Packaging and paper manufacturer Mondi and Fiorini International have developed a 100% recyclable paper rice bag for Italian rice producer Riseria Vignola Giovanni.

Mondi made the rice bag using its Advantage Smooth White Strong 100 gsm, a speciality kraft paper, which the company claims offers ‘high strength, superior printability and guaranteed runnability’ on filling machines.

The investment in a new form-fill-seal machine is in line with Vignola’s sustainability aims to reduce use of plastic packaging.

Vignola managing director Giovanni Vignola said: “In 1971, we were one of the first to pack rice in cardboard boxes, and in the 1980s we were among the first to adopt the vacuum packaging system. Now we are pleased to be leading the market once again with this fully recyclable paper rice bag for our 500g and one kilo packages, giving consumers the sustainable, recyclable packaging they increasingly prefer.”

Mondi developed the new rice bag as part of its customer-centric EcoSolutions approach to enable them achieve their sustainability goals as well as meet technical requirements, including food shelf life preservation and regulations.

The packaging is 100% recyclable and suitable for waste paper recycling streams.

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Mondi Sales Region South & Americas head Massimiliano Scotta said: “Our EcoSolutions approach goes to the heart of trying to reduce less sustainable packaging with more bespoke solutions that meet our customers’ needs.

“We’re delighted that our continuing cooperation with Fiorini is now supporting Vignola’s vision to produce more sustainable packaging. We’re pleased to see these developments in Italian food packaging and are ready to support customers with packaging solutions that are sustainable by design.”

Vignola produces 50 million kilos of rice per year.

In September last year, Mondi collaborated with organic farm BIOhof Kirchweidach to develop a sustainable packaging solution for fresh produce on the vine.