Graphic Packaging ProducePack Punnet

The ProducePack Punnet can be used for a range of fresh produce

American fibre-based packaging specialist Graphic Packaging International (GPI) has launched a new paperboard punnet tray for fresh fruit and vegetables.

TheProducePack Punnet provides an alternative to plastic punnet trays and is available in all commonly used punnet sizes. It is fully recyclable and reduces plastic by up to 100 per cent if not top-sealed.

The packaging can be customised to suit various markets; it can be graphically printed without the need for additional labels; and it can be used for a variety of products, including tomatoes, berries, cherries and grapes.

GPI pointed to a recent McKinsey survey which showed that consumers now place significantly more value onfood safety and hygieneas a result of the pandemic,with sustainability becoming increasingly important again as we emerge from the crisis. The ProducePack Punnet ticks both boxes, the packaging manufacturer said.

In addition, the packaging can be top-sealed “at speeds equivalent to traditional plastic punnets”, working with existing machinery and tooling for plastic trays. This means minimal investment is required for packers looking to make the switch to paperboard.

For brands and retailers, the pack has been proven to offer equivalent shelf life to plastic for certain produce items while reducing the potential for food waste, GPI said.

A range of board and barrier options is available, which have all been selected to ensure the package remains robust in cold storage and throughout the supplychain.

The ProducePackPunnet can either be supplied formed or flat, with the latter option offering CO2reductions in transit due to higher punnet tray volume per truckload.

Elodie Bugnicourt, sustainability manager at Graphic Packaging International, said: “ProducePack Punnet delivers a 90 percent reduction in plastic when compared to polypropylene or polyestertrays, and a 100 percent reduction if a barrier coating is not necessary for the application.

“It is expected to provide carbon footprint reduction versus standard fossil plastic trays and a much greater circularity with an average paperboard recycling rate of more than double that of plastics, on average, in most countries.

“The interest we received inProducePackwas extraordinary following its launch earlier this year.ProducePackPunnetnowextends the range to new applications such as berries, enabling our customers to reap the environmental benefits of paperboard packaging in a wider variety of fresh produce applications.”