Waitrose investigates biomaterial made from langoustine shells

Waitrose investigates biomaterial made from langoustine shells

April 11, 2019
Press Release: CuanTec

Waitrose & Parners has already used vine leaves to make punnets for its Waitrose Duchy tomatoes – and is now looking at langoustine shells for a film replacement

A Scottish biotec company called CuanTec with alongside Waitrose & Partners on a new film for food packaging made out of waste langoustine shells.

CuanTec takes waste langoustine shells created from seafood processing to make a natural polymer, which can then be turned into a flexible film. The material also has the potential to be both industrially and home compostable.

The new packaging, which is at an experimental stage, was shown to HRH The Prince of Wales during a visit to Waitrose & Partners Food Innovation Studio this week.

Waitrose hopes the new packaging could be used as an alternative to conventional plastic film on some of its fish products in 12-18 months’ time, including Waitrose Duchy smoked salmon.

“For us this technology represents the perfect virtuous circle,” commented Dr Cait Murray-Green, CEO of CuanTec. “As well as protecting food on sale to consumers, it gives value to what would have been a waste product and takes single use plastic out of the food system, meaning that less waste goes to landfill.”

“While we are still at an experimental stage, the potential for this new packaging material is incredibly exciting,” revealed Karen Graley, packaging manager, Waitrose & Partners. “Conventional plastic films can’t currently be recycled, reused or composted – so finding an alternative that doesn’t go into landfill would be very significant in helping us reach our target of ensuring that all own label packaging is widely recyclable, reusable or home compostable by 2023.”

Waitrose & Partners was introduced to CuanTec during a pitch day to reduce plastic waste for its JLAB retail innovation program. JLAB allows the John Lewis Partnership to work with start-ups and more established businesses on exciting new technologies and ideas.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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