Proseal takes a lead in sustainable tray formats
Tray sealing specialist Proseal says it is perfectly positioned to help food producers explore options for alternative packaging materials. The company has worked closely with both tray and film suppliers to stay ahead of the demand from retailers and consumers for environmentally friendly solutions and has a proven track record with many alternative formats now available in the market following the work it has done.
In particular, Proseal’s entire range of tray sealing machines already have the capabilities to handle different materials such as board and pulp with no modifications necessary. This enables food manufacturers to switch more easily to new pack formats without an additional and costly investment.
Proseal’s innovative ProPosition automatically identifies the best position for trays, to ensure perfect alignment every time. Its advanced technology provides food manufacturers and processors with a simple one step tool set up and removes the time consuming and potentially wasteful process of running test trays.
The company’s Test Kitchen facilities are also available to allow suppliers of alternative packaging materials to carry out extensive trials. This ensures that any potential tray design is conducive to tray sealing, able to deliver the required levels of product protection and extend shelf life, and that on the shelf presentation can be successfully commercialised.
In addition, Proseal is the tray sealing partner for the Halopack tray, the first fully gas tight cardboard Modified Atmosphere Packaging (MAP) tray. Produced with renewable or recycled cardboard, Halopack combines a strong environmental profile with high barrier properties that maintain product quality and extend shelf life. The patented design is fully sealable for efficient in line production and the company can supply a machine that erects and assembles the packs.
At the same time, Proseal acknowledges the important role that plastic packaging plays in the food sector, particularly its ability to help reduce food waste, which is widely acknowledged as a significant environmental problem. Protein producers have now switched from PE lined PP trays to mono APET, which can be recycled.
The company believes the arguments over the suitability of plastic versus cardboard for trays will continue for years to come and that there is room for both materials in the market. Recycling and reusing both types of packaging has proved to be the most effective way to minimise carbon footprint and protect the environment.
The adoption of top sealing instead of clamshell and clip on lids in the soft fruit sector, for example, reduces packaging materials by as much as 45%. This equates to a saving of 10 tonnes of plastic for every one million trays that are top sealed. Similarly, Proseal can assist tray manufacturers in the development of lighter weight trays that still have the strength and robustness to produce tight, high quality seals in its tray sealers.
‘Environmental concerns are becoming an increasingly important part of consumers’ food purchasing decisions, but they are still seeking quality and freshness from their products,’ commented sales director Tony Burgess.
‘Our developmental work is focused on ensuring that new pack formats remain functional and fit for purpose and do not compromise on protection or shelf life while still delivering sustainability benefits.’