Just in time for IFFA 2019, the world’s most important trade show for the meat industry, SEALPAC launched eTray®: a cardboard tray with plastic inlay that contains up to 40% less plastic compared to common MAP trays. The concept provides an outstanding solution for sustainable packaging of meat and convenience products.

“Go sustainable!” was SEALPAC’s striking motto at this year’s IFFA. With eTray®, the company introduced yet another innovative packaging solution that saves precious resources. As such, the packaging specialist is completely in line with the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, which demands more environmental protection and reduction of plastic waste. Increased recycling and the development of more sustainable packaging solutions should become primary targets for the industry. According to the latest regulations, all plastic food packaging in the EU must be recyclable by 2030. Here, the ability to separate individual packaging components has therefore become extremely important. Plastic materials for vacuum or modified atmosphere packaging, especially in the fresh meat segment, are essential to pack these products in the most hygienic way and according to the requirements of the industry. To generate more sustainable packaging, our motto with regard to plastic can therefore only be “as much as necessary, as little as possible”.

Less plastic, more communication

With eTray®, SEALPAC has developed a solution that fully meets the market requirements. The trays are pre-fabricated by means of a special thermoforming process, during which the thin plastic inner layer is added to the cardboard carrier. This layer purely serves as a sealing and barrier medium. After use, the cardboard carrier and plastic inlay are easily separated. The solution results in significantly less waste, while allowing for sustainable disposal and recycling. Based on one of the most common PP tray sizes in Western Europe, 190 x 144 mm, you will save up to 40% in plastic. Both the inside and outside walls of the cardboard tray are suitable for highquality printing, hence providing plenty of space for branding and design. There is the additional option of integrating seethrough windows for an enhanced view of the product.

Absolutely reliable

Owing to the highly stable, uninterrupted sealing edge, each tray is hermetically sealed under MAP on all of SEALPAC’s A-series traysealers, hence ensuring the safest packaging process. The innovative eTray® is just as reliable as a conventional plastic tray, suitable for denesting and allows for smooth transport across the packaging line. The system offers high-quality meat, seafood, poultry and convenience products optimal protection whilst ensuring an eyecatching appearance at retail.

Packaging industry takes responsibility

When it comes to careful use of resources, the packaging industry has already made considerable progress in the past decade. As Marcel Veenstra, Marketing & Communications Manager at Sealpac International, explains: “Once again referring to the popular tray size of 190 x 144 mm for modified atmosphere packaging of fresh meat, such trays used to weigh around 18 grams in the year 2004. In close cooperation with leading tray manufacturers, we have already been able to reduce the weight to  just below 10 grams in 2018. With the launch of eTray®, we are once again achieving a significant plastic reduction that sets new standards.”