13 Oktober 2004

UK: Wrappers have a short life

It was not a problem that faced the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, when he accidently invented Britain’s favourite snack in 1762 but it is one that faces consumers today, writes Charlotte Moore. This lunchtime we will throw away 10 million sandwich wrappers that will clog landfill sites for 200 years.

Now sandwich company Foo Go has come up with a marketing ploy to attract consumers: your favourite egg and cress but in a wrapper that will completely biodegrade in 14 weeks.

When the 4th Earl of Sandwich called for cold meat slapped between bread so he would not have to leave the gambling table to eat, what to wrap the sandwich in could not have been an important consideration. But for Foo Go to make its wrappings biodegradable, it has to use water based boards, inks and coatings with crystal windows made from 100% corn starch.

Even though these wrappings cost five times more than the ordinary packaging, Foo Go was prepared to take the risk that the consumer would prefer to buy their sandwiches from a company committed to cutting back landfill waste, said George Robinson, Foo Go’s founder.

Foo Go has grown to a turnover of £7m since starting business three years ago and hopes to increase its sales to around £50m in five years with all its products 100% biodegradable.

There are now 300,000 people working in Britain’s sandwich businesses.

Source: The Guardian Oct. 11, 2004.

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