Recyclable packaging

It’s something I’ve thought about as well, and I’d like to see a change.

If the issue is shelf life, then why not offer a resealable, branded, re-usable container, which could be washed and reused many times, to store the product. That would allow for the option of an alternative recycled/recyclable packaging for shipment? There’s a lot of work going into natural and totally biodegradable packaging solutions in various countries right now, such as India, which has just banned the use of single use plastics.

I’d have absolutely no problem paying extra for this or signing a disclaimer each time I purchase, that making this choice could mean my product could be damaged and leak in transit. It already comes in a big cardboard box, so damage in transit is less likely. I’d also like to see the plastic air pouches for shipping stop being used, and something made from a recycled/recyclable material used instead.

No matter how small the amount of plastic currently used is, we should always be looking at ways to stop using it altogether, and switch to biodegradable products. I agree though, that it has to be considered and will take time.


And there you have answered your own question. Not every environmentally friendly option fits all. Your smartphone/pc/laptop has more environmental impact than your Huel pouches.

I am a firm believer in recycling/reuse…used to recycle many years before we were compelled to. My wife worked for many years for an innovative recycling project.

I see only yesterday some supermarkets reverting to recycled paper bags than plastic, but for many of them it is greenwashing as despite this they still are a major contributor to plastic production.


yes i agree, i surrender folks. all the best. :slightly_smiling_face:


Well done mate. An honest debate where I for one learnt several new things and nobody fell out - result :grinning:


I bloomin’ love this forum. Bunch of lovely people you all are.


I decided to disassemble one of their bags to see if I can seperate the composite layers. According to the website’s FAQs:

The pouches are currently not recyclable. They are made of a composite of plastic outer layer for strength and waterproofing, and an inner layer of foil to block light which could degrade the micronutrients.

If I am reading this right, one of the main reasons why the bag is not recyclable is because it is too much of a hassle for the recycling center to separate the layers.

After breaking apart one of my empty bags, I discovered that the plastic stretches, but the foil remains rigid. This makes it easier to peel away the plastic from the foil. Separating the layers took me less than 5 minutes to do.

The only part that I could not separate is the annoying paper sticker that contains the nutrition label. This makes the foil even hard to recycle.

Take a look:


The peeled back foil is on the left and the inner plastic lining is on the right. The recyclable material (as in, the corners of the bag were it is too difficult to separate the plastic from the foil is on the upper right corner.

The plastic is easy to recycle (in theory), but the foil… I’m not so sure. There are recycling places that collect bags like this, but they typically reuse then rather than recycle the aluminum.

From reading other postings, here are the main criteria for keeping their current bag:

  • Strength: The bag needs to stay strong and intact during shipping.
  • Cost: The bags need to be economically feasible enough.
  • Protection: The plastic helps with strength and is food safe. The foil is used to block out the damaging rays of light. Lastly, the bag should be air tight and waterproof.

If this is the case, rather than using a composite material, wouldn’t it be best just to use just two bags rather than using one bag with different materials that are adhered together which makes the current bag impossible to recycle?

If they use two bags, then perhaps they can not use foil and use waxed paper instead for the outer layer. It would be water proof and light proof. The inner bag would still be the same type of plastic which can be recycled.


I’d be interested to learn more about the company that’s developing the recycling of the single use plastics.

As a cat owner with fussy cats that only eat a certain pouch (I’ve tried tins!! We had a food riot) I’m quite conscious of the amount of pouches that just go to landfill.

Why don’t you chuck some compost in the old bags and grow some veggies in them?
Also useful to carry stuff like shampoo/suntan lotion/hand cream etc. when travelling to prevent accidental leaks.
Or to put your dirty clothes in while on holidays?
Whatever - be creative!
Compared to companies like Amazon I think HUEL are very minimal with their packaging.
Guess you can’t please everyone…:roll_eyes:


I like the packaging. It works very well and looks sexy.

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What about tins? They are robust and widely recyclable. They are tried and tested too: Look at baby formula! (The experience of making huel already resembles that of baby formula, so we might as well… :baby:)

Downside: They are bulkier to stock, so you’d need a bigger factory. This would mean massively changing the current production line too. But if Huel is to be scaled up, maybe this is the next thing you want to look into. I look forward to seeing Huel in supermarkets!

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Actually, that’s not a bad idea at all! Tins are also reusable for lots of things (storage, lanterns, stoves, growing plants, just to name a few) before you need to recycle them. Tins come in many sizes for paints and powders - there could already be one the right size. And they could also look cool with the Huel logo.

I actually store my Huel in a large resealable coffee can (commercial size holds an entire bag). It’s ideal - it keeps light out and is air-tight.
The only issue I can think of is transportation - tins / cans are heavier (significantly so when transporting thousands, but even significantly heavy enough that it might cause issues with DPD aswell for smaller local deliveries).
As well as the weight issue, cans take up space. Square ones would resolve this issue to some extent as they could be stacked more efficiently, but they still take up more space than bags.

When thinking of environmental impact, you need to consider the full picture. Although cans can be recycled, if they have a larger carbon footprint to make, fill, seal, and transport, it would cancel out any benefit of being able to recycle the end product.
I don’t know for sure that transporting cans would have a larger carbon footprint but I’m guessing it would…



et voila :slight_smile:


support by a cardboard box, who knows. just brain storming…

My God, Tony Hart has come back from the dead to haunt us!


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I think we’re having two separate conversations about the same thing! See my comments on tin cans here.


Fair enough!

Try to take a plane with that eco friendly bag.


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This manufacturer of similar style, but not meal replacement product is moving towards plastic free packaging.

Their new distribution centre is less than a mile from my house ( and my locale features in the opening shot of their promotional video).

weird that they would want to base themselves on a rocky outcrop in the middle of nowhere, but there you go.

I’ve never actually tried their products…cos they wouldn’t let me pick some up even though it is 5 minutes walk away,.[I mean I was gonna pay for it not expect a freebie…but ho hum.]and they don’t come in 1.75kg bags either, but fair play to them for addressing the issue.

Nice one hunzas good to read there addressing the problem even the scoop,

But what about the scoops?

Before our move towards home compostable packaging could be completed there was one last thing we had to address.

If you’ve placed an order recently you may have already noticed that we now no longer include plastic scoops inside the pouch. This was the last bit of plastic we had left in our business and decided that the most effective solution was to remove them entirely.

Within the next few weeks we will be offering a re-usable bamboo scoop on our website which you can buy once and use forever. We’ll also plant a tree for every scoop sold on our website.


Oooooo bamboo scoops

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All sounds good. What happens to our current scoops if we bought a bamboo one? Are they recyclable?

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