Iceland Foods briefed carton specialist Graphic Packaging International ( to create a plastic-free alternative for its No Bull quarter-pound veggie burger pack, plus seven additional line extensions. Along with the plastic-free pack is a cellulose window.

The wood pulp-based cellulose material offers the same transparent look and feel as plastic. It is sustainably sourced, biodegradable and made from a renewable resource: trees. It meets the EN 13432 and ASTM D 6400 requirements for compostability and comes predominantly from SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) managed forestry in North America.

Graphic Packaging’s 100 percent recyclable cartonboard packaging is in line with Iceland Foods’ commitment to remove plastic from its own label foods by 2023.

“The higher cost of cellulose material, compared to plastic, had priced it out of the packaging market in recent decades. As eco-conscious consumers place more pressure on brands and retailers to go plastic-free, we expect to see our innovative hybrid packs being adopted more widely in the U.K. as a viable alternative...," said Mark Hodgson, key account manager at Graphic Packaging.

Plastic tray and flow wrap solutions are typically used inside the carton to protect and preserve the veggie burgers inside and prevent grease transference. The challenge for Graphic Packaging was to entirely remove the need for plastic packaging on the interior and exterior of the carton. This was achieved through multiple trials and concept presentations to Iceland.

The successful replacement pack is in store, with range extensions No Bull Quarter-Pound Veggie Burgers, Tofu Vegetable Burgers, Jalapeno Burgers, Asian Burgers and Mince, No Porky Sausages and No Chick Grills.