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California-based disposable cutlery brand EcoTensil has launched a new range of plastic-free paperboard cutlery in the EU to be fully compliant with EU’s single-use plastic ban set to come into effect in July this year.

The new AquaDot range is made of folding paperboard and designed as a “ready replacement for plastic” and includes designs for use in to-go packaging. In a statement, EcoTensil described AquaDot as being similar in material to a paper coffee cup but without the plastic.

EcoTensil CEO Peggy Cross said: “EcoTensil products have always set the standard for the greenest utensils available, and now we are excited to take that to the next level with our new, longer-lasting AquaDot range. This line is a perfect, easy, versatile and cost-effective replacement for plastic utensils on just about any food package

“The work Europe is doing to reduce single-use plastic sets a great example for the world, and EcoTensil is very pleased to support companies in meeting their plastic reduction goals with our wonderfully simple folding paper ‘multi-tensils’.”

EcoTensil helps the industry move towards zero-waste

Liechtenstein-based food processing company Hilcona, whose food division co-packs the To-Go range of grab-and-go deli products for European food retailer Coop, has replaced plastic spoons and sporks in its to-go food cups with EcoTensil’s TabLock spoon product.

Hilcona project lead Barbara Held said that the choice to switch to an EcoTensil product was in line with its strategies to avoid waste in its packaging.

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Held said: “In this time of zero waste movements, Hilcona would like to continuously offer its customers sustainable strategies to avoid waste”

“We want to take responsibility and actively protect our natural environment. This is why we have scrutinised our Hilcona To-Go packaging concept and have decided to abandon the existing disposable plastic cutlery. Using the [EcoTensil] prevents around 3.5 metric tons of plastic waste per year.”

The AquaDot range is made from certified sustainably-forested material and is recyclable and compostable. According to EcoTensil, the cutlery “uses up to 80% less material than most other single-use cutlery made from plastic, bio-plastic or wood.”

EcoTensil designs ‘EcoSpoon’ for single-serve packaging

The AquaDot range includes utensils specifically designed for single-serve packaging, such as to-go foods in deli bars and supermarkets. Cutlery used for this type of packaging is usually made of plastic due to the need for the utensil to be folded inside the packaging. However, the new plastic-free EcoSpoon can be folded, replacing the need for single-use plastic and providing more versatility than wooden spoons, which cannot be folded.

Swiss fresh food packaging company Taraplus AG executive Buena Quek, who are using EcoTensil products in some of its packaging products, said: “Swapping out the plastic spoon on our 100% recyclable, r-PET 90% PCW single-serve cups and trays with the sustainable paperboard pre-folded TabLock from EcoTensil aligned with our corporate strategy of plastic-waste reduction.

“We are key suppliers to some of the world’s largest and most sophisticated fresh food retail brands. Our purpose is to use delightful and distinctive packaging design as a means to drive sustainable behaviours.

“EcoSpoons are the perfect alternative to disposable plastic spoons and have been immediately embraced by consumers, who have previously used plastic utensils. The plastic-free, recyclable, EcoSpoon is certainly the most sustainable cutlery on the global market today, being fully compliant with the EU ban on single-use plastic cutlery in 2021.”