Improve Sustainability, Reduce Packaging
The development of packaging is a technological achievement. Packaging protects products, presents products and markets products.
The packaging industry is ever evolving, a key reason being the need to improve sustainability, not only in the materials used in the manufacture of packaging but in the use of packaging to extend the shelf-life of food, particularly fresh foods such as fruit and vegetables.
Ultimate Packaging is a business focused on the development of flexible packaging. The team are working hard to improve sustainability across sectors utilising a range of technologies.
An ongoing project has seen the Ultimate Packaging team successfully reduced the volume of packaging required to protect and extend the shelf-life of a range of fresh produce.
A simple reduction in the thickness of packaging films combined with the use of Flexeye, Ultimate Packaging’s reduce colour gamut print technology has delivered a significant reduction in Ultimate Packaging’s Carbon Footprint. A benefit that will resonate throughout the supply chain.
- Half of consumers see packaging as bad for the environment and believe that too much packaging is used.
- The materials used in the manufacture of packaging features plastics and solvents.
- A large amount of packaging is not recycled and ends up in landfill.
- There is significant global demand for more sustainable packaging options.
The role of food packaging
It is important to understand why we need packaging and how it makes a positive difference in how we manage resources and reduce food waste. Without adequate packaging a large volume of food would not make it as far as the retailer as it would be damaged or out of date and inedible.
Key is finding a solution that delivers what is required in regards to protecting and extending the shelf-life of food whilst minimising packaging. Targets around packaging are influenced by the Courtauld Commitment and the force of major retailers own corporate social responsibility agenda
A sustainable approach to packaging
Packaging is a growing industry worth over £200 billion that features a wide array of materials and technologies.
Ultimate Packaging develop and manufacture flexible packaging, a sector that is closely connected to retail as a large number of the products available in stores is packaged in flexible packaging
Formats such as flowraps, lidding films and pouches are used to package everything from yoghurts to fruit, vegetables, meat and confectionery.
The Ultimate Packaging team understand what is required to package a range of different foods particularly fresh produce. The launch of Adapt MAP, Ultimate Packaging’s Modified Atmosphere Packaging technology has positioned the business as an expert in the manufacture of packaging that can significantly extend shelf-life.
Controlling the atmosphere within packaging is a challenge affected by the product and the specification of the packaging.
The Ultimate team has tested a range of packaging films used to package food to better understand this relationship; work that has enabled the team to reduce the thickness of a range of films, including implementing a 10 per cent reduction in gauge of LDPE, a film commonly used to package fresh produce. By minimising the film used in in the manufacture of flexible packaging, Ultimate Packaging has reduced the overall volume of material produced by over 27,000kg.
The reduction of packaging is high on the agenda for Ultimate Packaging, as is the development of greener solutions including compostable packaging.
Packaging is an evolving industry and as new technologies are tested and solutions developed, sustainability will remain a top priority for the Ultimate Packaging business, our customers and our suppliers.