Swedish start-up iFoodbag has received a €1.7m grant from the European Commission to develop a second-generation carrier bag.

The financial support will be provided under the Commission’s Horizon 2020 SME instrument programme for a period of two years.

Made out of a paper-based composite material, iFoodbag can protect chilled and frozen goods for up to 24h. However, it is subject to some temperature constraints and circumstances.

iFoodbag is said to overcome logistics challenges for temperature-controlled products, allowing customers to shop conveniently online for frozen or chilled products and have them delivered fresh.

The company said that the second-generation carrier bag will be even more environmental-friendly, keep the contents chilled for longer and is cheaper to produce.

"This development has come around at just the right time, as the European Commission realises the importance of working to create a sustainable world."

The production budget for the new bag is expected to be five times more than what the company spent for the original carrier bag. It is estimated to be around €2.5m.

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iFoodbag founder and CEO Karl Fallgren said: "Our concept, our team and the timing are three reasons why we obtained this grant. This development has come around at just the right time, as the European Commission realises the importance of working to create a sustainable world, which coincides completely with what we want to achieve with our flexible packaging solutions.

"With generation two, we are putting our efforts into such things as improving the cost-effectiveness of the carrier bag that more people should be able to afford to shop online, the environmental impact and reducing both CO2 emissions and food waste. Of course, it is extremely gratifying and a real badge of honour to receive this validation that our technology is good and that we are considered a company to watch in the future."

The Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme is aimed at supporting scientific developments, which can lead to new possibilities to improving people’s lives worldwide.

Image: The carrier bag innovation could bring major savings to the food industry. Photo: courtesy of Cision / iFoodbag.