Duni Group Embraces Sustainability, Transitioning to Alternatives in Compliance with EU Plastic Legislation

Tomasz Doweyko, Head of Product Development

As the European Union (EU) sets forth legislation aiming to phase out plastic in specific groups of single-use products, BioPak business area of Duni Group takes significant strides in adopting sustainable alternatives. Notably, the Duniform® concept has increasingly shifted towards renewable raw materials, demonstrating the company’s commitment to environmental responsibility.

Within the realm of single-use products, there is a strong emphasis on eliminating fossil-based virgin plastic and replacing it with environmentally intelligent alternatives. In 2021, the EU implemented the single-use plastics directive (SUPD), which prohibits the sale of certain single-use plastic items.

Replacing plastic is a multifaceted process, presenting complexities for manufacturers and suppliers. Balancing the need for sustainable and hygienic alternatives with the inherent benefits of plastic in food packaging applications is a challenge. Companies must navigate between environmental and climate regulations and those focused on food contact and safety.

Tomasz Doweyko, Head of Product Development at Duni Group, explains the intricacies, stating, “Price and function make some plastic products difficult or almost impossible to replace. In certain aspects of our range, plastic remains the optimal choice for preserving food quality and extending freshness. Additionally, fiber-based alternatives often lack transparency, making it challenging to showcase the contents of the packaging.”

Despite the challenges, Duni Group fully supports the SUPD and proactively began transitioning its product range well before the directive came into effect. The company’s strategic focus on sustainability and circular solutions further reinforces this commitment, leading to the launch of new sustainable products, including those within the renowned Duniform® sealing concept.

“We have developed several fiber-based product ranges that can replace our plastic solutions in the Duniform® range. We are continuously working on this transition to ultimately offer alternatives to all fossil-based plastics in our range,” adds Tomasz.

The business area’s sustainable Duniform® products are crafted from bio-based or recycled raw materials and are carbon-neutral through compensation measures. These innovative solutions reduce plastic content by up to 90%. Various alternative materials are employed, offering a range of options.

For instance, sealable trays made from renewable and compostable bagasse (sugarcane fiber) with a thin PBAT/PLA coating are available. The “Menu Fiber” cellulose meal molds within the Duniform® range, manufactured in Europe, are constructed from wood fibers with a bio-based PBS/PLA coating. These molds are suitable for both hot and chilled food and can be composted in industrial environments.

Furthermore, the Duniform® Forum range comprises FSC®-certified cardboard with a removable PE coating, containing 85% less plastic compared to conventional alternatives. All Duniform® CPET trays are produced using 100% recycled PET material. Diverse sealing options, including fiber-based or transparent lids and various sealing films, cater to different customer requirements.

As Duni Group embraces sustainability and aligns with EU plastic legislation, it showcases its dedication to pioneering alternatives that safeguard the environment while meeting the demands of consumers and businesses alike.

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