LINPAC Packaging, Europe’s leading multi-material packaging manufacturer, has been named in the Stationers’ Innovation Excellence Awards for its Rfresh Elite tray which offers superior efficiency and sustainability features for meat and poultry packers.
This is the second time the food packaging company, based in Featherstone, West Yorkshire, has been recognised for its innovative new meat packaging solution – last month LINPAC was presented with a PackTheFuture Award, which recognises sustainability in plastic packaging.
The Innovation Excellence Awards organised by the Stationers’ Company aims to recognise excellence and innovation in packaging, print, paper and communications.
The super lightweight, mono-material Rfresh Elite tray uses a new unique, patented, sealant on the tray flange to create a secure seal with the lidding film, removing the need for the industry standard laminated PE base film and creating a crystal clear tray which is 100% recyclable at the end of its service life - a breakthrough in tray packaging design.
The trays are manufactured from up to 95% rPET, which has passed through LINPAC Packaging’s food grade super cleaning system to ensure it is entirely food safe and have been developed in conjunction with the company’s Project LIFE (LIghtweighting For Excellence) initiative which has been implemented to significantly reduce the overall weight and carbon footprint of LINPAC trays, whilst ensuring that they maintain excellent performance and integrity.
Director of Innovation at LINPAC, Alan Davey, said: “The Rfresh Elite tray offers superior efficiency and sustainability features for meat and poultry packers, and indeed helps the entire food supply chain reduce its carbon footprint and costs in handling and logistics.
“We are extremely pleased to have received this innovation award. The innovation team at LINPAC has spent two years to develop the unique sealant which is completely food safe and has proved effective in reducing leaking packs.”
Awards organiser, Tony Mash: “We are delighted to have received such a strong list of nominations for these, our first awards for Innovation Excellence.”
The ingenious sealant can be removed in the hot wash process employed by Europe’s PET recycling companies meaning a recycled Rfresh Elite tray will yield 100% crystal clear PET after recycling, in the same way as a clear bottle, and allows trays to enter and benefit the entire closed loop rPET supply chain.
The sealant on the tray flange is opaque, only turning clear after the lidding film has been heat sealed onto the tray. This gives a very strong visual check for the packer processors on the seal integrity of the pack. Something they cannot see currently.
The tray has the strongest seal strength in its class – there is a 60% improvement in burst test strength and a 24% improvement in vacuum chamber testing compared to standard PET/PE packs.
Rfresh Elite trays also require significantly lower levels of heat for sealing. This reduces the packers’ machine energy consumption by around 15%, lowering their overall carbon footprint and in addition, the packaging is not adversely affected by the heat during the sealing cycle. This removes the risk of rolled flanges, hour glass shape trays or poor lid film visuals which sometimes affect other lightweight PET/PE trays.