Itsu swaps to more sustainable packaging for its instant noodles

UK-based healthy-eating, Asian-inspired quick-service retail & grocery brand Itsu has swapped the packaging for its instant udon’noodles to a K3® packaging solution from Greiner Packaging UK and Ireland.

“We introduced our first instant noodles in 2018 and in October 2021, we swapped to the K3® cardboard-plastic packaging solution for our udon’noodle range to improve its sustainability,” says Katrina Burrows, Packaging Change Manager at Itsu Grocery.

“As a brand, we are always striving to improve product recyclability and sustainability. Our udon’noodles were previously packaged in a cardboard pot, which was double-laminated, and therefore non-recyclable. It also had a plastic lid, which was recyclable, but made from virgin plastic. Plastic packaging is negatively perceived by consumers, particularly if it is not made from recycled plastics. By moving to a widely recyclable foil lid, the negative connotations are removed, and it is clear to the consumer that it is easily recyclable.

“Our restaurant-inspired udon’noodles are now packed in the fully-recyclable K3® pack from Greiner Packaging.”

The K3® packaging solution features a lightweight PP plastic cup wrapped in a removable cardboard sleeve which features a patented tear-tab so that consumers can easily and intuitively separate the materials to enable recycling.

“We have used the printable reverse of the wrap to clearly indicate to consumers where to fill the boiling water to (as part of the preparation instructions). Previously, this had to be on the outside of an opaque cup and the fill-level was difficult to judge.

“The account manager at Greiner Packaging was very responsive and helpful in the process between ideation and raising orders,” concludes Katrina Burrows. “There were a few teething issues during production and delivery of the first order into our ambient warehouse, but Greiner Packaging solved all of them in an impressive way.

“Overall, the move to using the K3® cup has been a positive move for the business but also for sustainability reasons. We will continue to improve the sustainability of the Itsu product ranges in whatever way possible.”

“This was our first project with Itsu and it was clear from the outset that they were on a mission to improve their sustainability story,” says Greiner Packaging Sustainability and Innovation Manager Rachel Sheldon. “The K3® pack therefore represents a perfect solution as it is fully recyclable and uses less plastic.”

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