Green and versatile packaging system for fresh produce
A company based in California has created a packaging system with versatility and ease of use in mind. Eco Pack was founded in 2008 by Yosi Heyman, who has more than 30 years of experience in the world of packaging. The company was created with the aim to introduce a product that would be a safe and green alternative to standard packaging.
"Our vision is to make the Eco Pack System a global industry standard for the safer, greener, healthier transportation of fresh and processed foods," said Danny Bartal, of Eco Pack. "We market the unique, patented Eco Pack System to carton manufacturers, distributors, plastic rentals and pooling systems both nationally and globally, and for resale to fresh produce retailers, farmers and agricultural exporters."
What is the Eco Pack System?
Essentially, the system consists of a molded plastic frame that supports a plastic, food grade sleeve. They can be assembled and configured in different sizes according to the produce item it is assembled for.
"The patented Eco Pack System consists of an easy-to-assemble plastic frame and lightweight plastic sleeves that together create an economical, multipurpose, recyclable box," Bartal explained. "The frame has the same dimensions as standard paperboard cartons and plastic crates, and is suitable for palletizing. The bags are customized for specific commodity and product application, and designed for optimal ventilation, hygiene, food safety and waste reduction."
"There are multiple sizes with three base dimensions similar to RPCs at several heights, plus a unique tray for bananas," he continued. "Additional sizes can be produced upon request." The company said the system can be used for practically any fresh produce item. "Bananas, tomatoes, berries, stone fruit, pineapples, citrus, fresh cut, corn, eggplant, squash, lettuces, cucumbers, string beans, broccoli, carrots and more."
Benefits of using Eco Pack
Apart from being more environmentally friendly and easy to use, Bartal said the Eco Pack system also presents significant cost savings to growers over conventional cardboard packaging and reusable plastic containers. He said part of the reason is the ability to employ greater efficiency for transportation.
"Savings are substantial compared with paperboard cartons and plastic crates – averaging about 12% to 20% lower cost depending on the commodity's existing transport packaging," he noted. "This comes from increasing crates per pallet, total load utilization, the number of crates loaded per truck and overall load density."
Because the Eco Pack system is constructed with food grade plastic, it enables better ventilation, which would appeal to farmers, shippers and retailers alike. "Suitable for both long-term storage and refrigeration, the Eco Pack system helps maximize product life by protecting the produce it carries by way of better ventilation," Bartal continued. "It is ideal for use and re-use by simply replacing the sleeves, the Eco Pack system can carry and/or store a wide variety of fresh and frozen produce."
Recent updates and availability
Eco Pack is evidently not content with presenting the product as it is. Bartal said the company is continually working on solutions to improve the product and make it more useful to more growers. At the PMA Fresh Summit last October, they presented a few new updates.
"Eco Pack is constantly upgrading the crate to reflect both customer needs and our own innovations," Bartal said. "At PMA, we featured new sizes and configurations, and new capabilities for printing marketing material and promotions on the plastic sleeves. We also introduced the Eco Pack pallet base, which adds stability to crates in transit. "
The Eco Pack system is being offered to growers right across the Americas. "It is available nationwide in the US, Canada and Mexico, as well as several South and Central American countries," Bartal added. He also noted that despite challenges from within the packaging industry, Eco Pack will continue to innovate and market their product for fresh produce. "When entering a market with a disruptive solution, there are always barriers to entry set up by existing players. We expected this and are having success telling our story to all trading partners in the extended retail supply chain."
For more information:
Eco Pack Systems
Tel: +1 (951) 990-1237
Publication date: 2/13/2018
Author: Dennis M. Rettke
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