Current plastic liners used in cereal boxes are not widely accepted in kerbside recycling
Kellogg’s is trialling the use of a paper liner for its boxes of Corn Flakes to make its packaging fully recyclable.
Although the food giant said it would prefer plastic liners to be accepted in kerbside recycling in the UK, the trial will “ensure we have an alternative”.
A small number of Tesco stores will carry the new recyclable packaging from January. The trial will determine Kelloggs’ future plans for making all of its cereal packaging recyclable.
The paper liner would have to keep the product fresh over its 12-month shelf life and be able to withstand the process of filling, sealing and transportation to retailers to be considered a success.
Kellogg’s, as well as most other cereal makers, currently use air-tight plastic liners within cardboard boxes, but consumers cannot dispose of the liners in kerbside recycling.
According to Recyclebank, the bags are usually made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) film. While this type of plastic is commonly used in items such as milk jugs, it can jam up and damage recycling machinery in film form if added to kerbside recycling.
Most major supermarkets have specific recycling programmes for plastic bags and soft plastic, which includes plastic cereal liners.
Simon Ellis, chief executive of the Recycling Association, added that the plastic liners are “largely unrecyclable due to the difficulty in collecting them and limited markets for the plastic”.
He welcomed the initiative by Kellogg’s and said: “I am certain the trial will be a success and very well done Kellogg’s in moving further towards our ambitions of making all packaging fully recyclable. I hope other manufacturers follow their lead.”
Chris Silcock, Kelloggs UK and Ireland managing director, said: “We know people want to do more to help the plant and that’s why we are working hard towards meeting our commitment of all Kellogg’s packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable by the end of 2025.
“This important trial of fully paper cereal packaging ensures we have explored all our options.
“Ultimately, we would prefer plastic liners to be accepted in home recycling as our data tells us that they are better for the planet over the full life cycle of the packaging, but this trial ensures we have an alternative.”
David Beardmore, grocery director of Tesco, called on suppliers to carry out similar trials to use “as little material as possible and making sure that necessary packaging is easy to recycle”.