Iceland Conference pears

Iceland has introduced a new packaging solution for pears as it moves towards eliminating plastic in stores by 2023.

Packs using linerless technology for Conference pears have been launched this month following a collaboration between the retailer, ProPrint Group, fruit supplier Keelings and Ravenwood Packaging. The packs are set to eliminate around 15 tonnes of plastic per year.

According to the companies the Pro-Produce pack can be recycled at the kerbside like any other cardboard packaging. It features plenty of surface area for product information and branding while also offering a die-cut solution to view fruit within the pack.

Produce can be packed using a highly automated packing process that can run at equivalent speeds to flow wrap, ensuring efficiencies for growers, they said, adding that it is also less wasteful than other carton-board packing processes.

Stuart Lendrum, head of packaging at Iceland, said: 'This is an exciting and innovative new pack format that delivers more plastic-free packaging for our customers. The hard work and commitment of everyone involved has delivered this step forward in moving away from plastic with solutions that work for shoppers and the supply chain.”

ProPrint Group said that the scope to use the Pro-Produce concept to replace plastic doesn’t end with pears, and anticipates the solution may be appealing to producers of a wide range of fresh produce. Linerless technology is already being trialled for other products.

Graham Bonus, sales director at ProPrint Group, added: “Making a real difference for packaging sustainability within fresh produce, our largest customer base, is a hugely exciting and fulfilling opportunity.

'Linerless labelling has been around since 2004, and Ravenwood are experts in their field. We have already enjoyed joining them to produce linerless labels in standard formats for a variety of sectors. However, from the outset of our foray into linerless labelling, we were always extremely keen to explore the further potential for application of linerless in new formats, particularly for our fresh produce clients and UK retailers.'

Enjoyed this free article from Fresh Produce Journal and its team of editors? Don’t miss out on even more in-depth analysis, plus all the latest news from the fresh produce business. Subscribe now to theFresh Produce Journal.