Ireland-based convenience food manufacturer Greencore has partnered with British retailers Co-op and Sainsbury’s to pilot fully recyclable sandwich packaging in the UK.

Greencore developed the all-fibre sandwich skillet, thought to be the first of its kind in the world, together with ProAmpac.

The packaging is made from fully paper-based material and features a plastic-free window.

Its moisture resistance capability also allows it to provide the same shelf life offered by a traditional sandwich skillet.

The packaging will be piloted from September in UK supermarkets and will be launched commercially later this year if it meets the performance standards of all parties involved in the pilot scheme.

Greencore sustainability head Andy Wright said: “Consumers are increasingly aware not just of the importance of their own health but also of the impact their food has on the health of the planet.

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“Developing a fully recyclable sandwich skillet is one of the key ways we can reduce waste and help our customers do their bit to protect the environment.

“This is not a problem we can solve alone, though. The complexities of the challenges we face require collective action, inside and outside our industry.

“Greencore is pleased to have such supportive customers who share our enthusiasm for making great food for all, [which is] accessible, healthy and sustainable.”

ProAmpac Fresh Food Packaging global managing director Graham Williams said: “Introducing this fibre-based sandwich pack, which is plastic-free with an extended shelf life, is a direct result of ProAmpac’s product development expertise along with Greencore’s commitment to sustainable packaging.

“Partnering with an industry-leading company like Greencore is critical in bringing to market the latest in sustainable food packaging innovations.”

By developing the packaging, Greencore has met one of the commitments it made in its 2020 Sustainability Report.

Earlier this year, the company committed to making all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.