Two years ago, Silbo's Bobasket packaging solution won the silver Fruit Logistica Innovation Award. In the past two years centered around the pandemic, however, the Polish packaging specialist has by no means sat still. On the contrary: in this interview, Marketing Manager Marta Paprocka tells us about the latest innovations and trade show highlights at the upcoming Potato Europe.
A fully compostable version of the patented Bobasket solution has now been successfully launched in the flagship country of France. "Two years ago, Bobasket also found its way to well-known food retail chains in Poland and Germany. More recently, we have also designed the Bobasket packaging as a paper version with a linen mesh, and this version is also meeting with lively interest in France. Accordingly, we will continue to expand this project and roll it out in several countries," says Marta Paprocka, marketing manager at the company.
Bobasket is a flexible packaging with a handle, that can be made from both paper and sustainable films. With 1.5 to 2.5 kg containers, Bobasket has been able to hold its own, especially as convenience packaging.
Robust multipurpose paper packaging
Another highlight of the internationally branched company is Mr. Paper, a product line made of 100 percent paper, which Silbo says has already been successfully used for numerous fresh products. "The packaging features high water and moisture resistance and can be fitted with viewing windows and grids, depending on the customer's requirements. The paper used is certified and is printed exclusively with water-based inks at the cutting edge of technology. Due to its flexibility and robustness, the packaging is not only used for fruits and vegetables, but also for sweets, snacks or other food products," Paprocka continues.
On January 1, 2022, the plastic ban regarding fruit and vegetables in French food retailing officially came into force, and other countries are expected to follow suit in a few years. Silbo Packaging is also monitoring these developments and will inevitably have to adapt its strategy to the circumstances.
Paprocka: "We recognized this trend for ourselves at an early stage and have been focusing on alternatives for plastic made from renewable raw materials for years. We therefore see ourselves as being well equipped with our existing range for similar measures in other European countries."
Nevertheless, going plastic-free also comes with certain challenges for the Silbo team, Paprocka adds. "Customers usually put off the decision to go for sustainable alternatives for quite a long time and then order the materials they need at the last minute, which in turn puts considerable pressure on our production. In addition, the legal definition of plastic is increasingly up for debate. Because strictly speaking, this collective term also includes compostable materials, renewable raw materials and bio-plastics. From our point of view, however, it is a matter of concern that environmentally friendly solutions with excellent properties, such as those made from corn starch, are thus excluded."
Possibilities instead of restrictions
All in all, the packaging manufacturer is confident about the future. "We believe in possibilities instead of restrictions. In day-to-day practice, this means that we adapt to circumstances, but still stick to our corporate vision. We are explicitly targeting customers who believe in a broader, longer-term perspective in addition to economic factors. Every single customer is at a different stage of change and it's our job to provide them with tailored solutions," they conclude.
Visit the company at Potato Europe: exhibition area G, stand B15.