Resource-saving and sustainable reusable packaging solutions are more in demand than ever. According to Michaël Cibois of Gamma Wopla/Smart Flow, many companies were accordingly looking for reusable and recyclable packaging solutions instead of single-use cartons. "With our plastic containers, we can flexibly respond to various requirements and wishes. Thus, on the one hand, the CO2 footprint can be noticeably reduced in the transport and storage sector, while on the other hand, many materials and thus also costs can be saved. Our goal for this is to obtain ISO 4001 as soon as possible."
Michaël Cibois at Fruit Logistica 2023
Up to 80 percent space saving
The plastic containers from Gamma Wopla/Smart Flow are mainly used for products such as grapes, salads, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and asparagus. "In the Netherlands, our containers are in high demand, especially for eggplants, lettuce, and for peaches. The containers are equipped with a reinforced bottom and can easily carry 20 to 25 kg."
"Customers are looking for reusable solutions and options that make storage and transportation easier for them. That's where our foldable, nestable, and stackable bins come in," explains Cibois. "Our two-tone containers can save up to 80 percent of space. It's also worth highlighting that the bins are very easy to wash. Dirt, bacteria, and other residues don't stand a chance with the plastic material."
However, he says the two-tone containers are not yet as common in Germany. "In this country, it is mainly our nestable and foldable reusable plastic containers that are used, as well as the EURO standard boxes for tomatoes and berries, which stack well. In Poland, we also have some customers who use the containers for their berry production."
Gamma-Wopla/Smart Flow's two-color twist-stack plastic containers, which are both nestable...
... As well as turn-stackable.
Uniform complete solutions
Furthermore, the company offers complete uniform solutions. "The containers and pallets are marketed together with appropriate lids as a unit, which can be fixed on a tractor or other means of transport. This ensures that the goods are not transported undamaged. Thus, the transported goods remain protected from dust, heavy rain, birds, etc." The latest container, measuring 600 x 400 x 260 mm, was manufactured for at the request of Picvert, a French vegetable production company.
Recycled pallet cycle
"Plastic is a great material, also in terms of recycling. Gamma Wopla has been a pioneer in recyclable, returnable containers for over ten years. We are happy to customize our containers upon customer request for sufficient quantities according to their needs. As we are a medium-sized family business, we can act very flexibly in this area. Depending on the requirements, we are able to fulfill customer-specific solutions within as little as six months."
"We gladly buy back damaged pallets and plastic boxes from our customers to reuse them for the production of new pallets and containers. Plastic can be used for years. Wooden pallets cannot be repaired. And plastic box pallets and pallets can be 100 % recycled," Cibois explains.
It is true that Gamma-Wopla also had to contend with high material and energy costs. But that didn't dampen demand. "I don't think all the increases are reflected in the selling prices of the products. However, the price will definitely not reach the pre-pandemic level."
"While customers may not invest more in new products per se. And, according to their requirements, need greater flexibility as well as modular solutions for a variety of applications. Our products are of industrial quality and are also suitable for heavy product groups. The lion's share of our plastic containers in the fruit and vegetable sector has so far been used for lettuce and grapes. The largest market for us is currently still France," concludes Cibois.
For more information:
Rue de la Royenne 78
7700 Mouscron, Belgien
Tel.: +32 56 85 20 85