Masafi – one of the region’s leading FMCG brands – has introduced Oxo Biodegradable films in its shrink-wrap packaging for water bottles. Masafi is the first company in the food and beverage sector across the Middle East to launch the Oxo Biodegradable packaging.
The launch of Oxo Biodegradable films, expected to completely revolutionize the food packaging in the region, is a major step in Masafi’s Carbon Action Plan – a key initiative aimed at reducing the carbon footprint in the UAE by cutting down on the carbon emissions from its manufacturing unit, product offerings, systems as well as services.
The new Oxo Biodegradable films, the next step in the eco-friendly plan, offer an unparalleled alternative to conventional plastic wraps, which pose a major challenge to the environment and the eco-system. The conventional shrink-wraps are not degradable, and can take up to 400 years to break down. However, the Oxo Biodegradable films degrade, then biodegrade, on land or at sea, in the light or the dark, in heat or cold, in whatever timescale required, leaving no fragments, no methane and no harmful residues.
The Oxo Biodegradable films disappear in all types of environment and the degradation causes no harm to the eco-system. They can be recycled or incinerated, are more stronger and versatile compared to conventional plastics, have useful applications in agriculture and horticulture, have no genetically-modified ingredients and are safe for direct food contact.
Ms Natascha Edelmann, Head of Marketing at Masafi, said: “The new shrink-wraps on our Masafi bottles are totally environmentally preferable, sustainable alternative to current materials and have been comprehensively tried, tested and proven safe for food products. The bitter truth is that over 60% of litter on beaches is plastic and over 46,000 pieces of plastic debris float on every square mile on our earth’s oceans – facts such as these have made us step-up our R&D processes furthering our resolve to reduce harmful non-degradable plastic waste. Along with our corporate recycling service started last year that enables UAE companies to recycle all their plastic bottles at no extra cost – we are consciously reducing / recycling the packaging that Masafi produces.”
She added: “The new packaging is part of Masafi’s endeavour to be a leader in all aspects of its business – be its products, innovation, technology, environmental initiatives or supporting government initiatives. To be introduced in our 1.5 litre bottles in the initial stage, the packaging will be extended to our 500ml bottles and flavoured water bottles at a later stage – all these at no extra cost to our consumers.”
The Oxo Biodegradable films encompass a tiny amount of pro-degradant additive, which is introduced into the manufacturing process to change the behaviour of the plastic. Degradation begins when the programmed-service life is over (as controlled by the additive composition) and the product is no longer required. In Masafi’s case it is planned for 2yrs. This makes it more environmental friendly and reduces plastic litter substantially.
As part of its commitment to safeguard the environment, Masafi launched the Corporate Recycling Initiative in October 2008, where it collects plastic bottles from UAE-based companies employing 200-plus people for recycling purposes. The bottles are sent to Fujairah for recycling into non-food plastic applications.
The company has signed up 89x partners for the initiative and has dedicated a toll free number 800 5455 to facilitate the recycling process. Over 437 metric tonnes of water bottles have been collected till date and the redemption rate for 4G Bottles is currently at 34% -- reflecting the eco-awareness among Masafi customers.
Masafi, the first mineral water company in the region to be awarded the prestigious ISO 14001 certification for Environmental Management, also won the Idea of the Year award for its environmental initiative at the Ideas.Arabia International Conference held in April 2009.
In other initiatives on the environment front, the company launched the Brown Carton Box last year – a revolutionary new packaging concept which significantly reduced the amount of corrugated carton used in terms of grammage and coverage. Masafi also installed energy-efficient non-CFC chillers at its bottling plant in RAK as a major step towards safeguarding the environment. The company has signed up with UN Global Compact – the world’s most influential network for socially and environmentally responsible businesses – to play a proactive role in ecologically sustainable issues.
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