Just Eat and Unilever brand Hellmann’s to reduce plastics through seaweed sachet trials

Just Eat has been trialling the sachets for several years

As part of the trial, 65 Just Eat restaurant partners are offering a range of Hellmann’s ketchup, BBQ, tartare and garlic sauces served in the seaweed sachets. The sachets are developed by Notpla and form part of a wider commitment introduced in March 2018 to combat reliance on single-use plastics.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow said: “The devastating impact of plastic pollution on our natural land and marine environments is all too clear to us, and even something small like a sauce sachet can contribute to this blight.

“But we can’t turn the tide on plastic pollution alone, so I’m hugely encouraged to see major brands like Just Eat and Hellmann’s embracing innovative, environmentally-friendly alternatives to significantly cut their use of plastic.”

Sachets are a prime example of the plastics conundrum. They enable low-income consumers to purchase smaller amounts of a product they otherwise would be unable to afford. However, global infrastructure is ill-equipped to handle them, leading to the items seeping into the natural environment at an alarming rate.

The latest rollout expands on previous trials from Just Eat using the seaweed sachets.

As for Unilever, the trial forms part of a commitment to halve its use of virgin plastic by 2025 by reducing plastic packaging by more than 100,000 tonnes, increasing the amount of recycled plastics it uses and collecting and processing more plastic packaging than it sells.

Sachet innovation

Oohos, the edible, plastic-free packaging capsules trialled by companies such as Lucozade Ribena Suntory, have received more than £300,000 in Government funding that will help boost daily manufacturing outputs.

The sachets, created by packaging firm Skipping Rocks Lab and made by manufacturing firm Notpla, is a seaweed extract that is used as edible packaging for drinks under 100ml. The plastic-free packaging can be eaten, composted or disposed of in normal household bins. Once discarded, they take around six weeks to decompose.

As for Lucozade Ribena Suntory, the firm trialled Oohos filled with Lucozade Sport drinks and gels at four sporting events since September 2018, with more than 42,000 capsules handed out to participants.

More than 36,000 Lucozade Sport Oohos were sampled at the 2019 Virgin Media London Marathon. A survey at the event found that 82% of those who tried Oohos filled with Lucozade Sport found them “appealing” or “very appealing”.

Matt Mace

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