Recent WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) trials have demonstrated that the fresh produce industry can reduce packaging by around 25 per cent without compromising product quality.
The new trials were undertaken in partnership with International Food Partners (IFP), who developed a new packaging technology in conjunction with Ceetak – a UK company specialising in flexible film sealing systems.
They have shown that by combining thinner gauge film on salad bags with a new ‘Integrity Seal’ hermetic sealing, a 25 per cent packaging saving can be made – while at the same time potentially increasing shelf life.
A case study showing how it can be done is available from the WRAP website at www.wrap.org.uk/retail.
Further material savings are also on the horizon: the Integrity Seal technology is now being trialled on seals on the backs of salad bags – saving more material and giving bags an even better seal to further extend shelf life.
The news follows the previous announcement that WRAP and Marks & Spencer (M&S) were working together to trial salad bags using the Integrity Seal. Due to the success of those trials, M&S has now introduced the technology on their Iceberg lettuce, Italian and spinach salad products with plans to roll out to other products later in the year. The technology is now also being tested by suppliers to Asda and other major retailers.
The Integrity Seal relies on rapid cycles of impulse heat and chilling to close flow-wrapped bags, creating a better, stronger seal than crimping while using less material.