ST EWE FREE RANGE EGGS has turned the shortage of egg packaging to its advantage by highlighting the environmental credentials of new clear plastic retail cartons.

The producer-packer, which is based near Truro, said an unprecedented rise in demand for eggs and retail packaging had led to a shortage of the pulp packaging that shoppers are more familiar with in the UK.

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But that the firm had “worked tirelessly” to find a sustainable alternative, opting for recycled boxes produced by Austrian egg packaging firm Ovotherm.

The cartons that St Ewe’s is now sourcing can be recycled after use and have the potential to significantly reduce the chance of breakages – by up to 50% when compared to pulp, according to Ovotherm.

They also have a lower carbon footprint than pulp packaging, by up to 15%. Part of the reason is that they are lighter in weight, reducing transport costs.

And clear plastic allows shoppers to see the eggs’ condition without opening packages and handling eggs – another advantage, given the need for enhanced hand hygiene, according to St Ewe’s.

Drought in pulp packaging

The firm said in an update to customers: “Due to the unprecedented rise in demand for eggs and retail packaging we, along with many other egg packers, are experiencing a drought in pulp packaging.

“You will, therefore, start to notice a change in our regular packaging as we move over to recycled plastic – but it’s not what you might think!

“We have worked tirelessly and scoured the globe to find a solution that is environmentally conscious, made from recycled material that could again be suitable for food industry packaging and also strong enough to keep our eggs safe by significantly reducing breakages.”