Why doesn't Huel come in biodegradable / recyclable bags?

The bag hacks thread got me wondering. The current bags aren’t recyclable, I know that, but why?

A very cursory 5 mins on google brought me to these, with the bag in the middle not looking all that dissimilar to Huel pouches we know and love…

And these from the same supplier are both biodegradable and recyclable, so it doesn’t seem to be a huge challenge to get this kind of bag in a nice format.

Obviously 5mins in google isn’t the same as sourcing one of the most important parts of the Huel proposition I remember the first bags and have experienced many of your competitors, so I’m fully onboard with the current Huel bags being great and far better than other food packaging, I just wish I could bin them and know they weren’t going to sit in landfill for 500 years.

Is there any priority at Huel to utilise biodegradable bags? If not, why not? :slight_smile:


I think the answer you want is in here.

Yes absolutely.

We are working so hard with suppliers to bring in not just a recyclable package, but a biodegradable one. It is not that easy and has problems at the moment.

The problem we are having with our pouches at the moment for example is their strength, if pouches break more then we end up with more spoiled and wasted Huel, contributing to total food waste.

Currently, 1.75kg is not supported by biodegradable pouches.

Hope that answers your questions!

@TimOfficialHuel any plans to make larger bags bud? Like 5 KG or more


There isn’t at the moment. Judging by the thread you’ve posted in I assume its to do with reducing plastic as opposed to convenience. a 5kg bag would be a squeeze in most cupboards!

@TimOfficialHuel there seems to be quite a lot of headspace in the current bags. Can I ask why you’ve opted for a bag which seems (to an uninformed user) to be too large?

There has to be room to prevent it bursting. However the Huel will settle in transit so when it reaches you this isn’t how full it was when it was packed.


Thank you @TimOfficialHuel!

FWIW like @Squizzle suggested I’d be happy with a big bag. If I’m already storing the same amount of Huel it’s slightly easier if it’s in one big bag as opposed to several smaller ones. But I appreciate not everyone has a spare cupboard shelf or room on the work surface.


Another vote for big bags, 5KG of Huel to match my 5KG of whey would be fab.


Another vote for big bags, 5KG of Huel to match my 5KG of whey would be fab.


I never thought of it that way, insightful!

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How about a 55 gallon drum of Huel, but could you consume it all before the best before date. Or become a distributor yourselves.


You can buy women in drums now apparently …



Do I have to remind you of how I prepare my Huel everyday ? :rofl:


Oh yeah I forgot, you could use a drum up in a day :joy:

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With us being nearly a year on and someone resurrecting the thread, is there any update on changing the packaging?

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@TimOfficialHuel, I’ve mentioned this before, but biodegradable isn’t the answer, we need a circular economy, we need packaging that is 100% recycled. Biodegradable isn’t the magic bullet!

There’s two kinds of degradable plastics, conventional petroleum-based with oxidising additives (oxo-degradable), and bioplastics (biobased polymers), made from crops or crop waste.

Oxo-degradable plastics never go away. ‘Due to these additives, the plastic fragments over time into plastic particles, and finally microplastics…’
‘The evidence also suggests that oxo-degradable plastic is not suitable for any form of composting or anaerobic digestion.’
‘… oxo-degradable plastic is not suited for long-term use, recycling or composting.’
EC report on the impact of the use of oxo-degradable plastic [PDF]

‘Decomposing bags sound environmentally friendly but they require a lot of energy to make, won’t degrade in landfills and may leave toxic leftovers.’
The Guardian

Richard Thompson, a professor of marine biology at Plymouth University … has buried Oxo bags underground and suspended them in sea and [more than two years later] “It’s probably still strong enough to carry your shopping home in it,” he said.
Could this ‘biodegradable bag’ cut plastic pollution?* BBC News

And the problem with bioplastics is that it consumes a huge amount of resources, from the land and pesticides to grow, and onto production. There’s also some disagreement among producers, governments and recyclers whether bioplastics can be recycled or mixed with petroleum-based polymers.

But, in the short term litter is litter, whether it biodegrades, or simply degrades. If it makes its way into the sea and the belly of a whale it really doesn’t matter.

WWF Indonesia

* “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” Betteridge’s law of headlines


Yep - I tweeted @gethuel about this yesterday but so far no reply. Hoping to hear there has at least been some progress on this since last year…? I really want to subscribe but really put-off by landfill-only packaging…