At the start of last year, Asda had announced their aim to reduce plastic by 10%. As part of this pledge Ultimate have been working closely with IPL to deliver sustainable packaging solutions, while maintaining quality, machine efficiency and shelf life of the product. Through Ultimate’s dedication and hard work to help Asda transform their packaging into more sustainable options, IPL has awarded Ultimate the IPL Sustainability Award 2018.
The key areas we have focused on are their own brand potatoes and onions. After extensive trials and testing at various packer sites together, we have managed to significantly reduce the film thickness from 27um LDPE (low-density polyethylene) to 25um LDPE, making an amazing plastic reduction of 60,000kg annually. The new packaging will hit the retailers’ shelves from January 19.
“Working alongside our strategic supply partner, Ultimate, we have delivered significant packaging weight reduction within the Asda Potato Category, reducing cost and making improvements to our supply chain. Overall this is a very positive and pleasing result,” said Darren Surry, senior manager for GNFR and Packaging at IPL.
Alongside this, we have also worked on Asda King Edwards Potatoes to reduce the greening and to extend the shelf life. We have changed the material to a black/white co ex, which has enabled Asda to increase shelf life from 4 days to an incredible 9 days, making a drastic change to reducing food waste. Along with the re-fresh of packaging, Asda also launched a new design in August, so watch out for it in store!
“Continuing to down-gauge to these thicknesses provides a technical challenge, however, with the multilayer formulation we have developed with our suppliers, we have reduced the thickness by 7.5%. With the knowledge we have gained we will continue to reduce further and introduce the technology in other applications,” said Adam Bolsover, technical manager at Ultimate Packaging.
Ultimate and IPL have partnered together for more than 10 years, and we are looking forward to continuing to work together to help Asda achieve their aims and we are excited to announce more achievements within the year.