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Phasing out of plastic continues

15 jun 2023
EU legislation sets out requirements for phasing out plastic within certain groups of single-use products. The BioPak business area is well advanced with sustainable alternatives. During the year, for example, the Duniform® concept has become increasingly based on renewable raw materials.

In the field of single-use products, there is a strong focus on phasing out and replacing fossil-based virgin plastic with more environmentally smart, non-fossil alternatives. In 2021, the EU’s single-use plastics directive (SUPD) came into force, which bans the sale of certain single-use plastic items.

Replacing plastic, a complex process
While legal requirements are intensifying and opinion against plastic is strengthening, it is a complex area. Finding sustainable and hygienic alternatives with the product benefits of plastic in food packaging applications is a challenge. Manufacturers and suppliers easily get caught up between different laws, which on the one hand concern the environment/climate and on the other hand food contact and food safety.

“Price and function make some plastic products difficult or almost impossible to replace. In some parts of our range, plastic is still the best option to preserve the quality of the food and keep it fresh for longer. If you also want to be able to see the food in the packaging, it’s usually difficult with fiber-based alternatives that aren’t as transparent,” says Tomasz Doweyko, Head of Product Development.

Several new sustainable product ranges
But Duni Group fully supports SUPD and began to switch the product range in good time before the directive came into force. Our updated strategic focus on sustainability and circular solutions reinforces the incentive, and work continued in 2022 with new launches. New products include sustainable products in the popular Duniform® sealing concept.

“For example, we’ve developed several fiber-based product ranges that can replace our plastic solutions in the Duniform® range. We’re continuing to work on this transition, so that in due course we’ll be able to offer alternatives to all fossil-based plastic in our range,” says Tomasz.

Many options and materials – and possibilities
The business area’s sustainable Duniform® products are made from bio-based or recycled raw materials and are carbon neutral through compensation. They reduce the plastic content by up to 90%. There are a number of different alternatives and materials.

For example, there are sealable trays made of renewable and compostable bagasse (sugarcane fiber) with a thin PBAT/PLA coating. The Duniform® range of “Menu Fiber” cellulose meal molds is manufactured in Europe and consists of wood fibers with a bio-based PBS/PLA coating. They are suitable for both hot and chilled food and are compostable in industrial environments.

The Duniform® Forum range is made from FSC®-certified cardboard with a removable PE coating, and consists of 85% less plastic than conventional alternatives. All Duniform® CPET trays are made from 100% recycled PET material. Different sealing options are available to meet different customer needs, from fiber based or clear lids to different sealing films.

Keeping a close eye on legislation
“We’re constantly looking at any legislation or regulations that the EU, as well as individual member states, are looking at – related to packaging in general, but above all in terms of plastic. We’re continuously monitoring this area so that we can stay one step ahead. We need to know what’s around the corner, so that we can develop and adapt our range ahead of future changes,” says Tomasz.


Duniform® – a tried and tested concept just got more sustainable
The Duniform® sealing concept has simplified the sealing of packaging solutions and kept them clean, fresh and leak-proof for 40 years. It provides safer transport of various food products and makes handling easier. It can also reduce food waste, which can help reduce climate impact. The Duniform® concept is continuously evolving to be even better and to meet today’s high demands for sustainability. The Duniform® range includes sealing machines, trays, sealing films, transport solutions, and service and support.

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Katja Margell
Investor Relations and Communications Director