prolonged periods of time. This has been achieved by creating heat saleability and utilizing a range of water-based coatings with high-barrier performance, designed to break down when re-pulped in the paper recycling process.
‘Bag sealing was challenging, as was ensuring the material had the necessary barrier properties. 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,’ commented Mark Armstrong, packaging specialist at Iceland.
‘As everyone knows, we are loud and proud about our forward-thinking ideas and commitment to plastic-free packaging across our products. We previously worked with Parkside in a successful bid to reduce food waste via a lidding film technology in 2017. But we know we can do more. As consumer sentiment continues to grow for circular solutions, it is the perfect time to collaborate once again to reduce unnecessary plastic in our packaging,’ added Armstrong.
‘It has been a huge privilege for us to work on this project with Mark and his team. 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 plastic and gives a truly recyclable paper solution with the added benefit of high barrier functionality,’ concluded Mark Shaw, sales account manager at Parkside.