Goats Cheese Goes Green: Fully Recyclable YPS Film Used In Pioneering Application

A trailblazing manufacturer of exceptional fine cheeses has become the first and only company in the UK to adopt a fully recyclable polyolefin shrink film to package their Goats Cheese range. Quickly attracting the attention of supermarket giants Tesco and Waitrose, the new sustainably packaged products have been rolled out across stores nationwide in 2021 to replace alternatives wrapped in non-recyclable materials.

From PVDC to BOPE

The household dairy firm are leading the way for the cheese industry by transitioning from a commonly used PVDC flexible film to a multi-layer breathable BOPE (biaxally oriented polyethylene) polyolefin shrink film. The barrier properties of the PVDC material that render it impenetrable by water and oxygen were also proven to be a barrier to the company’s circularity goals, as it is currently unable to be recycled. To tackle this issue and eliminate PVDC, the company tasked us in late 2020 with finding a recyclable solution to wrap their selection of Goats Cheese.

After extensive trials and testing at the artisanal factory in Somerset, our breathable BOPE film was incorporated into the wrapping operation with outstanding results, becoming the first fully recyclable material of its kind used in the UK to package Goats Cheese in this way. The film is designated with SPI code 04, meaning that it can be widely recycled along with carrier bags at larger stores and has full OPRL (On-Pack Recycling Label) approval to display clear recycling guidance to consumers. After use, the film can enter the plastics recycling stream before being re-granulated back into new shrink films, reducing dependence on petrochemical polymers and thereby conforming with the circular economy goals championed by WRAP UK and CEFLEX.

Benefits for food preservation and sustainability

The uptake of this breathable film has even enhanced the natural maturation of these cheeses once wrapped due to the controlled gaseous exchange it allows, whilst maintaining a long shelf life to minimise food waste in the supply chain and domestic environments. Furthermore, this specialist film boasts low-temperature properties, ideal for the ‘flash shrink’, low-energy system that is employed, in which these cheeses are subjected to only very minimal heat to activate the shrinkage required. The sealed ‘fold’ effect created on the underside of the pack ensures the freshness and integrity of the cheese within is maintained and produces a neat, wrinkle-free finish.

As one of the largest cheese manufacturers in the world, this customer’s transition to our fully recyclable solution will prevent approximately 4.2 tonnes of non-recyclable flexible plastic from entering the supply chain annually. Additionally, the downgauging in film thickness that was also achieved in this switch has significantly reduced the overall volumes of plastic packaging used year on year by the company.

At YPS, we are the only UK supplier of the BOLFRESH range of shrink films manufactured in France by Bollore, a dedicated portfolio of polyolefin films tailored to the needs of fresh foods. Unwavering research and development has made Bollore a pioneer in this field, supplying the highest quality, food-safe and BRC-accredited films in the market. Coupled with our drive to supply ‘greener’ packaging solutions wherever possible and our customer’s commitment to sustainability, this new packaging partnership represents a major boon for eco-conscious cheese lovers as well as the health of our planet.

Proud to be Polyolefin pioneers

In light of this transition to recyclable films, the cheese manufacturer’s Purchasing Manager enthused ‘We’re really proud to be the polyolefin pioneers in our field. We are constantly striving to make responsible, eco-friendly choices and the transition to this fully recyclable film just cements our visions for sustainability even further. Now our customers can enjoy our delicious Goats Cheeses whilst still being kind to the environment.’

Josh Gibson, Sales Director at YPS continued ‘Be it in the taste and calibre of their cheeses, the care of their farmers and the wider community, their award-winning workplaces or their sustainable practices, this customer lives and breathes excellence. As such it was an absolute pleasure to collaborate on this exciting project to improve the green credentials of their packaging and I’m delighted that our film meets their high standards.’

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