Omni Group - VentX Unico

Australian fruit and veg pallet wrapping solution wins major international awards

Australian packaging company Omni Group has picked up several international awards for its fruit and vegetable ventilated pallet wrapping solution, just months after being introduced to the market.

Since being released in 2021, VentX Unico has won two Packaging Innovation Design Awards (PIDA) and is now the winner of the World Star Packaging Award in three categories; Packaging Materials & Components, Transit, and Fresh Fruit & Vegetables. This new innovation was the gold award winner for the PIDA ‘Sustainable Packaging Design’ category and the silver award winner for the PIDA ‘Outside Of The Box Design Innovation’ category.

"The awards VentX Unico has received so far speak for itself, highlighting what a revolutionizing packaging innovation it is," Training & Development Group Lead Bruce John said. "This method of ventilated pallet wrapping is the world’s most innovative, effective, and sustainable solution and there is nothing else like it on the market. With entrants from 37 countries in the 2022 WorldStar Global Packaging Awards, the entire team at Omni is incredibly proud to be amongst organizations that are actively participating in reducing our global footprint on the planet. The sheer volume of entries, a staggering 440 in total, with many focusing on ‘sustainability’, this year shows that collectively we are all working towards continuous improvement."

Omni Group says it has had a specific focus for over five years to reduce the amount of plastic waste coming from discarded stretch film, and Mr. John explains that this led to the concept and eventual invention of Unico.

"While the acknowledgment of innovation is very welcome, the outcome of reducing plastic waste by a potential 60 percent is what we are proudest of," Mr. John said. "It’s different. Very, very different. Most other airflow-type products use a thick 30-micron film and a full 500mm wide. Often, the overwraps do not create the airflow required. Unico is designed around three specific concepts. First, we use the top line of resins that enables the product to be only 15-micron thick. Just this creates a 50 percent reduction in plastic waste. Second, with Unico’s 3 bands at 150mm wide, we create a cross band effect on the pallet without compromising the pallet’s load containment. Third, the Omni machines can be set up with multiple programs and with specific settings that help create the banding effect on the pallet. The fact is that, when one uses Unico with an Omni machine, massive cost savings and waste reduction become a reality."

Unico has a worldwide Patent Pending, and so far, Omni Group has received inquiries from growers in Europe on the product. With product trials required and other logistical matters to address, actual exporting to Europe is expected to begin in 2022.

In Australia, there are fruit packers and vegetable growers using Unico in Victoria and trials are being conducted in North Queensland and South Australia with completion early 2022.

"It is going to be important that the major retailers such as Coles, Woolworths, and Aldi get behind the concept. It will tie in well with the greener outlook they have all recently announced publicly," he said. "The cost savings are too big to not consider as a start. The average roll of airflow wrap is $145 each. The cost of a roll of Unico is almost half this amount, and it doesn’t end there. By using less film per pallet wrapped and by the rolls being 400m longer, the actual cost per pallet reduces by almost 60 percent."

Mr. John says that, with continuous improvement on all industries being the focus of all products, the fruit and veg world remains at the forefront of their future product development.

"The Omni Pallet Wrapping Machines are internationally award-winning due to their innovative and cost-effective features with also the intent to reduce plastic waste," he said. "Whilst we cannot comment on current R&D, we can say that 2022 is going to be a big year for Omni Group."

For more information
Bruce John
Omni Group Pty Ltd
Phone: +61 1300 764 963  

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