Global plant-based food company Upfield has launched what it claims to be the world’s first plastic-free, recyclable tub for plant-based foods such as butter and spreads.  

The new paper tubs are developed in partnership with Footprint, MCC, and Pagès Group. 

Using Footprint’s material sciences technology, Upfield’s research and development (R&D) team developed the packaging solution from compressed wet paper fibres, ensuring they are waterproof, oil-proof, and fully recyclable in local paper waste streams.  

This innovation is said to be a significant step in Upfield’s commitment to reducing its plastic content by 80% by 2030.  

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By GlobalData

It is also in line with the company’s goal to replace up to two billion plastic tubs by 2030, which is expected to eliminate more than 25,000 tons of plastic waste annually. 

Upfield began rolling out its Flora Plant brand in late 2023 in Austria, with plans to introduce it to additional European markets and brands this year. 

The new packaging has secured the Conventional Plastic Free Certification and the company is also working towards obtaining home compostability certification for the tubs by 2025.  

Upfield Packaging head Karina Cerdeira said: “We are proud to have created, with Footprint, an innovative paper-based tub that is durable, oil-resistant and appealing and which many thought would be impossible with paper.  

“But after years of dedicated focus from joint Upfield and Footprint R&D teams and dozens of prototypes, we made the impossible, possible. This new paper tub marks a true milestone for sustainable packaging that significantly minimises reliance on plastic.”