Photo source: Taras Chernus | Unsplash
Kellogg’s trials inner paper bags for its cereal boxes
Thomas Reiner | 25.01.2022
Cereals such as corn flakes place high product demands on packaging in terms of shelf life, quality assurance and the packing process. When a big player like Kellogg’s wants to replace plastic with paper for its inner bags, it pays to look closely. The pilot project is starting at Tesco in the UK. If the trial succeeds, we will witness a real gamechanger.
Paperisation is all the rage. But the substitution of plastic with paper poses major challenges for companies, especially in the case of food products with high product requirements. In the case of cereals, for example, the contents must not only survive the filling process and the sealing of the inner pouches inside the cardboard boxes undamaged. At the same time, the inner packaging must ensure that the quality of the sensitive foodstuffs remains guaranteed over the entire shelf life of 12 months.
Life cycle assessment vs. recycling structure
The new inner bag developed by Kellogg’s packaging engineers is recyclable, according to the company. Together with the outer carton, which is already made of paper, this creates a completely fibre-based and recyclable cereal packaging.
According to Chris Silcock, Managing Director of Kellogg UK and Ireland, the main reason for the pilot trial is the lack of acceptance of the plastic bag in household recycling. This is because, purely in terms of life cycle assessment, the paper inner bag performs worse than the plastic version over its entire life cycle.
Where the journey is heading
The trial with the newly developed paper inner bags will start in January 2022 in selected Tesco stores. The results of the project will determine how Kellogg’s will position itself for its cereal packaging in the future. The company’s goal is to only use packaging that is reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The recyclable paper liner would fit into this plan just as well as the recyclable plastic bag – if it is reliably recycled via household collection.
Currently, Kellogg’s is exploring all possibilities and testing new alternatives. But if, as a big player, the company manages to overcome not only the suitability for the industrial packaging process but also the high product requirements in terms of shelf life, it could become a very big and relevant step for the market in question.