Back in July of 2019 the EU’s Directive on single use plastics came into force1, but member states had until July 2021 to decide how they were going to implement this within their own national laws2.

Naturally, with the UK no longer being a member state there is no requirement for the directive to be bought into UK law. However, due to the Northern Ireland Protocol, Northern Ireland has to comply on an individual national level by the 1st January 2022. There are four key parts of the EU Directive:

1. Ban single-use plastic cutlery, plates, straws and stirrers
2. Ban expanded polystyrene (EPS) food containers and cups
3. Ban all oxo-degradable plastics
4. Turtle graphic on beverage cups containing plastic

All three of the other home nations have stated they will not be implementing the turtle graphic initiative. Scotland and Wales have said they will propose a consultation in relation to the other three aspects with England having taken the stance of banning single use plastics for stirrers, straws and cotton buds, but no ban for cutlery and plates. Equally, at present England is not looking to ban expanded polystyrene food containers and cups or oxo-degradable plastics.

Despite the present stance from the various nations, some companies will no doubt be looking for alternatives that comply with these new EU rules in preparation should these measures be introduced in the future. It is no secret that during the pandemic there has been a renewed global focus on the present environmental situation meaning more businesses are reviewing their own green goals.

At Alliance we strive to always be at the forefront of trends and legislative changes within the hospitality and public sectors in order to ensure our customers have the best product offering available to them. When the single-use plastics ban for straws, cocktail stirrers and cotton buds came into effect in England we ensured our offering was in line with this change. For our review of product alternatives to this ban, please click here.

As such, with expanded polystyrene food containers being vetoed by the EU for its member states we have ensured we also have an alternative for the UK and Ireland (already impacted) markets. This comes in the form of the new expanded polypropylene range from Klöckner Pentaplast (kp) called kp Infinity™.

Expanded Polypropylene

Expanded polypropylene (EPP) is a low density, high elasticity closed-cell bead foam which benefits from low compressibility and high deformation recovery rate. EPP also benefits from being resistant to oils, acid and alkali chemicals and solvents whilst also not readily absorbing water. Furthermore, it is non-toxic and tasteless and can be recycled with a high degree of efficiency with minimal performance degradation. As such, these qualities make EPP a great alternative to EPS food containers and other materials, especially for companies looking to opt for a more eco-conscious option.

Infinity™

At this point, we’d like to introduce the Infinity™ range from one of our longstanding packaging suppliers, kp. They appreciate the world is changing, and consumers are more frequently making decisions based on not just price point but also the ethical operations of the companies they are choosing to do business with. So, in order to accommodate this change (both the EU Directive and the customers buying decision) kp have created a range which moves away from the time old EPS food and drink containers and has produced a range which is made from EPP. Below is a snapshot of the benefits their kp Infinity™ range has over other competitors on the market (extract from kp Infinity™ Product credentials whitepaper – downloadable from the references section):

The range offers businesses a fully recyclable food container option, a message which can be communicated with end users to ensure the product finds its way back into the recycling chain. Additionally, it has excellent thermal protection for individuals handling the product whilst also boasting brilliant resistance to hot oil, making it perfect for food which has been deep fried. Not only is it great at stopping heat permeating through to the outer surface of the container, it is also very efficient at ensuring heat stays in, keeping food hotter for longer than both Bagasse and Carton board.

The range offers the hospitality and food to go industry a fantastic alternative to the current EPS products available. So, whether you are looking to make a change now, or simply want to review your options should an EPS ban be enforced, kp Infinity™ is the range for you.

Here at Alliance we pride ourselves on our eco-range of products which we source from green suppliers to give our customers the best options on the market. We understand the landscape of business is changing with a large shift towards environmental initiatives and operations, as such we want to help our customers by sourcing great alternatives that not only meet their eco-needs but also do the job. Click here to view our full eco-conscious brochure and for our full online offering of disposable products, click here.

References
1. European Commission – https://ec.europa.eu/environment/topics/plastics/single-use-plastics_en
2. Vegware – https://news.vegware.com/2021/02/17/the-uk-the-eu-single-use-plastics-directive/
3. kp Infinity™ Product credentials whitepaper

Summary
The Expanded Polystyrene Alternative – Help achieve your green goals
Article Name
The Expanded Polystyrene Alternative – Help achieve your green goals
Description
With the world becoming more environmentally conscious Alliance cast their eye over the EU Directive on single use plastics and what alternatives there are available with a focus on Klöckner Pentaplast (kp) expanded polypropylene (EPP) range called kp Infinity™
Author
Publisher Name
Alliance Online
Publisher Logo