Food & Beverage team advises Upfield on its world's first plastic-free, recyclable tub

3 minute read
15 January 2024

Key contact(s):

The Food & Beverage team has advised the global leader in plant-based foods, Upfield, on its contract with Footprint to provide the world's first plastic-free, recyclable tub for its plant butters and spreads.

The pioneering paper tubs were developed with Upfield’s leading Research & Development team utilising Footprint's material sciences technology. They are made from compressed wet paper fibres and are waterproof, oil-proof, and recyclable in local paper waste streams. The tub has received Conventional Plastic Free Certification and uses paper from a PEFC-certified supplier. Upfield expects the packaging to achieve home compostability certification by 2025.

Unlike many paper packaging solutions, Upfield's paper tubs do not have a plastic liner so they can be recycled along with other paper and cardboard household waste, as verified by a leading European recycling company.

Partner David Lowe, who led the project from Gowling WLG, commented: "This is a significant and innovative development for food manufacturers and will go some way to supporting the company's sustainability goals. At Gowling WLG, we are committed to achieving net zero carbon and zero waste so to advise on a project such as this with a long-standing client completely aligns to our operational activities as a firm.

"With the product being a world-first, it has been a complex process to ensure it meets the relevant regulations and has utilised our in-depth food and beverage sector experience, with expertise across the team in complex international innovative supply chain contracts. Hopefully this will be the first of many more unique products in the sector to help preserve and enhance the environment."

Wasilis Korossiadis, senior legal counsel at Upfield, added: "We are pleased to have partnered with Gowling WLG on this pioneering project to develop the world's first plastic-free, recyclable paper tub for our plant butters and spreads. Their advice and support throughout the process has been invaluable, demonstrating a deep understanding of the commercial and sustainability goals we wished to achieve. We look forward to continuing our collaborative relationship with Gowling WLG as we work to reduce plastic waste and meet our sustainability commitments."

NOT LEGAL ADVICE. Information made available on this website in any form is for information purposes only. It is not, and should not be taken as, legal advice. You should not rely on, or take or fail to take any action based upon this information. Never disregard professional legal advice or delay in seeking legal advice because of something you have read on this website. Gowling WLG professionals will be pleased to discuss resolutions to specific legal concerns you may have.