Global fresh food packaging manufacturer, LINPAC, has been crowned a champion after scooping a prestigious Sustainability Leaders Award for its prize-winning Rfresh Elite® tray for meat, fish and poultry.
The awards recognise businesses, products, operations and processes from multiple sectors which have sustainability embedded at their core and deliver demonstrable results through innovation and engagement.
LINPAC was nominated in the Sustainable Packaging category and beat off competition from Samsung Electronics, rigid plastics packaging manufacturer RPC Promens Industrial, Polish wheat bran tableware manufacturer Biotrem/Aston Investment SP.ZO.O and beverage can manufacturer, Rexam Group Plc.
Other winners on the night included Tesco, M&S, National Grid, Heathrow Airport, Willmott Dixon and Southern Water, chosen by a panel of judges with specialist knowledge and expertise in the field of sustainability.
The judges said: “With its Rfresh Elite trays, LINPAC has demonstrated consideration of functionality alongside environmental factors. A pack is only as good as its seal; otherwise the food goes to waste. The development of this new sealant, that can be easily removed, enables the use of just one polymer rather than two, with massive waste reduction benefits.”
Alan Davey, director of innovation at LINPAC, collected the award at the ceremony, which was held at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London.
He said: “This is a fantastic award to win. It’s great that Rfresh Elite has been recognised for its sustainability credentials beyond the packaging industry. The whole team is extremely proud and we are thrilled that the judges recognised the positive impact Rfresh Elite is having across the entire food supply chain.”
The Rfresh Elite tray took two years to develop by the innovation team at LINPAC. It uses a 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. The ingenious sealing system, which is food contact approved, can be removed in the hot wash processes employed by Europe’s PET recycling companies, meaning a recycled Elite tray will yield 100 per cent crystal clear PET - a breakthrough in tray packaging design.
To enhance the environmental credentials of the range, Elite trays are manufactured from up to 95 per cent post consumer recyclate in a bid to create a closed loop recycling process and have been developed in conjunction with the manufacturer’s light weighting programme. The initiative was implemented to reduce the overall weight and carbon footprint of many of their trays whilst maintaining operational efficiency and product integrity.
It is the ultimate solution for meat and poultry packers in search of a sustainable packaging option.
On the packers’ production line, the new sealing system requires a reduced seal temperature and dwell time, delivering an estimated 15 per cent reduction in energy use per line and higher packing speeds, boosting capacity. For retailers, the improved seal strength which Elite offers, also minimises the number of leaking packs, helping to reduce in-store food waste and again contribute to a sustainable food supply chain.
LINPAC has won a number of awards for its Rfresh Elite tray including a PackTheFuture Award and Plastics Industry Award.
Photo caption – LINPAC director of innovation, Alan Davey (centre), collects the sustainable packaging award.