Softfruit giant Berry Gardens has partnered with sustainable packaging manufacturer Coveris to launch a new printed lidding film containing over 30 per cent post-consumer recyclate (PCR).
The first-to-market, food-safe PCR film is now available nationwide across all of Berry Gardens' lines for the major multiples, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and stonefruit.
Marking a major step forward for the fresh produce packaging sector, the film reduces carbon impact by significantly offsetting the requirement for virgin polymer, removing around 53,000 tonnes from the supply chain annually, Berry Gardens said
The new packaging also supports the 30 per cent recycled content requirement for the 2022 plastics packaging tax, with the option of increasing the proportion of recycled material to up to 50 per cent.
Offering like-for-like performance on the packaging 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.
The sustainable packs also maintain berries' four-day shelf life through improved moisture management in pack, with anti-mist properties offering added clarity.
As the first major retail launch of a PCR lidding film for direct food contact, Berry Gardens says it has been responsible for driving a step change in the market through the application of recycled content in everyday products.
Commenting on the development, Siobhan Parks, Berry Gardens’ head of packaging, who has led the project, said: “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.”