Packaging Automation and Evesham Specialist Packaging (ESP) have developed a heat sealable pulp board, plastic alternative tray. The new pack is described as biodegradable, recyclable and compostable. The solution comes after the launch of the UK Plastics Pact to address the impact plastic waste is having on the environment, with retailers and manufacturers more conscious of single-use and non-recyclable plastics and wanting to cater for the green consumer.
Packaging Automation said that “by packaging more products in recyclable plastic and non-plastic trays we can prevent tonnes of plastic ending up as waste.” Its tray sealing machines are compatible with a variety of recycled plastic, recyclable and compostable materials.
Examples of the pack formats that are successfully being sealed include soft fruit punnets made out of RPET, a recycled plastic; biodegradable plant-based plastics such as PLA which is a material made from renewable resources like corn starch or sugar cane; lined and unlined cardboard packs; pressed board trays which are widely recyclable (and provide a 90% reduction in plastic when compared to a tray made entirely out of plastic); and aluminium foil trays containing straight to oven products such as ready meals or mixed prepared vegetables.
Packaging Automation and ESP’s heat sealable pulp board pack is now on the shelves in many UK grocery retail outlets containing products like strawberries, mushrooms, grapes and gooseberries. “At Packaging Automation we work closely with all packaging suppliers and are here to help our customers face the challenge of developing eco-friendly packaging for their products. This includes free use of our packaging trial, test and development facility, and advice on choosing the most appropriate packaging materials including trays and film,” said the company in a statement.