Recyclable Lidding Film: Reducing Plastic Waste

Reducing plastic waste has been top of the agenda for some time now, and we have seen retailers and brands developing their sustainability plans to find ways to divert plastic from landfill.

Using recyclable packaging is an obvious solution, however the UK waste collection infrastructure can make this a challenging objective. The majority of local authorities don’t collect flexible plastic film at kerbside, meaning we are depending more on ‘return to store’ options when specifying packaging materials. FFP however developed Esterseal, the first resealable lidding film that can be collected at Kerbside and is classified as ‘Recycle’ by OPRL. Esterseal is a huge step forward in diverting plastic film from landfill and giving consumers a simple and fuss free option to recycle their packaging.

It also brings with it many benefits for you, your branding, and your consumers. Read on to find out more.

The benefits of recyclable lidding film

There are a lot of advantages that come along with recyclable lidding film. We’ve pulled together 6 of the top reasons why you should switch.

1. Ideal for a wide range of categories

Esterseal is a resealable PET lidding film that can be used with both pre-formed and thermoformed PET trays, and is therefore suitable for a wide range of categories, such as:

  • Fresh fruit & vegetables
  • Prepared fruit
  • Cooked meats
  • Fresh meat & fish
  • Sausages & bacon
  • Confectionery and biscuits
  • Nuts and dried fruits
  • Salads
  • Sliced cheese
  • Dips and coleslaw
  • Snacking food

2. Packaging features

Esterseal offers a wide range of packaging features including:

  • Full pack opening
  • Single material (PET)
  • Multiple re-closings
  • High-speed processing on standard lines
  • Packaging reduction opportunities
  • Cost neutral compared to existing reclose solutions
  • Available with up to 30% recycled content so can be exempt from the up-coming Plastic Tax

3. Consumer convenience

Consumers have busy lives, that’s why Esterseal has been designed with their needs in mind:

  • It can assist in maintaining product freshness
  • Resealable lidding is ideal for on-the-go snacking, left-over lunches or picnics
  • It helps with portion control and can reduce food waste
  • Consumers can recycle the whole packaging in their kerbside collection; no longer having to remove the lid and deposit it in their general waste
  • Resealable lidding means the product doesn’t need to be decanted into another container; it stays in its branded package for longer, along with useful ingredients information
  • It allows products to be stacked securely in fridges or cupboards, as well as on shelves in stores
  • Easy to open and close for those less dexterous

4. Product protection

We also want to make sure products are protected every step of the way, from packaging to purchase:

  • Esterseal lidding film is available with high barrier
  • Extends your products shelf life

5. Helping businesses to reach their sustainable targets

Due to its design, Esterseal is cost-effective, lightweight, recyclable and can divert material from landfill.

Esterseal was designed with sustainability in mind and is a solution that can be recycled now utilising the current UK waste infrastructure. It is also classified as ‘Green’ on the Wrap & Tesco guidelines of preferred packaging materials and formats. Esterseal’s sustainability credentials are market leading:

  • It’s 100% recyclable
  • The first resealable PET lidding film in the UK to be classified as ‘Recyclable’ by OPRL
  • Available with 30% PCR content
  • Can be collected with the rest of your home recycling

The resealable element of Esterseal presents opportunities across various categories to significantly lightweight packaging and reduce the volume of plastic used. We took an example of a pot of coleslaw and calculated the weight saving if you removed the clip on lid and replaced it with Esterseal, a fully printable, resealable and recyclable solution.

The annual weight saving across just one line of coleslaw is an astounding 330t per year, based on an annual volume of 50m pots.

Coleslaw Annual Volume 50m Per Pack
A pot of coleslaw with a clip on lid 20.73g
A pot of coleslaw with Esterseal 14.14g

* Saving 6.59g and an annual weight of 330t

6. Esterseal and the new plastic tax

From 1 April 2022, the UK government will implement a new Plastic Packaging Tax of £200 per metric tonne on all plastic packaging components that do not contain at least 30% recycled material. In the current climate, where brands and retailers are trying to move packaging lines over to recyclable solutions, it can present a significant challenge to also incorporate PCR content into the material.

Esterseal however, is available with 30% PCR content to mitigate the Plastic Tax and offer a recyclable solution.

To illustrate the difference, we compared the weight and price of a pack of sliced cheese:

Sliced Cheese Annual Volume 43m Per Pack Annual Volume Plastic Tax Payable
Weight of reclose lidding film 2.21g 95t £19,000
Weight of Esterseal with 30% PCR content 1.50g 65t £0
Weight Saving 0.70g 30t Cost Saving
Total Weight of film removed from landfill 2.21g 95t £19,000

Not only can Esterseal mitigate the new plastic tax, it also diverts material from landfill.

Looking to swap to Esterseal?

As you can see, the benefits make this alternative plastic packaging a fantastic choice. To find out more, see our Esterseal Recyclable Lidding Film page or get in touch.