Paper delivers sustainable and hygienic brand enhancement

From restaurants and pubs, to cafés and takeaways, printed disposable paper products have an important role to play. Sustainable and hygienic, they can convey positive messages, communicate a venue’s brand values via print, and maintain consumer confidence.

We talk to Nick Burton, Managing Director of Celebration Packaging, which is based in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

“The pandemic heightened awareness around hygiene and safety and as a result, we have seen a resurgence in the popularity of paper products and individually wrapped items. Printed paper products deliver immediate and visible hygiene benefits.

“When pubs and bars reopened after lockdown, our printable hygienic white card glass covers, and single-use paper cutlery sleeves became extremely important, reassuring customers that they were using clean, uncontaminated glasses and cutlery. This focus on the benefits of disposable paper items takes Celebration full-circle to the start of the business in 1983 when our first products were personalised tissue coasters.”

Celebration Packaging also supplies many different types of hygienic paper table-top items such as place mats and tray liners, and recently invested in new flow-wrapping machinery to hygienically and individually wrap its award-winning FSC® EnviroWare® paper cutlery, and Vegetarian Society approved FSC® paper straws.

Enhancing brands and communicating sustainability credentials

“Printed paper products are a perfect – and relatively low-cost way – to enhance branding and deliver important messages in an obviously sustainable way,” says Nick Burton. “From tray liners, place mats and paper cutlery pouches to drinks coasters, glass covers, and napkins, branded paper products create visual continuity across all service occasions.

“With 4-colour or spot-colour printing and finishing techniques from tactile and subtle debossing to luxurious metallic foil, branded paper products deliver an upmarket feel and can help to build brands.

“Another clear benefit is that consumers immediately recognise paper as being a sustainable material, and that helps to reinforce a venue’s environmental sustainability credentials. We have always said that foodservice operators should involve their customers in their sustainability story, telling them about the packaging choices they have made. This will help consumers to understand their role in ensuring a responsible ‘end of life’ for the food packaging from foodservice establishments and help to improve their environmental sustainability credentials.”

Making the correct material choices

As a packaging supplier to the foodservice and takeaway industries, Celebration Packaging has always been material-neutral, believing that both paper and plastic solutions have their place – alongside the well-established EnviroWare® range of disposables which are made from natural, renewable and sustainable resources.

Ideally, EnviroWare® packaging – made from natural materials such as paper, PLA cornstarch, bagasse non-wood fibres, wood and palm leaves – should be commercially composted. If this end-of-life option isn’t viable and the packaging does end up in landfill, it still has a lower environmental impact and carbon footprint in comparison to traditional oil-based plastics.

“While plastic has been somewhat demonised in recent years, it is often the best solution for protecting food and extending shelf-life, therefore helping to reduce food waste. We offer a consultative approach to ensure that operators choose the most appropriate packaging for their offering, taking every aspect into account, from food safety, practicality and presentation, through to end-of-life.

“I’ve said many times that disposable food packaging is key to ensuring the operational efficiency of takeaways,” concludes Nick Burton. “Indeed, safe, secure and hygienic food packaging played a key role throughout the pandemic and will continue to do so for many months to come.”

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