"The topic of paper packaging and/or biodegradable packaging has been getting steadily more focus in recent times, much more even than we had originally expected," says Thomas Däbel, signatory and branch manager of SERWO Packaging. This concerns not only the food retail trade but also the area of direct marketers. "There is a big shift towards environmentally friendly packaging."
"In part, this change comes in response to consumer demand, but in some cases, companies also want to use our packaging to be more environmentally friendly," Däbel says.
Last year, the company for the first time had coverable paper cups in its assortment: "This went very well and we have addressed this issue again in the new season." An important aspect of solutions like this is the practicality: "Packers have to be able to cope with this and the quality of the fruit must be maintained. It must arrive in an attractive state at the customer, and the products must let the content breathe." The trays, made of paper fibers (FSC-certified recycled paper), can be sealed with a PET or PLA lid, which makes them ideal for food retailers.
Däbel continues: "With our current packaging, only the plastic lid and the tray are compostable. However, this does mean we have a hygroscopic packaging solution that will both absorbs moisture and release it again, creating a favorable microclimate."
In the meantime, Europe has reached a point where there are capacity problems regarding the availability of paper packaging. "It also has to do with the legislative packaging decisions that have been made in Europe over the past few months - the capacity for such a quick turnabout simply was not there. In anticipation of these developments, we convened with our partners and were able to prepare well, thus being able to supply our customers without any problems. "
In the next step, thee is thought on sealable wood-pulp shells: "The advantage over our current product range is an even lower plastic consumption." On the part of the food retailers, ambitious suggestions often come to the subject of packaging: "We try to do this as well as possible, but ultimately it also depends on the customer's acceptance." The end user is often critical when the higher prices for more environmentally friendly packaging are influencing their bottom line. "That's how the consumer becomes a big unknown factor." Nevertheless, the company is working on the technical implementation of the packaging requirements.
Moisture-proof paper bags
In addition to the berry bowls, Serwo Packaging also offers paper bags, which also stand up well to damp fruit and vegetables: "We want to offer packaging that replaces plastic in terms of value, so moisture-proof paper bags are a good alternative as they offer the same advantages as plastic during transport." The paper has a denser structure than conventional paper and does not require any coating or chemical treatment.
The expert also notes a trend towards high-quality print motifs on the packaging. "Marketers who want to set themselves apart from the masses, now also see packaging as advertising material, which makes our carrier bags very well suited to them."
However, not all products are suitable for this type of packaging: "You simply have to pay think about the higher price. If the product to be packaged does not add much value, packaging of this kind is not always acceptable." For popular premium products like strawberries and asparagus however, they are very suitable," says Däbel.