Design for Recycling, Circular Economy, Material reduction, Reduce

Less plastic = better for the environment

24/06/2022 | 2 min read
Rachel Sheldon

Kabuto Noodles is now promising the lowest use of plastic in the UK premium instant noodle category, with a new 100% recyclable K3® cardboard-plastic cup from Greiner Packaging.

“At Kabuto, we are on a constant journey to evaluate our impact on the planet through everything we do,” says Kabuto Noodles founder Crispin Busk. “We want to ensure we are truly sustainable, and that means changing things whenever we find a more sustainable solution.

“Our original 85g K3® cup represented a significant sustainability improvement over our previous packaging, but was over-engineered, with a high plastic content, and was being produced with a bespoke set of tooling. The new 65g K3® cup uses less plastic than the previous cup and is made with a standard tooling set at Greiner Packaging’s factory in Dungannon, Northern Ireland.

We are impressed with the service that we receive from Greiner Packaging, and the quality of its products. We have a great working relationship and can rely on them as a critical core supplier.”

Category-leading recyclable packaging

“Not only does changing the packaging make a significant difference for us operationally, but it also helps us be more responsible in terms of plastic usage. Less plastic = less negative environmental impact. Our premium noodles are all made with natural ingredients – so it’s pretty important we protect our wonderful environment that helps us achieve this!

“Sustainability can have so many grey areas, so for Kabuto we are concentrating on educating ourselves, questioning what we have always done and if it is still the best option for us environmentally. We are hoping to develop some clear sustainability KPI’s to keep us on the right path. We are very proud of our 100% recyclable packaging, especially in our category, and are hoping to achieve B Corp status by Summer 2022.”

Since its launch in 2010, Kabuto has constantly sought to improve its packaging, first moving over the Greiner Packaging’s K3® cardboard-plastic cup two years ago. The new 65g K3® light-weight thermoformed cup uses over 40% less material than the previous cup, and is wrapped with a removable cardboard outer layer. Thanks to its reduced plastic content, K3® has an improved CO2 footprint and can be recycled efficiently, as the cardboard and plastic can be easily separated.

Kabuto’s famous ‘hidden eco-warrior’ has moved from the reverse of the removable cardboard wrap to the outside, and a new sword design on the innovative, improved tear-tab encourages consumers to separate the outer cardboard wrapper from the plastic cup, to enable recycling.

Taking Kabuto across the Atlantic

“Our new packaging is also key to developing our success in the United States. We launched our sister brand Kusari Noodles in late 2019, and it has been going from strength to strength as we gain more stockists across the country. The category is worth nearly $1B, and Ramen is definitely a U.S. staple. Our goal is to help drive category value and volume whilst delighting consumers with our restaurant-style Ramen by delivering on quality.

“Our stance has always been: ‘Be ethical, be honest’. We feel that our end-user consumers are on the journey with us, and many share their discovery of the eco-warrior on the packaging or just message us thanking us for doing our best in the category.”

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