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Meat packing giant slashes plastic and CO2 usage by over half Meat, Fish & Poultry

Meat aisle in a supermarket

Aldi, Germany, has introduced new packaging for their range of fresh meat, which will save more than half of the plastic and CO2 it currently uses.

The new packaging infrastructure, which was implemented by Aldi’s supplier and German meat giant, Tönnies; uses 70% less plastic than traditional tray packaging, cuts 80% off transport costs and saves 60% on CO2 emissions.

According to Clemens Tönnies, Managing Partner of the company: “The flow wrap packaging is nothing less than a packaging revolution for the meat world.”

His company is serious about its sustainability strategy. “Although the changeover to this new system is costly, we are prepared to invest tens of millions of euro” Tönnies declares.

Tönnies has started with minced meat as the first stage of their strategy and commitment to reduce the amount of plastic packaging on their products. Tackling other products, such as pork steaks, bratwurst and goulash, is next on the list.

The Fuji Alpha 8 flow wrapping system saves up to 70% plastic per packaging unit. In addition, the new packaging consists of 100% recyclable film. Its weight is estimated at 4.6g for a 500g pack of meat.

There is also a saving of up to 80% in transport costs, which reduces CO2 emissions by more than 60%.

The Fuji FW3710B fully stainless steel Alpha 8 flow wrapper, with its automated infeed, accepts the minced meat directly from the outfeed of the mincer, and with no operator intervention, produces hermetically-sealed packs, which are a necessity when packaging perishable products that benefit from MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) to extend the shelf life and also retain the colour of the meat. Thanks to MAP, the packages are stable, stackable and according to Tönnies, can be used for the entire range.

The company is in talks with other customers. “When the demand from retailers is there, we will con-vert further lines, making a contribution to solving sustainability issues” Tönnies says.

Paramount Packaging Systems has been instrumental in implementing such solutions in the UK. Aaron Bessell, Sales Director, comments: “As the environment becomes an even more important purchasing factor for consumers, it’s so important for retailers and suppliers alike to implement more eco-friendly packaging for their products. With the introduction of the new plastic packaging tax, we expect to see more businesses, particularly in the UK, move towards more sustainable options”.