Can packaging mean more product shelf life? | Blog | Krehalon

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Can packaging mean more product shelf life?

  • Approximately 1.3 billion tons of food thrown away globally/year.1
  • Equates to circa 4.4 Gt CO2 emissions produced.
  • 0.25 million tons food waste could be saved by extending product shelf life by just one day.

Since the Ellen MacArthur Foundation launched its ‘New Plastics Economy’ initiative in 2016, and its reports: ‘Rethinking Future of Plastics’ and ‘Catalysing Action’ captured worldwide headlines, an ongoing dialogue has emerged around how to optimise the life of plastic and how to generate a circular economy whereby plastic can be recycled and not just thrown away.

Food packaging companies have been in discussions with major retailers to design packaging that either reduces the amount of plastic used or is ready to be recycled when governments develop the possibility for household recycling infrastructure to include the recycling of food trays and their lids, in the vocabulary of the consumer – or what the industry calls flexible packaging.

To this end, Krehalon is actively involved as a member of CEFLEX, UK Plastics Pact and RECOUP. There are already a number of products in our portfolio that use thinner plastic packaging whilst maintaining retailers’ expectations and requirements for product shelf life and presentation. The development team is now looking how to improve the recyclability potential of future packaging taking into account the CEFLEX D4ACE guidelines and the interest of future packaging containing recycled content.

1 Source: UN Environment Programme Worldwide Food Waste key findings

For supermarkets/retailers: our Shrink Bag Replacement (SBR™) – patented Formshrink® and Flovac™ film solutions are of interest:

  • Automated solutions offering more precise material-to-product ratio.
  • Significant material usage savings.
  • Superior operational efficiency through cost reduction.

For fresh meat packers and exporters: our high barrier Secondary Seal (SSL™) materials have proven to deliver shelf-life extension of up to 150 days for some fresh meat applications:

  • Minimises purge and delays microbial spoilage = prolonged shelf life. 
  • Enables broader geographical distribution.
  • Minimal food wastage.

The video below demonstrates how a Krehalon shrink barrier vacuum pack compares with other retail packaging options. It shows meat packaged in a PP tray and cling film typically has a shelf life of 4 days, and the packaging weighs 20g. If meat is packed in MAP packaging, the shelf life is extended to 6 days. Better still is a vacuum skin pack where meat product can be preserved 21 days. However, if using a Krehalon shrink barrier vacuum pack, the shelf life of the product is extended to 35 days and the packaging only weighs 4g. Not only that, but since the meat is vacuum packed, the flavour stays in the meat so tastes better as well when cooked because no juices leak into the traditionally packed tray. 

A WIN for the retailer - longer product shelf life.

A WIN for the consumer - meat tastes better.

A WIN for the environment reduced food waste = reduced carbon footprint + less plastic packaging thrown away.

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