Snacking brand Graze has pledged to reduce the amount of plastic used in its packaging by 80% over the next two years.

It will focus on paper-based alternatives with the first wave of its plastic-free punnets expected to roll out this year, with “further innovation” across its wider portfolio to be available by 2021.

Graze is working with material suppliers and packaging manufacturers to identify a recyclable, sustainable alternative to plastic. At present, a prototype has been developed, but the company is still refining it to ensure “sufficient barrier protection” to preserve taste and reduce food waste.

Once finalised, the packaging will be trialled with Graze’s direct-to-consumer customers for further product feedback before it hits shelves in mid-2020.

Longer term, Graze wants to eliminate plastic from its entire supply chain by exploring new material development in partnership with its suppliers and manufacturers.

“Our industry-leading pledge to reduce plastic packaging by 80% over the next two years demonstrates our commitment to creating a sustainable business. However, we have no intention of slowing down until we reach our 100% target across the wider supply chain as our ultimate goal,” said Charlotte Mannings, packaging development manager at Graze.

Anthony Fletcher, chief executive of Graze, added: “We’re thrilled to be rolling out the first wave of our plastic-free punnets this year and even more excited as we continue to work on a number of innovative solutions to reach our overall goal across our wider packaging range and entire supply chain in the longer term.”

Other bakery businesses have already made inroads on plastic reduction. Earlier this week, Pukka unveiled plastic-free packaging for its chilled single and sharing portfolio of pies, while fellow pie brand Pieminister introduced plastic-free packaging earlier this year, instead opting for fully recyclable card and a transparent outer made from wood pulp.

British Baker subscribers can find out more about what bakery businesses are doing to reduce their plastic packaging, and the alternatives they are exploring, by reading our latest feature: ‘Packaging: bakery weighs in on the plastic debate’.