Seven years ago, Mediane had already introduced paper sleeves for the packing of fresh produce. Maybe a bit ahead of their time, the growers and retailers were not ready for paper sleeves yet. Nowadays, that opinion has changed completely. The awareness of how to deal with single-use plastics, has grown immensely. With both consumer, producer and retailer.
The Mediane Greensleeve program covers a variety of sustainable alternatives. Home compostable films, Industrial-Compostable films, Bio-Based recyclable films and paper. ‘’We are converters," Robert van der Laan – Director of Mediane Flexible says. ‘’Because we have more than 200 clients, inside and outside the EU, we are used to adapting to local waste laws and regulations’’. And because of those different laws and regulations, Mediane offers different sustainable packaging options. These options answer the international demand for (home) compostable packaging but also the demand for bio-based and mostly recyclable packaging from renewable resources.
‘’What we see happening in the industry, is that all the single-use plastics that can be replaced by a sustainable alternative, eventually will be replaced by the latter’’, according to Mediane. Unless plastic has a substantial function, such as improving shelf life, prevention of dehydration or protection, people clearly want to get rid of laminates and that the industry is focusing on recyclable mono-foils. ‘’We have noticed that the retailers are receptive to paper as an alternative. And, due to the pressure of social media and public opinion about plastics as a whole, we see that they are actually shifting towards paper alternatives’’. Even though this is based on LCA not always the most sustainable option.
Paper sleeve for herbal plants
Currently Mediane is focusing on a 100% recyclable paper without sealable coating. At present paper types are being offered in the market with a coating made of PE, PLA or PBS. Unfortunately these coatings aren’t always the solution, since this does not guarantee the recyclability of the paper. That’s why Mediane decided to only use FSC-certified Kraft-paper, glued with water-based glue and printed with water-based ink. The option with partially foil on the front side and Kraft on the back is also possible. It’s also possible to use paper that has a water repellent layer on one or both sides of the Kraft paper.
Water repellent sleeve for plants without a pot
Because Mediane treats the Kraft-paper with a water repellent layer, this naturally treated paper sleeve can hold products such as hydroponic lettuce with root ball. There’s also a growing interest from the industry to pack herbal plants in paper, without a plastic pot. The retailers are becoming more aware that if you want to reduce the use of plastics in the AGF sector, the plastic pot plays a huge role both in weight and in recyclability. Much more than a plastic sleeve. Leaving out the plastic pot gives instant results with respect to reducing the use of plastic. Also a clear message is given to the consumer. The consumer dispose of the paper and root-ball in at the end-of-life in a responsible way, without ‘’packaging shame’’. The root ball in the bio-bin and the paper sleeve in the paper bin.
Water repellent sleeves for hydroponic lettuce
At this moment Mediane is working on increasing the capacity for paper sleeves to meet the demands from the industry.