Leading packaging manufacturer Coveris has revealed a revolutionary new plastic-free sandwich skillet that is more easily recycled within the UK infrastructure.

The skillet uses sustainably sourced materials including a plastic-free, transparent film that biodegrades over a 12-month period, in combination with recyclable cartonboard, resulting in a more environmentally-friendly packaging solution for sandwiches.

BSA data shows that over 3,500,000,000 sandwiches are purchased from UK retail or catering outlets each year. With many of these eaten on-the-go and recycling and waste infrastructures varying from region to region, the recyclable elements of sandwich packaging that reach the appropriate waste processing channels can be limited.

Coveris’ new plastic-free sandwich skillets are a significant development in the food-to-packaging industry, combating the limitations of a developing recycling infrastructure and giving the environmentally conscious consumer piece of mind that wherever they dispose of their sandwich packaging, there will be no negative effect to the environment.

With like-for-like shelf life and high clarity film properties, sandwich manufacturers, consumers and retailers will continue to experience the functionality, presentation and product freshness benefits associated with traditional skillets. However, the use of a transparent film made from sustainable, non-food resources, enables skillets to either be recycled in mixed paper bins or disposed of as general waste and break down within 12 months.

Gary Rehwinkel, UK President at Coveris, said: “We continuously challenge ourselves to reduce environmental impact made by packaging, from the materials and processes we use, to how it works with recycling and waste infrastructures. Millions of sandwiches are consumed everyday all over the UK with varying and often confusing opportunities for the disposal of packaging.”

“We encourage consumers to recycle Coveris’ plastic-free skillets where possible but in the absence of recycling bins, skillets can be placed in bins for general waste disposal and break down within a year, supporting better sustainability and greater simplicity in the supply chain. This development is especially significant for Coveris as it forms a key part of our, soon to be announced, Pack Positive strategy”, continued Gary.

Coveris is one of the UK’s largest food-to-go packaging suppliers, manufacturing sandwich skillets across its three cartonboard sites in Cambridgeshire for a range of retailers, from supermarkets to foodservice operators.

For an insight on how sandwich skillets are manufactured, take a tour of Coveris’ cartonboard sites in this new video: