Best known as the producer of the iconic school storage tray, UK manufacturer Gratnells is introducing its first bio-based compostable tray in January 2020. The new Gratnells bio-based tray is a result of over 18 months of research and trials looking for the right material grade and it is a first in the education sector.
Made from annually renewable plant resources that capture CO2 from the environment, the bio-based tray is not made from oil derived from fossil fuels. Just like normal Gratnells trays, the biobased version will last for many years and has various end of life options. The trays can be returned and reground to form shredded chips and these can be recycled to make new products or used in energy recovery facilities. The other, unique option is to compost the tray at end of life. In industrial composting facilities, the shredded biobased trays are turned into water, CO2 and compost after just 90 days.
Recent trends have seen traditional plastic trays being replaced with other storage options including wicker baskets, particularly in early years and primary school settings. However, these alternatives are not always as easy to clean or as hygienic as plastic trays. Now schools and nurseries wanting to remove traditional plastics will have a bio-based, compostable, long-lasting alternative.
Gratnells compostable trays will carry the highest 4* OK bio-based rating, offering an independent guarantee of the percentage of renewable raw materials used in their production. They will initially be available beginning March 2020 in the J2 cubby tray and N1 shallow tray.
Anthony Byrne, Product Manager at Gratnells says, “We’re really excited to be introducing the first compostable tray to the education sector. It’s strong, easy to clean and will perform well in the demanding classroom environment. In the future, we believe demand for these products will only increase and we will continue to invest in product development to ensure we bring the most innovative ideas to our customers.”