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LINPAC Packaging under the green spotlight

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LINPAC Packaging is a leading multi-material food packaging company, working in multiple sectors, with operations around the world.

With the current sharp focus on the environmental credentials of packaging products, it is essential that packaging companies look for ways to minimise not only their own environmental impact, in terms of energy usage and waste elimination, but that of their customers too.

LINPAC Packaging has been manufacturing packaging for the food industry for almost 50 years and in that time has grown with retailers and packers to develop a complete range of products which meet their requirements for innovative, ground-breaking and environmentally sound packaging solutions.

The amount of packaging and food waste sent to landfill continues to influence producers’ packaging choices and packaging companies are coming under increasing pressure to develop products which are lighter and more recyclable, yet still offer the same high degree of protection to food, thus reducing food spoilage and waste.

Alan Davey, Director of Innovation at LINPAC Packaging, said: “We see the environmental influence on packaging as truly positive; presentation is still important and packaging suppliers need to work more cleverly with food producers to deliver great products to the consumer which, simultaneously, tick all the right boxes for the planet.

“Longer shelf life will be key to packaging in the future to drive down food waste. Despite the environmental debate being focused around the negative impact of packaging, it should always be remembered that the energy and resource used to produce food is much greater (typically by ten times) than the energy and resource used to produce packaging. If a little extra packaging prevents food waste, this can significantly reduce the amount of resource and energy used overall. We should remember that, if plastic packaging were invented today, it would be considered as part of the green economy”

LINPAC Packaging understands the need to offer a variety of sophisticated solutions to the protein market and manufactures a range of PET and absorbent foam trays to meet the requirements of both retailers and consumers.

The lightweight Rfresh PET range, made from recycled PET, offers excellent presentation and visibility and is available in a variety of sizes and colours. The trays contain more than 50% post consumer recycled content and LINPAC has invested heavily in their production. The trays offer extended shelf life to meat products, enhanced further when the trays are used in conjunction with a compatible LINPAC lidding film such as LINtop PE. Where facilities exist, the trays can be recycled after use.

“All our packaging products are designed to be as lightweight as possible whilst maintaining function,” said Alan Davey. “Our innovations team is constantly looking for ways to provide robust trays which have a reduced weight and offer the same pack integrity and shelf life as heavier trays. As process technologies have improved at LINPAC it has been possible to reduce the weight of rigid trays by approximately 15% over the last 2 years alone.”

He also believes that increasing pressures from governments to cut packaging waste through the implementation of green taxes, means absorbent foam trays are a popular choice for meat packers. “We will see a resurgence of the real carbon footprint winner; foam polystyrene, for meat packaging, the ultimate solution in cutting packaging weight.”

EPS is the lightest of packaging materials produced by LINPAC Packaging; made from 90% air, it does not produce greenhouse gases on disposal and the energy consumption used in its manufacture can be recovered through incineration.

LINPAC Packaging offers the LINstar foam tray with in-built high capacity absorbent core to lock away meat juices and the LINfresh foam range for modified atmosphere packaging. Both have been designed to enhance presentation and shelf life of the food items.

The LINstar range of foam trays and LINwrap stretch film for manual applications is an ideal combination for producers and retailers looking for in-store or short shelf life packaging solutions. Alternatively, a LINfresh tray used with a LINtop PE lidding film would be the choice of packers and producers looking to increase the efficiency and shelf life of meat.

Both ranges are cost-effective, low carbon packaging options, suitable for meat and poultry. The trays come in a variety of sizes and colours offering excellent protection, strength and presentation.

The most important consideration for the producer of fresh fruit and vegetables is to ensure their products reach the market place with minimal damage or loss. LINPAC Packaging caters for the sector with both foam and PET packaging ranges.

Moulded foam trays protect and cushion fruit which can be vulnerable to bruising, such as apples, pears, mangos, plums, peaches and nectarines, during transit.

LINPAC’s PET punnets for soft fruits like raspberries and strawberries are made from recycled content and are available, if required, with lids for added protection. The company also manufactures PET trays for pre-prepared fruit and vegetables, also available with a LINtop lidding film and, for bulk packs, fruit tray liners to cushion the produce while in bulk transit trays.

The LINPAC range of packaging is a better solution than using a bag as they each provide better protection, helping to ensure the consumer gets their product home in the same condition they picked it up at the supermarket.

Mr Davey added: “The most important consideration when selecting packaging for any kind of food product is whether it provides protection, as well as preserving and presenting your product it in the best possible way. The underlying function of packaging is to cut waste while keeping food products looking and tasting as good at home as they did in store.

“Choosing packaging which effectively preserves food is one of the “greenest” things you can do as it is the best way to reduce food waste, and thus make the most of this precious resource. At LINPAC we use the minimum amount of material needed for the packaging to be fit for purpose and effectively protect, preserve and present your product.”

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