Berry Gardens, the UK's leading berry and stone fruit production and marketing group, has partnered with sustainable packaging manufacturer Coveris to launch a new printed lidding film containing over 30% post-consumer recyclate (PCR).
The first-to-market, food safe PCR film is now available nationwide across all major multiple Berry Gardens lines including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and other stone fruit.
Marking a major step forward for the fresh produce packaging sector, the new recycled film reduces carbon impact by significantly offsetting the requirement for virgin polymer, removing around 53,000 kilos from the supply-chain annually. The film also supports the 30% recycled content requirement for the 2022 plastics packaging tax with the option of up to 50% recyclate available.
Offering like-for-like performance in-line and on-shelf, the new rPET film is sealed to the existing rPET tray to offer a fully recycled plastic solution with peelable functionality for reuse and improved storage.
Seamlessly working in combination with Coveris’ award-winning Freshlife® perforation technology, the sustainable packs work to maintain +4 days shelf-life via improved moisture management in-pack. Integral anti-mist properties also offer added clarity and optimal performance.
As the first major retail launch of a PCR lidding film for direct food contact, Berry Gardens have been responsible for driving a step change in the market through the application of recycled content in every-day products.
Commenting on the development, Siobhan Parks Berry Gardens’ Head of Packaging who has led the project says: “As a business we are working with partners like Coveris to help us reduce our reliance on virgin plastics and establish more responsible business practices.
"Moving to the rPET film on our punnets will allow us to have the same transparency and technical properties as virgin material, but with reduced carbon impact and significant plastic reduction from the supply chain. This is just one example of how we are leading the way in packaging for the UK soft fruit sector by creating stable end markets for recycled content in packaging.”
Supporting Coveris’ own NO WASTE sustainability vision, this project marks the start of the manufacturer’s breakthrough into recycled films for direct food contact. Eric Valette, Innovation Director for Coveris’ Flexibles business commented “having had award winning success with the application of recycled content into our non-food products, this latest development secures Coveris’ position at the forefront of the sustainable material innovation with the advancement of recycled materials into food. Launching any packaging into a sensitive product category like berries presents unique technical challenges regardless of material, so to maintain shelf-life and packing performance via a recycled alternative goes one step further.”