Tesco, Hilton and Linpac demonstrate viability of recyclable packaging for meat and poultry products from bottled water plastic.

WEST YORKSHIRE, England – One of the UK’s retail giants, Tesco Plc, along with the global hospitality conglomerate, the Hilton Food Group, announced a partnership with Linpac as part of a group commitment to eliminating packaging waste in the food-supply chain. Using 95 percent recycled materials from plastic water bottles derived from household waste, Linpac’s Rfresh Elite packaging has been adopted by Tesco for its meat and poultry products. Linpac also supplied Elite packs to Hilton UK and Ireland in 2016.

Unlike some other sustainable plastic material on the market the Elite packaging utilizes a sealant between the tray and top film that facilitates easier post-consumer recycling, extending the life and uses for the material in the future. The sealant also reduces the weight of the packages by up to 5 percent compared to traditional packaging formats. Tesco’s adoption of Rfresh Elite products has created an end-market use for over 1,300 tons of plastic post-consumer waste.

According to a press release, “The process is the same as that used to recycle clear plastic water bottles, meaning that the resulting crystal clear recycled plastic (rPET) can re-enter the recycling chain to create closed-loop recycling and ultimately, contribute to a circular economy.”

According to Mark Caul, Ph.D., technical manager for packaging at Tesco, the recycling attributes of the packaging demonstrates a long-term commitment to preserving the environment by the company and has the potential to have an impact on a more global scale.

“These trays represent a step change for the packaging industry by being much lighter, with the added bonus of making recycling easier for local authorities,” he said. “This is a landmark innovation and a clear demonstration of our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment we live in.”