Super-lightweight mono-material trays for meat and poultry
Project Aim - To develop a lightweight pack with strong environmental credentials that offers excellent levels of performance and functionality.
LINPAC Packaging has developed a groundbreaking super lightweight mono-material tray for meat and poultry to assist retailers and packers across Europe comply with rigorous eco-taxes designed to cut the amount of packaging entering the waste stream.
The Rfresh Elite® trays have been developed in conjunction with LINPAC Packaging’s lightweighting programme; through significant investment in creative design and advanced engineering skills, LINPAC is able to manufacture fit-for-purpose trays which are lighter and have a lower carbon footprint than previous designs, yet retain high levels of performance and quality.
Additionally, the Rfresh Elite trays use a patented sealant technology on the tray flange to create a secure seal with the lidding film, thus removing the need for the industry standard laminated PE base film.
The removal of the PE base film reduces the tray weight by up to 3% and means the trays are 100% recyclable at the end of their service life. The weight can, in some cases, be reduced by up to a further 10% when manufactured in line with the lightweighting programme.
The unique sealant developed by LINPAC is food contact approved and can be removed in the hot wash processes employed by Europe’s PET recycling companies.
The trays are manufactured from rPET and the recycled material used in their manufacture goes through LINPAC Packaging’s food grade super cleaning system to ensure the company is exceeding food safety regulations.
The unique sealing system, which took two years to develop, underwent a series of successful trials with leading packers and food manufacturers. The trays consistently outperformed competitors in seal line performance in terms of packs per minute, strength-weight ratio and performance (leakers) and matching (indeed exceeding) the conventional performance expected of a PET/PE solution.
The removal of the PE base film brings other important benefits. It improves the tray clarity markedly bringing the sparkle associated with PET bottles to LINPAC Packaging’s thermoformed food tray.
The lightweighting programme has been developed to support customers contending with eco-taxes which were introduced in response to the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and which seeks to reduce packaging waste.
Companies are charged according to the material type and volume of waste they produce and where their products are delivered to in an effort to encourage a more sustainable manufacturing cycle that encourages recycling.
Rfresh Elite is a perfect example of how, through process and product innovation, LINPAC Packaging has been able to reduce carbon whilst retaining operational efficiency and product integrity.