Packaging in Egypt is going to have a lot less plastic if it’s up to one Egyptian packing manufacturer. The company has managed to remove about 85 per cent of the plastic in their grape packaging and have seen solid results during the strawberry season as well. Overall, 2021 has already been a better year than 2020 was.
According to Mohamed Ali, founder and CEO of Egyptian packaging company Freshdeal, 2021 has been a much better year for sustainable packaging: “It has been a remarkable year and it’s definitely better than last year, when the Covid-pandemic was causing a hard impact on us all and forcing everyone to pause their work and go into quarantine. We noted an increased demand in packaging, specifically sustainable and environment friendly. We are pleased to see more awareness in our market toward food safety, especially when it comes to unpacked food. Also, it’s worth noting that that our market growth was not only limited to the agricultural export sector but also the local market where food stores are finally starting to expel plastic.”
Their packaging has gotten more attention in the grape market this year, as the company managed to remove as much plastic from their packaging as it could, Ali explains. “The new packaging for grapes saves at least 85% of plastic, as it is made of strong, moisture-resistant paper and printed with water-based ink. The packaging contains a small window made of bioplastic. Our packaging solutions ensure ventilation patterns in the design which allow for Optimum aeration of the grapes. The packaging and designs are fully customizable, unlike plastic packaging that only allows a printed sticker.
"All sides of our paper punnets can display unique patterns, logos or text, allowing companies and farms to promote their brands and stand out. We noticed a tremendous need to develop innovative eco-friendly packaging that meets the global demand as well as the local market. FreshDeal produced more than one million punnets and paper bags for producers and exporters of Egyptian grapes.”
Next to the grape exporters using the packaging that Freshdeal provides, the packaging is also used for the strawberry season: “We were lucky to have the chance to work with some of Egypt's biggest fresh strawberry exporters. We provided them with packages of 250 grams and 400 grams that are completely free of plastic, as it is characterized by the presence of protrusions at its base to protect the strawberries from vibrations and shocks during the transportation and shipping process.” Ali states.
Freshdeal did have a rough year in 2020 though, but according to Ali the situation that was a result from Covid has been improved. “We were greatly affected by the emergence of Covid 19. the situation was really foggy with the general closure all over the world. This eventually caused less demand on our packaging supplies and it also badly damaged the agricultural export sector in Egypt. Thankfully the situation improved and we found a great demand on paper bags during the grape season from our clients.”
“We continue to strive and thrive in the eco-friendly world. So far, we have produced paper bags that can carry mushrooms, potato, onions, and citrus as well as punnets that carry many fruits and vegetables that include berries, cherry tomato, herbs and more for several food store chains. We are privileged to work hand in hand with Kray8, a creative Egyptian marketing agency on developing innovative packaging designs. Lastly, I would like to invite anyone in the agricultural field to reach out to us and collaborate on expelling single use plastic from our market for the sake of a better world.” Ali concludes.
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