Fiber-based packaging company Graphic Packaging International has launched its ProducePack Punnet, a paperboard alternative to plastic punnet trays for fresh fruit and vegetables. This new product, available for all commonly used punnet sizes, is fully recyclable and reduces plastic by up to 100 percent, depending on application.
As a result of the pandemic, consumers now place significantly more value on food safety and hygiene and see sustainability as increasingly important, according to a recent McKinsey survey. ProducePack Punnet offers growers and retailers the opportunity to cater to increased consumer demand for hygiene while also prioritizing sustainability.
Designed with optimum operational efficiency in mind, ProducePack Punnet can be top-sealed at speeds equivalent to traditional plastic punnets. The sustainable solution works with existing machinery and tooling for plastic trays, meaning that minimal investment is required for packers looking to make the switch to paperboard.
For brands and retailers, the pack has been proven to offer equivalent shelf life to plastic for certain produce items while reducing the potential for food waste. A range of board and barrier options is available, which have all been selected to ensure the package remains robust in cold storage and throughout the supply chain. ProducePack Punnet can be supplied formed or flat, the latter offering CO2 reductions in transit due to higher punnet tray volume per truckload.
In line with Graphic Packaging’s Design for the Environment (DfE) approach, its features can be customized to suit various markets and potential applications. From tomatoes to berries and more, the solution ensures sustainability is at the forefront at each stage of the manufacturing process. ProducePack Punnet can also be graphically printed to maximize branding opportunities without the need for additional labelling.
“ProducePack Punnet delivers a 90 percent reduction in plastic when compared to polypropylene or polyester trays, and a 100 percent reduction if a barrier coating is not necessary for the application. It is expected to provide carbon footprint reduction versus standard fossil plastic trays and a much greater circularity with an average paperboard recycling rate of more than double that of plastics, on average, in most countries,” said Elodie Bugnicourt, sustainability manager at Graphic Packaging International. “The interest we received in ProducePack was extraordinary following its launch earlier this year. ProducePack Punnet now extends the range to new applications such as berries, enabling our customers to reap the environmental benefits of paperboard packaging in a wider variety of fresh produce applications.”
Ricardo De Genova, Graphic Packaging’s SVP of global innovation and new business development, said, “As growers and producers look to move towards recyclable fiber-based solutions, they can count on our expertise to deliver value-added innovation as well as like-for-like functionality versus traditional plastic trays. Aligned with our Vision 2025 and DfE methodology, this launch is another example of how we can partner with customers to accelerate the transition to a more circular economy.”
ProducePack Punnet is available for commercialization now. For more information on ProducePack Punnet, visit graphicpkg.com.
Graphic Packaging International LLC, a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Company, headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, is committed to providing consumer packaging that makes a world of difference. The company is a leading provider of sustainable paper-based packaging solutions for a wide variety of products to food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer products companies.