The people at Project Service & Production GmbH are focused on product packaging of the future, even in today's times of crisis. FreshPlaza spoke to André Vois, Product Key Account Manager, who is responsible for environmentally friendly banding and the Proband V1000 system solution at Project Unternehmensgruppe Kranenburg (NRW / Germany).
Mr. Vois, how does the new Progreen packaging concept differ from existing sustainable solutions and what are the most significant advantages for the user?
André Vois: "Our band has a 95 to 97 percent paper content! In 2020 at Fruit Logistica, we were the first with such an environmentally friendly solution, and the reactions at the time showed that the market was just waiting for this eco-banderoling system. With the consequent minimal proportion of 3 to 5 percent plastic, Progreen can be disposed of in the waste paper garbage can, thus returning to the recycling process. This is why we also use the claim 'Go Green with banding'. By the way, that solution using 97 percent paper content applies to products with a fixed circumference, while those with 95 percent paper content are used when banding products of different sizes."
André Vois shows the new Progreen banding solution.
On social media, Progreen is touted as an organic solution. Which target group or user sectors do you want to address with this process?
André Vois: "Progreen is of course suitable for all products, whether organic or conventional: packaging becomes more ecological and every contribution should be used to feed as much as possible into the recycling loop! But in fact, our green solution is perfectly suitable for organic products, as they combine the aspects of organic & eco. After all, it's fair to question why organic products are put into composite packaging - when, for example, we offer a real alternative. At the moment, it certainly helps the manufacturers that the consumer recognizes paper-like composite packaging, which is not allowed to be recycled, as not being harmful at all. That's where education is needed. And manufacturers who look ahead can use our solution with, for example, a note on the sleeve to inform the consumer that this packaging can be disposed of in the waste paper can! That way, manufacturers can use our product to differentiate themselves from others, and we can offer a truly credible overall environmental solution."
What is the initial feedback from users so far?
André Vois: The feedback has been very positive, and demand is high - especially from the fruit and vegetable growing sector and from users in other industries such as hygiene products, at this time. The areas of application are diverse, as Progreen is used wherever products need to be held together and all important information such as the EAN code, manufacturer, packer or country of origin needs to be on the product. We can process Progreen bands from 25 to 60 millimeters wide with our Proband V 1000 banding machine, but we can also supply even wider Progreen bands if required."
According to trade media, packaged goods are increasingly in focus during times of crisis. How do you think food packaging will develop in the short and longer term?
André Vois: "I can't survey the entire packaging market, but it does seem that perhaps because of Corona, some products are being packaged more sturdily again. However, we as the Project Group continue to see a high demand for our Progreen banding and the matching Proband V1000 banding machine. For the period after the Corona crisis, we expect a further boost and even higher demand. After all, nothing has changed in terms of the megatrends in the packaging industry: The goal is to use less and more ecological packaging. The change in thinking has long since taken place. We at the Project group of companies are proud to make a convincing contribution here."