Paperboard EcoTensil plastic alternative cutlery reaches European market
19 Jun 2020 --- US paperboard utensils pioneer EcoTensil has brought its plastic-free single-use cutlery for food packaging to the European market. Launching ahead of the upcoming EU Single-Use Plastics Ban, EcoTensil is supporting companies in meeting their plastic reduction goals with its easy-to-fold paper spoons. “Before we even had a chance to start our strategy for Europe, we already had some of the biggest single serve manufactures finding and calling us,” Peggy Cross, CEO and Founder of EcoTensil tells PackagingInsights.
“As soon as we heard about the ban, when it was first announced, we thought we had the perfect solution for Europe. We wanted to make this solution available to everyone, so we went about setting up a warehouse in the Netherlands, created an EU website so people could find and order the products on line, strengthened our EU patents and appointed new distributors. We are also exploring setting up manufacturing here as well,” Cross continues.
The EU Single-Use Plastic Ban will prohibit the ten plastic products most commonly found on European beaches. Alongside single-use cutlery, these include cotton bud sticks, plates, straws and stirrers and also incorporates abandoned fishing gear and oxo-degradable plastics.
“We have undergone several trials and have fulfilled orders with a number of the biggest leaders in food manufacturing so far. Brand managers and consumers are really liking the smooth surface of the EcoTensil utensils much better than the unpleasant sensation of wood utensils. Companies spend a lot of care making their food taste delicious, they are not thrilled with a wood spoon that undermines that effort,” Cross highlights.
The EcoTensils have a smooth texture, like a paper cup and there is no taste, after taste, dissolving of the coating in the mouth or falling apart after a few bites. They are already found throughout North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand at Emmi, Costco and General Mills.
Launched in 2010, the company has introduced several different products to market, including tasting spoons (EcoTaster), sturdier ice cream spoons (iScoop), coffee stirrers, measuring scoops, safety utensils for prisons, wrapped, folded, bigger, smaller utensils, all made from our smooth sustainable paperboard.
“There has been a lot of guess-and-checking, a technique that has provided much clarity in market direction over the years. We remain a highly flexible company enabling [us] to respond to the shifting needs and desires of the market and mould those needs to fit with the more rigid manufacturing requirements of our customers,” Cross details.
The range of folding multi-functional paper utensils was developed to replace small plastic spoons and sporks found in pot lids, trays, and other grab-and-go packaging, with a more environmentally friendly option.
All EcoTensil products are made from materials from well-managed FSC-certified forests and other controlled sources. The company states that they also use 0 percent plastic in their GreenDot line. “We use 50 to 80 percent less material overall [meaning] about 80 percent less material goes into the landfill or environment. Personally, this is my favorite way to be the most sustainable, just use less stuff,” Cross affirms.
EcoTensil utensils function effectively as a spoon, spork and spreader for most foods that are scoopable or easy to cut, such as cake, desserts, yogurts, deli salads, flans and quiches, hot or cold grain and legume dishes. They can also be used for porridge, soups, stews and gazpacho. For gelato and other frozen desserts, EcoTensil offers the extra sturdy iScoop, explicitly designed for ice cream type products.
“Companies are also appreciative that EcoTensil products can usually be made to fit closely with their existing manufacturing system and package form. EcoSpoons can come in an end-to-end link bandolier wrap, packed in soldier stacked format, or folded and tab locked, and other formats as the customer requires,” Cross explains.
By Anni Schleicher