Mondi-BIOhof collaboration creates coral-conscious plastic-free tomato solution
02 Oct 2020 --- Mondi is collaborating with organic Bavarian farm BIOhof Kirchweidach to design eco-friendly packaging for organic tomatoes sold by Penny supermarkets (REWE Group) in Germany. The 100 percent recyclable Coral Tray mitigates food waste and includes a lid made of recycled corrugated board.
The solution is called “Coral Tray” as it resembles undersea coral and contributes to reducing plastic waste, helping to protect marine life.
“Due to the stability of the packaging, the product is extremely well protected against damage. It also eliminates the risk of the tomatoes being bruised in the shopping basket or on the way home with consumers,” explains Florian Steiner, managing director of BIOhof Kirchweidach.
“The goods breathe through the air holes, which reduces the risk of mold forming. Likewise, condensation cannot form, which often happens with plastic packaging.”
The Coral Tray replaces BIOhof’s previous packaging, which used 2.5 g of plastic film per pack, with a recyclable and plastic-free solution that supports REWE Group’s sustainability goals.
Fully recyclable and renewable
The new packaging is fully recyclable and made of renewable material and recycled corrugated board, which has an average recycling rate of over 80 percent in Europe, Mondi says.
Packaging experts at Mondi Grünburg in Austria worked with BIOhof’s team to design the one-piece corrugated tray with an integrated lid made of lightweight F-Flute.
Both the fluting and outer liner are made of 100 percent recycled material and the KraftTop inner liner ensures it meets food contact requirements.
The new solution can be mechanized for up to six different package sizes and gives BIOhof the option of using it for other small organic produce.
Sustainable shelf appeal
“The Coral Tray offers great shelf appeal,” says Jan Blankiewicz, product innovation manager at Mondi Corrugated Solutions.
“Mondi’s expertise ensured the perfect balance was struck between good consumer view of the product inside, tray stability for stacking during transport and perfect stiffness for mechanization.”
“Penny is pursuing a long-term sustainability strategy in which packaging plays a central role. We do not look at the topic in isolation, but always see it in the context of our fight against food waste,” adds Patricia Brunn, Penny category director fruits, vegetables, flowers & plants.
“We do not do without packaging at the cost of throwing much more food away. I am therefore all the more pleased that we have developed fully recyclable cardboard packaging for the Naturgut Bio tomatoes on the vine.”
Coral Tray results from Mondi’s customer-centric approach, EcoSolutions, which helps customers develop packaging and paper solutions that are sustainable by design.
Research by Mondi and the Aegean University into tomatoes’ shelf life shows that corrugated packaging is most effective for maintaining quality and limiting loss, compared to both plastic and wooden trays.
The study looked at the impact of different packaging materials on both the weight and hardness of tomatoes, and more visible mechanical damage.
In August, UK supermarket Asda launched its first fully recyclable blueberry punnet and film lid, equating to an estimated 5.5 million recyclable packs annually.
Asda also announced a trial on several other fresh punnets, including grapes and tomatoes, after a company survey found that 94 percent of customers said they felt personally responsible for recycling.
Edited by Joshua Poole
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