Food container made from recycled PET

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Packaging

A new food container is made of recycled polyethylene terephthalate
(PET), providing manufacturers with the opportunity to present
themselves as "environmentally-friendly".

Finland-based Huhtamaki said their first product using the recycled PET is a thermoformed food packaging for salads. The availability of food-grade PET has improved in the UK recently due to a more organised collection and handling of the material. It's these resources that have allowed the company to start using the material at industrial scale, Huhtamaki stated. The containers have a slim design with an ovallike shape, making them easier to stack, transport and warehouse, the company claimed. The dimensions of the 180g and 300g pots, across the flat sides, are set to enable one additional pot to fit into the same shelf length as five round pots. The new 600 g pot allows five new packs to fit into the space of four round pots, the company stated. "This extra space utilization reduces transport costs and has an environmental benefit in reducing pollution as reduced lorry journeys,"​ the company claimed. "In addition, more products can be stacked on the supermarket shelf. This maximises sales opportunity by reducing the time shelves are out of stock and also reduces the amount of labor needed to fill shelves."​ They are designed to be film-sealed and come with a clip lid. The film sealing adds a level of tamper evidency and while the packs are sealed, product freshness and shelf life is enhanced, the company claimed. The thermoformed containers are made from material that contains between 40 and 70 per cent recycled PET, making the packaging more sustainable, Huhtamaki claimed. "Despite the recycled content the performance characteristics include excellent clarity, good crack resistance and excellent gas barrier properties,"​ the company claimed. Huhtamaki says as more additional reprocessing capacity comes on stream in the UK, more and more products can be packaged in recycled PET. Research commissioned by the Waste and Resource Action Programme (Wrap) last year found that 86 per cent of the respondents felt it would be good if packaging contained recycled plastic. About 78 per cent said they would feel more positive about a product or manufacturer whose packs were made using recycled plastic, according to Huhtamaki.

Related topics Processing & packaging

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