Waddington’s Monoair cushion technology aims to help improve recycling rates

Thermoforming packaging specialist Waddington Europe has claimed a first by supplying a full range of soft-fruit punnets to the UK market that are easier to recycle and use less plastic than conventional punnets.

Made with Waddington’s Monoair cushion technology, the new 100 per cent mono-material punnets are now available in large rectangular (WE80), square (WE62) and standard rectangular (WE37) versions.

“We take great pride in becoming the first company to supply a wide selection of soft-fruit punnets that are significantly easier to recycle,” said Eduardo Gomes, managing director of Waddington Europe. “Our punnets have proven to be immensely popular, so we wanted to broaden our offering to provide an even wider array of choices, including the first large rectangular version (WE80) on the UK market.”

Standard soft-fruit punnet bases have traditionally been made of clear rigid PET plastic to show a 360-degree view of attractive fruit inside. These conventional bases, however, require an additional layer of bubble padding attached with a glue adhesive to protect soft fruit from bruising and spoiling in transit, Waddington explains.

If consumers do not remove the bubble padding and adhesive, the punnet cannot be recycled and must be sent to landfill or incinerated.

“Thanks to our new Monoair technology, our punnets do not require this extra bubble padding, reducing plastic content and making them much easier to recycle,” Gomes said. “Consumers can effortlessly place the punnet into their recycling bin without the hassle of separating the padding. That simplifies life for consumers while increasing the number of punnets that are recycled.”

The Monoair punnet is made to showcase the fresh fruit inside, according to the supplier. It is lightweight, offers rigid protection for fruit and won’t turn mushy from contact with fruit juices. The punnets can be manufactured with up to 100 per cent recycled PET (rPET), and all are fully recyclable back into food-grade rPET.