Sainsbury’s has begun using new airtight food cartons claimed to reduce plastic content by 85% compared with widely used alternatives.
Developed by sustainable packaging firm RAP for use by Sainsbury’s Moy Park meat and poultry distribution, the cartons provide an alternative to fully plastic food trays and are claimed to remove virtually all oxygen from inside, extending product shelf life and helping to maintain food freshness.
The packaging is suitable for a wide range of chilled meals and salads and constructed from lightweight board and laminate film, making it also 20% lighter than standard equivalents, according to RAP.
Sainsbury’s is using the trays in its supermarket stores for its Lightly Dusted Chicken Mini Fillets, and Oat & Seed Mini Chicken Fillets.
“We continue to work hard to ensure our packaging is as recyclable as can be and, as part of this, we are always looking at alternative materials to help us in our efforts,” said a Sainsbury’s spokeswoman.
“This is an exciting step for us and plays an important role in our long-term strategy to reduce the environmental impact of our own-brand packaging.”
RAP’s CEO Graham Williams said: “Our partnership with Moy Park has enabled us to make a huge impact in the food packaging industry by introducing the sector’s first hermetically sealed carton food tray. It is part of our Removing Avoidable Plastics movement, which responds directly to the global plastic pollution problem, as it has 85% less plastic that other alternatives available in the market.”
RAP founder Julian Money added: “The plastic waste phenomenon is something today’s food manufacturing businesses cannot afford to ignore, and we’re actively working to reduce the amount of plastic that enters supply chains. We see this as something that will make a lasting, positive impact for our environments and future generations.”