UK up-market retailer Waitrose , part of the John Lewis Partnership, has joined forces with a Scottish biotec company, CuanTec to develop a new film for food packaging made out of waste langoustine shells
CuanTec - based in Motherwell and Oban - takes waste langoustine shells created from seafood processing to make a natural polymer - which can then be turned into a flexible film. The material has the potential to be both industrially and home compostable.
The new packaging, which is at an experimental stage, was shown to HRH The Prince of Wales during a visit to Waitrose’s Food Innovation Studio recently. The retailer hopes this new packaging could be used as an alternative to conventional plastic film on some of its fish products in 12-18 months time, including its Duchy brand smoked salmon.
Dr Cait Murray-Green, CEO of CuanTec, said; “For us this technology represents the perfect virtuous circle. As well as protecting food on sale to consumers, it gives value to what would have been a waste product and takes single use plastic out of the food system.”