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Moulded fibre packaging wins CSR Excellence award
Two years ago CKF and G’s Fresh Mushrooms began working together with the aim of elevating mushroom packaging to the demands of the 21st century. Mushroom packaging has seen little innovation over the past 20 years. CKF say the traditionally used plastic punnet wrapped with PVC has no positive impact on the shelf life of mushrooms; the PVC overwrap is a material deemed undesirable for packaging by many retailers and brands and consumers are increasingly conscious of the environmental impact of plastics on ocean litter when not recycled properly.
G's set high expectations in developing new packaging for its mushrooms: the new package would need to appeal to the consumer’s desire for less plastic while meeting the packaging automation speeds and shelf life of plastic punnets.
According to CKF, its thermoformed moulded pulp line, Earthcycle™ meets the ambitious demands—the material is plastic free, certified home compostable and is recyclable in the waste paper stream. Through extensive pre-commercial testing and a wide commercial trial in Tesco stores in the UK, it was shown that packaged in Earthcycle™, mushrooms stay fresher longer, up to 20 percent longer than when packed in plastic. With current estimates of over 2,300 tons of mushroom waste per year due to product expiration, having added time to consume fresh mushrooms helps to reduce this food waste and associated costs.
G’s said it is also first to market in adopting top seal packaging technology for mushrooms using moulded pulp punnets, which they said is in order to achieve production speed parity with plastic. Top seal film for moulded pulp was developed and perforation structures designed to enable moisture to respire at the optimal rate to prolong freshness in the mushrooms.
The CSR Excellence Award is given to a company that has demonstrated a measureable sustainable impact on their own operations and on the industry. In recognizing G’s with the Excellence in CSR award for the top sealed moulded pulp punnet, Nigel Jenny, Chief Executive of the FPC, says that the “pioneering work makes a strong environmental statement whilst improving its product and reducing waste.”
“There has to be a compelling reason for change. In our case we want to deliver longer lasting mushrooms to the consumer with less plastic and provide quantifiable sustainable innovation to our retail partner,” says James Meers, Commercial Director for G’s Fresh. “In our commercial trial alone with Tesco we were able to avoid the use of close to 40 metric tons of plastic by using the Earthcycle punnets and provide our consumers longer lasting mushrooms while maintaining production efficiencies”.
“Our working partnership with G’s could not have been better,” says Brad Dennis, CKF’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Their technical and sales team’s dedication to results is a key reason for the award and we are honored to have been a part of the journey”.
Dr. Mark Caul, Packaging Manager at Tesco added, "The punnet is a clear win-win for customers and the environment. Customers were delighted to see less plastic on the shelf and I am personally pleased to be able to remove a PVC stretch film. It has also been a delight to work with both G’s and CKF in order to innovate packaging, to challenge the status quo and deliver a package that offers demonstrable food waste savings."
For more information:
Tel: +1 (416) 249-2272
Publication date: 6/27/2018
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