Packaging innovation is the key to creating a circular economy

Manufacturers and retailers are turning to innovation to find sustainable solutions to replace single-use plastic. One such solution is the locally made Freshpact range of paper trays, developed by Mpact, a South African packaging manufacturer and recycler. This relatively new concept of fresh produce grocery packaging has offered shoppers and brand owners an environmentally sustainable alternative to single-use plastic while helping to build a circular economy.

A linear economy involves taking resources, making a product, and disposing of it after it has been used. A circular economy, on the other hand, is a pattern of production and consumption that involves sharing, renting, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products in order to maximize value and minimize waste. This business model empowers communities and boosts the local economy. For Mpact’s products, this means that what cannot be reused must be collected, recycled and transformed into new products.

Made from 100% FSC certified food grade paper, Freshpact trays can be reused and recycled after use. Freshpact trays offer players in the fresh produce market the attributes of traditional trays with the added benefit of being biodegradable, curbside recyclable and, therefore, sustainable.

“Our recyclable trays contribute to the reduction of single-use plastics, create a circular economy and go a long way towards achieving our customers’ sustainability goals,” says Wouter Heunis, Innovation and Technical Lead at Mpact Corrugated.

“The distinguishing factors include the brandability of our products, our protective coatings which are moisture and grease resistant, and the rigidity of the trays, all making them ideal for enduring transport and cold storage,” he continues.

“Since introducing the range in October 2019, we have significantly expanded our range and have actively promoted sustainability by converting plastic to paper. To date, these efforts have saved approximately 1200m3 of landfill space, an area as large as 480 Olympic swimming pools.

“Through our nationwide footprint, we supply South Africa’s largest premium retail group with 100% recyclable packaging for its range of exotic tomatoes. We have supplied the tomato trays and trays for two consecutive years and launched the new 2021 Kraft Herb jar line. Our packaging has been well received by our customers,” says Heunis. is to prevent seven tons of single-use plastic from ending up in landfill every year.”

For more information:
Penny Ntuli
Tel: 011 994 5547
Email: [email protected]

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