Food and Beverage Business

Upfield introduces the first plastic-free and recyclable tub for plant butters and spreads, breaking the industry mould.

Upfield introduces the first plastic-free and recyclable tub for plant butters and spreads, breaking the industry mould. Breaks, mould, plant butters, Plastic free, recyclable, spreads, tub, Upfield, world's first Food and Beverage Business

In an unprecedented move, Upfield has announced the launch of the world’s first plastic-free, recyclable tub for its plant-based butters and spreads. This milestone comes after four years of intensive collaboration with Footprint, MCC, and Pagès Group, reflecting a significant shift in the company’s packaging strategy towards a more sustainable paper-based solution across its entire product portfolio.

Amidst this groundbreaking development, Upfield has set an ambitious target of reducing its plastic content by 80% by the year 2030. The initial launch of the paper tubs in Austria with Flora Plant in late 2023 marks the beginning of a comprehensive effort to replace up to two billion plastic tubs by 2030, ultimately preventing more than 25,000 tons of plastic waste annually.

The innovative paper tubs, developed in collaboration with Footprint’s material sciences technology, are constructed from compressed wet paper fibers, offering waterproof and oil-proof properties while remaining recyclable in local paper waste streams. Furthermore, the packaging has already received Conventional Plastic Free Certification and utilizes paper from a PEFC-certified supplier, with plans to achieve home compostability certification by 2025.

David Haines, group CEO for Upfield, emphasized the company’s commitment to addressing the critical environmental challenge posed by plastic waste. He stated, “When we established Upfield, innovating our way out of plastic tubs was our moon-shot, and I am very proud of all Upfielders that continue to work towards this goal.”

Karina Cerdeira, head of packaging for Upfield, expressed pride in the company’s collaborative effort with Footprint, stating, “We are proud to have created, with Footprint, an innovative paper-based tub that is durable, oil-resistant and appealing and which many thought would be impossible with paper.”

In a similar vein, Yoke Chung, co-founder and chief technology & innovation officer for Footprint, underscored the transformative influence of the collaboration, stating, “This marks the introduction of the first oil-resistant paper tub for plant-based spreads. We are proud to collaborate with Upfield on this transformative endeavor, as it resonates with our shared objective of assisting customers in realizing their sustainability goals.”

This cutting-edge development in food packaging not only reflects Upfield’s dedication to sustainable practices but also sets a pioneering industry standard, emblematic of its commitment to fostering positive environmental change. As Upfield continues to push the boundaries of innovation, the company hopes to inspire others to join the pursuit of positive change.

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