Plastic Fruit Pack Redesigned into a Sustainable Carton

plastic fruit packaging


The seismic, global shift towards more sustainable packaging industry and the power of the “ban single-use plastic” movement is demonstrated by the simple example we bring you in this post.

An article on the Mayr-Melnhof website explains how a large Austrian fruit and vegetable importer and retailer completely re-designed their plastic clamshell packaging for their 2-packs of avocados and mangoes. Mayr-Melnhof is an Austrian cartonboard manufacturer. Mayr-Melnhof was involved in the redesign of the packaging as the quality and properties of the new carton needed to match the protective properties of the plastic clamshell packaging.

(Note: If you are looking for a comprehensive guide on how to change from plastic packaging to sustainable carton, read our blog post here)

A Move from Plastic to Cardboard Packaging

There are no images of the old plastic clam-shell packaging shown in the original article but we assume it was similar to the clear plastic packaging for fruit that we see on our supermarket shelves in Ireland.

carton pack made of sustainable carton 1

Balancing Sustainability and Protecting the Fruit

The following extract from the Mayr- Melnhof article shows their understanding of the above challenge: “Finding the balance between sustainability and product protection is particularly difficult when it comes to fruits and vegetables: The packaging is continuously exposed to moisture and temperature fluctuations, from the initial packing process all the way to presentation on the store shelf. Cartonboard packaging for this type of application must, therefore, guarantee the greatest possible stability, tear resistance, and safety”

carton pack made of sustainable carton 2

New Carton Needed to be Suitable for Hand Packing the Fruit

The mangoes and avocados were packed by hand so the new carton needed to be strong and quick to handle. The new cartons were delivered to the customer as flat cut-outs rather than pre-formed plastic shells, therefore, the packaging material requires a fraction of the space during transport, which saved a lot of transport traffic.

The new cartons protect the fruits throughout the life-cycle but are fully sustainable, recyclable and contain zero plastic.

Co-operation to Find a Sustainable Packaging Solution

To bring a project such as this to a successful conclusion requires a lot of cooperation of all partners involved in the supply chain. The article states: “Often, cooperation is what generates innovations that optimise packaging solutions in terms of functionality and eco-friendliness – in this case, it was the close cooperation between the retailer and Mayr-Melnhof Karton”

If you would like to discuss a packaging sustainability project, please let us know on 01 847 0044 or sales@dollard-packaging.

You can read the full article here.

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