Demand for sustainable packaging solutions is high. “We’re seeing increased requests across all regions we do business in,” says Shannon Boase with CKF, Inc. “However, all regions are demanding sustainable packaging for different reasons,” she added. In North America, COVID has accelerated interest for sustainable packaging. “Consumers have become much more vocal in the past year and are requiring earth-friendly and recyclable packaging options.”
In Europe on the other hand, increased demand is driven by stringent government policies. With the European Union aiming to be a frontrunner in the fight against plastic pollution, single-use plastic products will be banned as of next year. On the other side of the globe, in New Zealand, strict anti-plastic packaging policies will also come into effect as of 2022.
More options available
“To support our customers’ increased demand for sustainable packaging, we have expanded our options,” said Boase. “First of all, we are continuing to build out our top seal EC37 line.” CKF already offers 80 and 65 mm. deep packaging for top seal and now the company is introducing a 45 mm. deep product. “It is much shallower and works well for berries and tomatoes for instance.” For all three sizes, the top dimensions are the same, reducing the upfront cost and minimizing switching costs. Investing in one top seal tool allows the customer to pack their products in three different sizes of top seal packaging. “It increases both the range and volume our customers can pack.”
EC3745: 45 mm. deep punnet.
Another packaging solution that will be entering the market in June is a club pack for warehouse stores. It will be available in both 3 lb. and 2 lb. bowls. This size works well for tomatoes but can be used for other produce items as well.
Bowl and punnet club pack.
The third product that will launch in the next few months is a PET Snap-on Lid for berry punnets. It is compatible with the containers of the EC37 and EC 28 lines and an alternative to top seal lidding. “Some customers don’t move enough volume to justify top seal, or they may not want to invest in it,” commented Boase. “This PET lid that clicks on the container is a great alternative for them while still offering a significantly reduced plastic option.”
New developments coming on fast
In addition to these three new packaging options, CKF has more launches in the pipeline for this calendar year. “This year, developments are coming on fast with the landscape being very different from last year,” Boase shared.
At the onset of COVID there was a lot of uncertainty and packaging projects got shelved. “Companies didn’t want to try out new developments and didn’t want us nor film suppliers in their packing house.” However, this year there is much more urgency. “COVID protocols have for the most part been incorporated into operations and largely driven by retailers, our clients want to trial new packaging and want to trial it right now.”
CKF has made investments in its machinery and equipment and is well able to handle the extra demand.