04/06/2020 – News / Sustainability / Recycling / Fast-Food / Plastic / Zinc / ZincIn AS / Parx Materials
New germ-resistant recycled fast-food trays combine hygiene and sustainability
Two European firms, ZincIn AS and Parx Materials, have combined their expertise to transform old plastic fishing nets into fast-food serving trays that also integrate zinc – a natural defence mechanism against germs – in order to meet the requirements of quick service restaurants as such outlets strive to adapt to the world’s new Covid-19 reality.
With restaurants gradually starting to open up across Europe and elsewhere, fast-food chains will be looking to give their customers the reassurance of a satisfying and safe dining experience. In response, two European firms have put their heads together to create a sustainable solution for fast-food trays that not only feature a natural anti-microbial action but which also make use of waste plastics from the fishing industry to promote the circular economy.
Clean and green
Across the world, new protocols are being implemented for when restaurants reopen, yet the same time constraints will exist for busy restaurants workers – for example, when it comes to cleaning the trays used to serve food. Previously, these trays may have been cleaned with the same cloth and from same bucket of water from hours ago – while that process may have mechanically removed food debris, it would possibly have left behind and even spread any germs present on such surfaces. With cleaning practices now placed under greater scrutiny, new procedures will be required when it comes to the regular and effective cleaning of trays. Yet, those old time constrictions for fast-food workers in their daily schedules will not disappear.
In response, a new product has just been released that helps to solve this challenge, whilst also promoting sustainability – utilising recycled materials and integrating a germ-resistant trace element into the production of a hygienic and sustainable food tray.
The new tray product is produced out of recycled ocean waste plastic that would previously have been discarded. Material that once served the fishing industry as ropes and cages will now serve the fast-food segment in its second life as a serving tray. Moreover, the new product features a unique technology that continuously ensures that the trays are kept clean. Integrating zinc – a trace element that in humans is vital to the immune system, warding off bacteria and viruses – makes the surface of the plastic material resistant to practically all germs, keeping it hygienic. The anti-microbial effect of such a solution brings the utmost hygiene to these oft-overlooked surfaces, and clearly makes good sense when concerns over the spread of Covid-19 are understandably at the forefront of consumers’ minds.
Norwegian company ZincIn AS is the firm responsible for leveraging the advantages of these two inspiring concepts by launching the new ocean waste hygienic food trays. Kjetil Christoffersen, founder of ZincIn, has always been on the lookout for innovations and is a designer of products that make your life better, more ergonomic and inspiring. “Working with the Parx Materials N.V. antimicrobial technology sparked a whole new array of possibilities that can bring benefits and advantages to our lives,” he told us. Indeed, Parx Materials’ technology has been shown in independent tests to prevent bacteria and micro-organisms pilling up on the surface of a product with an efficacy of 99.9 per cent and higher over a 24-hour period.
Mr Christoffersen said that combining Parx Materials’ antimicrobial technology with the NOPREC recycled material that has served the food chain previously – and now, once again – seemed “a logical step”.
Inspired by the vision and product concepts of ZincIn, Parx Materials also joined Mr Christoffersen as a shareholder and board member in ZincIn, making it a strong alliance for the Scandinavian market and beyond, with more interesting products ahead.
The first customer for the new ocean waste hygienic food trays has already taken delivery of over 10,000 units, with more firms sure to follow as the sustainable and hygiene benefits of the innovative product become more widely appreciated. Expect to find these novel trays in many of your favourite quick-service restaurants in the months and years ahead.