FMCG recently caught up with Kabuto Noodles founder, Crispin Busk, to discover why the company is now using Greiner Packaging’s K3®cardboard-plastic pot – and how the pack’s unique features create a consumer communication opportunity with a feel-good factor.
“Our old noodle pots were made from paper, like a coffee cup, but had a plastic liner,” Crispin said. “When we started using these ‘paper’ cups we thought they were fully recyclable through everyone’s normal household paper recycling. We were upset to discover a while later that this wasn’t the case. There are actually only two recycling centres in the whole of the UK that can separate the plastic liner from the paper, meaning most of the cups – as well as the cups from your local coffee shop – actually ended up in landfill.
“When we found this out, we were obviously disappointed and decided that we didn’t want to carry on using these ‘paper’ cups. So, we made the decision to move to a new type of packaging that is 100% recyclable. Our new pots are now made with a foil lid, a removable card sleeve and plastic cup that can all be recycled in normal household recycling.”
Working with the Greiner Packaging team at its factory in Northern Ireland, Kabuto Noodles quickly adopted the K3®cardboard-plastic pot for its entire range. The K3®light-weight thermoformed tub is made from polypropylene (PP) and uses up to 33% less material than a conventional direct-printed, thermoformed cup of the same size. It is wrapped with a cardboard outer layer, which can be produced with virgin or recycled board produced from sustainably managed forests, with full FSC®(Forest Stewardship Council) chain of custody accreditation.
Environmental sustainability strategy
“Being environmentally conscious is massively important to all of us at Kabuto Noodles,” Crispin said. “We’ve only got one planet, so we need to ensure we’re doing our part to look after it.
“A key element of our environmental sustainability strategy is delivered through our packaging. In 2019 we sold over 2.4m pots to UK consumers and so using a pot that is 100% recyclable is vital to ensuring we are acting as a responsible business. It also allows us to offer our consumers the environmentally conscious choice they want when shopping within our category. For us, it doesn’t just stop with the outer packaging either, unlike some other instant noodle brands, our pots don’t have any extra sachets and unnecessary packaging to hold things like seasonings or sauces.”
A unique feature of Greiner Packaging’s K3®is the outer wrapper, which when removed, reveals a ‘hidden eco-warrior’.
“The K3®pot and cardboard wrap helps us to go a step further and actively start conversations around recycling in a fun, engaging way,” Crispin said. “If we can get more people to recycle our pots and do it with a smile, then it means we’re doing our job!
“Our ‘hidden eco-warrior’ has been a huge success in terms of consumer engagement. We’re regularly tagged in consumer posts across social media calling out how great of surprise this was to find, and thanking us for making them smile.”