A wide range of packaging materials is available for fresh produce and the focus is increasingly on sustainable packaging. Now that the corona virus has made its appearance, the question is whether this sustainable packaging is still so hopeful on the agenda.
We put the question to Roos van Vugt, Sales Manager at NNZ.
She immediately mentioned an important nuance to the question. Because what exactly is sustainable?
"Sustainable packaging is when it meets at least the 3 Rs: Reuse, Reduce and Recycle.
"They can therefore be made of various materials such as paper, cardboard, wood or plastic. In that case, the discussion about sustainable packaging is still high on the agenda, but we can see that the discussion about the use of plastic packaging has been pushed to the background by the corona virus ,” says Roos. "What we observe is that our customers' priorities are shifting around the world. There is no change in the product portfolio, but in demand for packaging, which is increasing. ”
Tubs for snack tomatoes whose plastic use has been reduced by 40%
“In the meantime, we are continuing to develop new, sustainable packaging for the fruit and vegetable sector. An example of this is a project where we develop a PET bucket, for example for berries and snack vegetables, with a 40% reduction of plastic. The demand for such innovations is currently down, due to the corona virus, but sustainability is high on our agenda, so we will continue to work on this. ”
Hygiene soon to be important theme
"I expect that once the corona virus is over, the virus will have an influence on the discussion about packaging that we know now," Roos thinks.
“For example, hygiene and food safety are becoming a more important theme in this debate. I expect that the number of products that are offered loose in the supermarket will decrease and that the products that are now packaged will remain packaged. The packaging material to be used will play an important role in connection with hygiene and food safety.
"During the Fruit Logistica in Berlin, we introduced a new method, Future Route, with which a customer can implement their packaging strategy. This method provides insight into the environmental impact, costs, market acceptance and food waste of various packaging options. In this way we ensure that we are in constant dialogue with growers, packers and retailers about sustainable packaging. After all, responsible packaging is necessary for the transport, protection, preservation and marketing of fruit and vegetable products. ”