Author: Isabelle Kliger
Finnish Mini-Maid has developed a range of plastic-free paper plates that are recyclable, compostable and biodegradable. Meanwhile, a lacquer barrier from Walki ensures that they do not leak or break – even when covered in hot-dog grease – making them the perfect complement for a summer picnic.
The sun is shining, the barbeque is fired up and the hot dogs are coming out fast. Picnic season is here. But wait, how are we going to serve the food now that we have stopped using plastic? Mini-maid has developed the solution to your picnic needs with its market-leading, sustainable paper plates.
“Our plates are what people want right now,” says Mini-Maid’s Managing Director, Mikael Grahn, adding that Mini-Maid’s paper plates for every occasion are all plastic-free, recyclable, compostable and biodegradable.
“Modern consumers want convenient, easy-to-use products, but also prefer to shop sustainably whenever possible,” he continues.
Despite being made of paper fibre, Mini-Maid’s plates do not break or leak. This is due to their structure and composition, which includes a lacquer barrier from Walki.
“The barrier is designed to ensure that, even if you’re eating very fatty foods, such as barbeque sausages, hot dogs or hamburgers, the grease won’t seep through,” explains Jan-Anders Fagerhed, Sales Manager at Walki.
When developing a barrier for a product such as a paper plate, various issues need to be taken into account. Firstly, the barrier needs to be approved for food contact. Secondly, it needs to fulfil all the required performance characteristics without compromising the recyclability of the paper.
“Barrier materials are typically costly and not as recyclable as paper so the trick is to use a reliable barrier that delivers maximum protection with minimum raw material use,” Fagerhed continues.
Looking to the future, paper has a key part to play as regulators prepare to crack down on plastic. A new European law was recently passed banning single-use plastic goods including cotton bud sticks, cutlery, straws, stirrers and plates. It will come into force across all European Union member states by 2021.
“Around four to five billion paper plates are sold in Europe every year, compared to more than 20 billion plastic plates. While we can’t predict how the market will evolve, it goes without saying that the future looks brighter than ever,” says Grahn.
“We’re proud to be contributing to a more sustainable future. It’s what the planet needs and what the market wants,” he concludes.