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“Supermarkets increasingly aware of environmental impact”

On route to more sustainable plastic packaging for fresh produce

Traditionally, the conical sleeves, bags and films for fresh produce are made of plastic (PP and LDPE). That works just fine. The use of covers is a must. It’s necessary for the protection, transport, presentation and longer shelf life of the fresh products. However, the material used for the sleeves is in development. At Mediane, they are working hard to reduce the use of fossil-based packaging wherever possible. This is a step-by-step process.

“There is a very nice solution to reduce the use of plastic: PLA,” says Robert van Laan from Mediane. “PLA is made of corn starch and is fully compostable. It is a beautiful material. It’s so beautiful that customers don’t immediately recognise it as compostable.” After use, the material isn’t always put with the organic waste, but with residual or plastic waste. Both are wrong. Because the PLA sleeves are compostable but not recyclable, it ends up polluting the recycling process.


Robert van der Laan. In front of him a range of Mediane sleeves and bags, which are currently being used globally.
 
Bio-based, recyclable sleeves
Through cooperation with Braskem, Mediane hopes that Green PE will be the basis of fresh produce packaging films and sleeves. Green PE is made of sugar cane and is therefore more than 90 per cent bio-based. Robert: “The difference and advantage over PLA is that Green PE can be recycled with traditional plastics, but it isn’t compostable. In the end, its footprint will be negative and will therefore have a positive impact on the environment. It needs hardly any additives.” The brand name for this material is Greensleeve.

Robert sees a major future for Greensleeve. He calls on retailers to start using packaging material in fresh produce differently: “Evaluate packaging material based on an objective LCA method. And look at the environmental impact on the entire production chain. With the production chain, I mean from production of the raw material to processing and even after the product has been thrown away. Use packaging only when necessary.” Robert has already been hearing about this awareness from supermarkets.

Mediane has all necessary Vincotte and Dincertco certificates for all qualities of films needed for bio-based packaging.

For more information:
Mediane – Flexible Packaging Solutions
Robert van der Laan
P.O. Box 1623
3600 BP Maarssen
The Netherlands
+31 346 285029
www.mediane-flexibles.com
info@mediane.nl

Publication date: 4/25/2017

 


 

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