Iceland trials new plastic-free pear pack
Friday, October 9, 2020
Iceland has teamed with ProPrint Group, Ravenwood Packaging and fruit grower Keelings to take a further step toward achieving its plastic reduction goal.
The cartonboard packs for conference pears use linerless label technology and have just been rolled out in selected stores.
The new Pro-Produce pack aims to offer a viable alternative to the plastic flow wrap typically used for this type of application, and with equivalent packing speeds.
Iceland head of packaging Stuart Lendrum described the new pack as “exciting and innovative”. It will eliminate around 15 tonnes of plastic per year typically used on this packaging.
“The hard work and commitment of everyone involved has delivered this step forward in moving away from plastic with solutions that work for shoppers and the supply chain,” he said.
ProPrint Group invested in Linerless labelling in early last year. The Wellingborough firm collaborated with Ravenwood Packaging which has more than 1,200 linerless applicator installations in the UK.
Katie Cannon, ProPrint marketing and business development manager, explained how the pack was put together.
“The tray is a standard nested cartonboard tray, and the lid is essentially a linerless label – it’s a C-wrap label, operating as a lid. The tray goes through the packing line and the linerless applicator then cuts and applies the lid in a label format. The lid material is fully paper-based.”
She said the Pro-Produce pack can be recycled at kerbside just like other cardboard packaging.
“There is just a glue line down each side, which should be under the percentage required to make the pack fully recyclable. That’s being evaluated now.”
The die-cut design means the fruit can be viewed by the purchaser, while the pack still has a suitable amount of surface area for product information and branding.
Graham Bonus, sales director at ProPrint Group, said the development was “hugely exciting” as the firm’s biggest customer base is in fresh produce.
ProPrint invested in linerless label equipment early last year, and Bonus said the business had always been keen to explore new applications for the technique.
“With our supportive customer base, the excellent knowledge of former MPH Labels manager Andy Clark, as well as Ravenwood’s production testing and expertise, we knew we could provide an exciting solution for Iceland. We have combined skills from all stakeholders to research, design and test new formats and applications,” he said.
“As ever, it’s all about having a passion and drive to solve the problem, the team effort, sharing knowledge and working together. This pack could deliver a face changing look and feel for the retail Fresh Produce sector.”
Clark joined ProPrint at the end of the 2018 as linerless sales manager.
Iceland has set its sights on completely removing plastic packaging from its own label range by 2023, and has already saved 850 tonnes so far.