ABP introduces reduced plastic packaging

ABP Food Group, the largest beef processor in the UK and Ireland, has introduced a new sustainable packaging for a number of its European customers which will see a reduction of 70% of the amount of plastics used to package its meat products.

The new packaging includes recyclable card coupled with thin film of peel away plastic. The development does not impact on the shelf life of the product.

The packaging is being introduced on ABP’s Goodherdsmen organic meat products and will extend to other product ranges in the near future.

“We have placed a very strong emphasis on our sustainable strategy across all our supply chain processes including energy use, water consumption, renewable energy and packaging,” said John Purcell, managing director of Goodherdsmen, ABP’s Organic division. “This very important work is ongoing and we are now pleased to announce the introduction of this new packaging for German customers which we hope to extend to other products shortly.”

As well as the reduction of 70% in plastic, other attributes of the new packaging include the fact it is 10g lighter than the plastic tray it will replace; the card used is sourced from PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified forests; the plastic film is easy to remove from card for recycling; the card is recyclable with paper and board; and significantly for the consumer, the packaging has better presentation and is more attractive packaging.

ABP have also incorporated a euro hook hole into the card design, allowing retailers to “hang” the packs in retail fridges. Hanging the packs rather than traditional shelving allows better circulation of chilled air, more contemporary merchandising techniques and better planogram design.

In Ireland, ABP this year became a founder member of Plastics Action Alliance, a collaboration of nine of Ireland’s leading agricultural processing and food businesses that have come together to make the plastic packaging in their respective supply chains more sustainable. The alliance includes market leaders from Ireland’s beef, poultry, pork, lamb, fruit, vegetables and packed salad sectors.

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