Killer app: Parkside creates compostable packs for kids’ snacks

Rhys Handley
Monday, November 12, 2018

Oxford-based start-up Wallaroo believes children are the future, that’s why it’s doing what it can to make its healthy snack packs as appealing to kids as possible with their colourful packages.

But pretty colours only go so far if they’re printed on something destined to linger on rubbish heaps and wreck the environment.

What was produced?

Wallaro put their tasty treats into compostable bags so the snack wouldn’t just look after youngsters’ bodies, but the planet they live on too. The enterprise commissioned flexographic innovators Parkside to create packaging that would return to the earth.

Using a sustainably sourced paper substrate incorporating cellulose-based biopolymer laminate, which had been developed over eight years in-house, West Yorkshire-based Parkside created three vibrantly coloured packages – one for each flavour. The packs degrade within six weeks after disposal.

What did the job entail?

A run of circa-10,000m (linear) of the substrate was printed on using a Windmöller & Hölscher Miraflex press with specialist compostable inks from Sun Chemical and plates from Promopack.

Parkside uses a wide colour gamut up to 10 colours depending on requirements, while new product development manager Mark Shaw said his team tries to stick as close to CMYK as possible when it can, utilising spot colours when needed.

The packs were laminated using a Nordmeccanica machine running a water-based compostable adhesive.

What challenges were overcome?

Shaw said: “There were two issues to work on. With the compostable inks, cyan is slightly weaker and slightly greener, which has to be compensated for. The stock itself is also very absorbent craft which must be offset for good spot clarity.”

When commissioning plates, it was vital that Parkside kept this in mind with Promopack, so the quality of colour remained consistent and was not absorbed.

What was the feedback?

Wallaroo co-founder Abhisek Kanoi said: “Wallaroo is on a mission to encourage children to make better food choices by questioning where their food comes from, what it is made of and its impact on the environment.

“This ethos stretches from product to packaging and was a key reason for choosing to work with Parkside. Their compostable solutions are truly sustainable and help to extend product shelf life and minimise food waste.”

Wallaroo has already re-ordered the bags from Parkside, which will also endeavour to expand its use of the substrate in its Park2Nature portfolio to larger-scale clients.

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