Environmental packaging company KCC Packaging has announced the launch of a new biodegradable food tray for the ready meals market.

KCC made the tray by using bagasse, a by-product of sugar cane production, along with a waterproof barrier. The company’s new pilot production line allowed to application of the barrier coating to the trays.

The new tray is durable with wet strength, and can be frozen and then microwaved or used in an oven. It can also either be recycled as paper fibre or composted.

The plant-based, low-carbon trays serve as a natural green alternative for supermarkets and food manufacturers, and help supermarkets reduce their carbon footprints.

KCC Packaging developer and chartered environmentalist Kevin Clarke said that following discussions with a number of supermarkets during the pilot production phase, the company realised the advantages of bagasse trays.

"Since the KCC barrier trays will be the same size as existing CPet ones, there will be no expensive changes necessary to the manufacturing process, allowing an easy changeover for food manufacturers," Clarke added.

KCC has also introduced corn starch disposable cutlery that can be used in salad packs, while its other ranges include Locksafe watertight microwaveable containers, and the Delibox range of clear, hinge-lidded salad containers.

Image: Biodegradable food tray. Photo: courtesy of SOMMAI / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.