Blue Skies work with Kelpi who launch programme to revolutionise fresh fruit packaging

Sustainable packaging innovator Kelpi has won a new contract with global fresh fruit producer Blue Skies and their supermarket client Waitrose, with a view to eventually eliminating plastic packaging and replacing it with seaweed-derived alternatives.

Kelpi is working with Blue Skies, with support from Waitrose, to revolutionise fresh cut fruit packaging in an 18-month project funded by FRESHPPACT, a UKAid supported project.

Kelpi’s world leading materials team will be working with these partners to prototype and pilot bio-material packaging solutions for plastic free packaging to be brought to market in 2025. Kelpi is excited to be part of this bold and ambitious project aimed at reducing plastic waste across the fresh produce supply chain from Sub-Saharan Africa to the UK and Europe.

Plastic packaging is used by the fresh produce industry throughout the world, however pollution caused by waste plastics is a growing problem, particularly in regions with limited waste management infrastructure as well as more generally across the globe. Only 9% of all fossil fuel plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. 12% has been incinerated and the remaining 79% is dumped in landfills or polluting the environment (Ellen MacArthur Foundation).

Kelpi’s unique solution harnesses the properties of seaweed to create recyclable, compostable, marine-safe, low carbon bio-material packaging. Kelpi’s biopolymer material delivers a long-term water and acid barrier and, through this programme, will be applied with a view to achieving sustainable fresh cut fruit packaging solutions.

Ben Fiennes, Packaging Technologist at Waitrose & Partners said:

“Waitrose & Partners are fully committed to minimising our impact on the environment by reducing waste and minimising the impact of single use packaging on the environment. This programme is our latest initiative in helping to develop world- leading, innovative solutions and we are delighted to support Kelpi in providing solutions to current sustainability challenges.”

Simon Derrick, Head of Sustainability at Blue Skies, said:

“We are really excited to be working with Kelpi on this project to support in the development of truly game-changing solutions in the world of packaging, and achieve our aim of delivering tangible benefits to countries like Ghana, where we make our fresh-cut fruit.”

Hugo Adams, Chief Commercial Officer at Kelpi said:

“Kelpi is delighted to be working with Waitrose & Partners and Blue Skies to apply our unique seaweed-based biomaterials to deliver recyclable, biodegradable alternatives to the worldwide problem of single use plastic packaging in fresh cut fruit.”

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