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FRESH - Fully bio based and bio degradable ready meal packaging

Project details

Type of project
Innovation Action - Demonstration
Project focus
Feedstock origin
Feedstock type
Lignin & wood residues
Project period
1 February 2017 - 31 July 2020
CBE JU Contribution
€ 5 636 812,50
Call identifier


Ready meal consumption continues to grow throughout Europe – 6.5 billion and growing. The trays they come in are creating vast quantities of waste, many of which go for landfill.

The FRESH project will demonstrate an innovative, cellulose-based alternative to existing fossil-based plastic trays, which is a fully bio-based and biodegradable composite material.

The project will deliver a full value chain that will demonstrate the techno-economic viability (including customer satisfaction) of a 100% bio-based and 100% biodegradable alternative made from an innovative cellulose-based composite, using a new lamination technology.

The overall objective is to do a demonstration with an innovative cellulose-based packaging composite material as a fully bio-based and biodegradable alternative for the PET/CPET-ready meal trays.

  • Deliver a food-safe, GMO-free and 100% bio-based and biodegradable product.
  • Be at least 10% lighter than the fossil alternative (PET).
  • Deliver the same or better technical and functional properties than a PET food tray.
  • Show a radically improved environmental footprint (CO2 reduction of more than 80%) over the product lifecycle than competing fossil-based packaging material.
  • Open up new applications and markets and increase the competitiveness of the European pulp, board and paper-making industries, additionally showing high potential in terms of job creation in rural areas, moreover showing high potential for replicability in Europe.
  • FRESH will create a fully bio-based ready-meal package is vital to ensure that more sustainable packages are fabricated and durable in the packaging industry

  • Delivering a safe 100% bio-based and biodegradable product
  • Environmental improvement | > 10% weight reduction and > 50% CO2 reduction
  • More than 50% CO2 emission reduction compared to competing fossil-based packaging material

Bio-based ready meal tray awarded 'Bio-based Material of the Year 2020'
18 May 2020
The bio-based and biodegradable material is a substitute for the particularly pernicious black plastic packaging. FRESH has received the recognition given by the Nova Institute, in the framework of the 13th International Conference on Bio-based Materials. Read more

New fibre-based ready meal trays to replace black plastic
22 May 2019
A chain of British supermarkets is launching a ready-meal range in new fiber-based trays which were made as part of the BBI JU FRESH project. The new trays can be recycled, and they are also certified for home composting. Read more

How a bio-based solution can solve our plastic tray problem
08 October 2018
Project Fresh has developed an urgently needed alternative to the particularly pernicious black plastic packaging by creating a food safe, fully bio-based and biodegradable packaging made of Durapulp, a bio-composite made of cellulose pulp and biopolymer. Read more

Bio-based, biodegradable packaging for convenience foods
12 June 2018
The BBI JU's project, FRESH, has developed game-changing food packaging material that is rapidly biodegradable. The material is a means to replace the plastic packing used for ready meals and reduce pollution. Read more

Consortium map

Project coordination



  • HUTAMAKI LA ROCHELLE Lile Delle, France
  • HUHTAMAKI (LURGAN) LIMITED Craigavon, United Kingdom
  • SAMWORTH BROTHERS LIMITED Melton Mowbray, United Kingdom