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3 July 2019, 08:46 | Updated: 3 July 2019, 08:47
Nestle has come up with a new recyclable paper snack bar wrapper that can be used on a high-speed packaging line in a "world-first" technological breakthrough.
The YES! snack bar range will become the first brand to convert to the new packaging made from sustainable coated paper that is widely recyclable and will degrade in the sea within six months.
Experts at the confectionery company's development centre in York had to overcome more than 90 challenges to develop the material and adapt current packaging machinery and processes to handle the product more gently.
The team at Nestle took just 10 months to create the paper wrapper and adapt production lines to ensure the bars are kept in perfect condition during packaging, transport and storage.
The development of the new wrapper comes after Nestle pledged last year to make all of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
It will be rolled out on the YES! fruit and nut-based bars from July and will carry the message "carefully wrapped in paper".
Jas Scott de Martinville, global confectionery research and development lead for Nestle, said: "Paper packaging has been used in chocolate-based products in the past.
"What's unique about this innovation is, first and foremost, running paper packaging at high speed on existing machinery, 300-bars-per-minute, that's the first bit of uniqueness; the second bit of uniqueness is guaranteeing a standard shelf-life of nine months, so having a barrier paper that keeps the product at its freshest over that time; and the third element of it is to ensure, as we run at these high speeds, the bars are properly sealed, again to ensure the product is kept at its freshest.
"It's a world-first in terms of the combination of these factors to bring to life this product."
Bruce Funnell, head of packaging at Nestle, said: "This has been a real first for us.
"Really this is the first confectionery product bar that's wrapped at high speed and is ensuring we have a good shelf life without compromise to the consumer."
Mr Funnell said the wrappers contained around 60% recyclable fibres.
Michael Carroll, senior packaging specialist and lead on innovation and sustainability for Nestle, added that the packaging would degrade in a marine environment more quickly than current plastic packaging.
He said: "We know it will degrade in a marine environment within six months, which, compared to the flow wrap that it's currently in, it's about 450 years."