Industry News

STI Group develops recyclable packaging range for fruit and vegetables

by | Mar 20, 2024

STI Group, an expert in manufacturing food packaging, have been able to develop a range of pure paper-based solutions that are suitable for packaging fruit and vegetables. This is an excellent development for many fruit and vegetable retailers, as there is now a plastic-free packaging option on the market, which can also be tailored to the particular product.

This is an excellent development within the packaging industry, as supermarkets and their providers require their fruit, vegetables and sensitive and perishable products to be well protected when being transported to the shop and then on to the consumer’s home. Before this breakthrough, the packaging that was used was mostly plastic and consequently this led to a lot of plastic waste. STI’s recent accomplishment, involves the creation of a range of trays that are specifically designed to be suitable packaging for different types of fruits, whilst also being manufactured in a way that makes them totally plastic free.

STI Group followed their ‘from plastic to fibre’ philosophy during the creation of these fibre-based trays, which have been manufactured with the intention of replacing all entirely plastic packaging or packaging that is manufactured from a mix of cardboard and film. The first benefit of this packaging design is that the innovative cardboard and corrugated trays design, offer large communication area, which is able to be attractively printed through the use of flexographic or offset techniques.

The first part of the project that STI Group tackled, was ensuring that any inks or coatings that were used on the packaging were safe to use with food, this meant that the inks and coatings had to be migration resistant. The next step was to find a way to make the eco-friendly packaging sustainable and in order to do this the company completely avoided the use of plastics, instead they decided to use water-soluble lacquers, as well as finer flute profiles, lighter weight materials and other alternative materials.

This packaging design follows STI Group’s Circular Innovation programme which provides a holistic approach towards innovative and sustainable packaging design. The company’s packaging solutions can be compared to the Sustainability Scorecard which is used to compare different packaging options and it also works through highlighting any opportunities that could help to optimize sustainability.

As well as the benefits previously mentioned, this new packaging solution created by the STI Group is very sustainable and it has reduced carbon dioxide emissions from production and transport. Now that these packages have been developed, they are machine-assembled through the use of a large logistics provider. They are then delivered to Dutch fruit and vegetable growers at which point they are filled with produce and then proceed to be shipped to retailers based throughout Europe.

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