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Meat packing giant slashes plastic and CO2 usage by over 50% with the Fuji Alpha 8 flow wrapping system

We have been assisting our Fuji colleagues in Europe to introduce a new packaging infrastructure to Aldi (Germany)’s range of fresh meat. This innovative solution will save Aldi Germany more than 50% of the plastic and CO2 it has historically used for its packaging.

With our experience built on a previous installation in the UK for packing minced lamb, a number of new packaging systems have been implemented by Aldi’s supplier and German meat giant, Tönnies.

The new systems use 70% less plastic than traditional tray packaging, reduces transport costs by 80% and minimises CO2 emissions by 60%.

Aldi (Germany) is serious about its sustainability strategy, so “although the changeover to this new system is costly, we are prepared to invest tens of millions of euros…to help solve sustainability issues for our customers” Tönnies declares.

Due to the unique way Fuji and Fuji’s distributor network communicate sharing innovations and successes, it is great to see the information being used by our colleagues to advise their customers on how to improve. The first step for Tönnies was to look at minced meat to meet their goal to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used for their products. Tackling other products, such as pork steaks, bratwurst and goulash, is next on the list

The industry-leading Fuji Alpha 8 flow wrapping system was central to the new sustainable infrastructure because of its ability to help save 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% on 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.

Tönnies is now in talks with other customers to reduce the amount of plastic packaging used on their products. “When the demand from retailers is there, we will convert further lines, making a further contribution to solving sustainability issues” Tönnies says.

We have been instrumental in implementing similar solutions in the UK. “As the environment becomes an ever 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 plastic packaging tax, we expect to see more businesses, particularly in the UK, move towards more sustainable options” says Aaron Bessell.

According to Clemens Tönnies, Managing Partner of the company, the flow wrap packaging made possible by the remarkable Fuji Alpha 8 flow wrapping system “is nothing less than a packaging revolution for the meat world.”

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