UK-based companies Unilever and Mondi have jointly developed aluminium-free, recyclable paper-based packaging for Colman’s Meal Maker and Sauces range.

The high-barrier packaging material replaces the previously used multi-material laminate, which is not recyclable.

The packaging removes aluminium and other unnecessary plastic layers and features 85% paper content, with an ultra-thin functional plastic layer serving as barrier protection for the products.

The packaging is recyclable in the UK’s paper waste stream.

The two companies collaborated throughout the entire development process, from the proof of concept to line trials.

Unilever UK and Ireland food marketing director Fikerte Woldegiorgis said: “At Colman’s, we’re big and bold when it comes to our flavours and we’re keen to make equally bold steps when it comes to our sustainability commitments.

“We are delighted to partner with Mondi to develop this recyclable paper packaging, becoming the first big brand within [our] category to do so.

“The new packaging, which uses a paper base, ensures that shoppers can enjoy the same great tasting product they know and love, now with the added benefit of being able to recycle the packs.”

Mondi Consumer Flexibles key accounts head Torsten Murra said: “Mondi’s action plan for the next ten years to achieve our ambitious 2030 sustainability commitments focuses on circular-driven packaging and paper solutions created by empowered people taking action on climate.

“By working closely with Unilever, we were able to co-create a packaging solution that will deliver on all counts and is recyclable, providing a valuable resource for the circular economy to drive real change towards a more sustainable future.”

Unilever aims to make its entire packaging portfolio recyclable, reusable or biodegradable solutions and halve its plastic content by 2025.

Last month, the consumer goods company developed a technology to create paper-based bottles for laundry detergent in partnership with the Pulpex consortium.