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Sealing sugarcane trays Down Under

News // Fresh Produce Packaging

Tomato was the first ready-to-eat soup to be packaged in a can by Campbell’s back in 1895. The label said: “This soup is made from the celebrated ‘Beefsteak Tomato’.”

So, it is perhaps appropriate that tomatoes – this time the Sweet Berry Truss variety – are the first produce to be packaged in a new sugarcane tray protected by our K PEEL printed lidding film.

Like varieties of tomato, there are numerous alternatives to plastic that are being used for the presentation and packaging of food. However, the sugarcane tray was chosen by the Costa Group for Woolworths in Australia due to it being “biodegradable, certified home compostable, and carbon neutral”.

And, compared to previous trays, it will reduce plastic usage by more than 90% for Costa, Australia's leading grower, packer, and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables.

The food packaging concept is the result of collaboration between Costa, BioPak (market leaders in compostable foodservice packaging), Proseal Australia (who design and manufacture sealing equipment), and KM Packaging.

BioPak's certified home compostable tray - made from reclaimed and rapidly renewable sugarcane pulp - is combined with our K PEEL printed lidding film, and heat-sealed using a Proseal GT1s-MAX automatic in-line sealer.

The initiative is a first for Costa and for Woolworths within their tomato category.

Excellent example of a plastic reduction project

Kylie McKnight, Marketing Manager Tomato Category at Costa, said: “We had already moved from a clamshell punnet to top-seal with the aim of reducing plastic. So the next step was to investigate a more sustainable alternative. 

“We had seen some pulp products in other markets so worked with BioPak on their sugarcane product.”

The lidding film we have supplied is macro-perforated (hole-punched) to ensure the product can respire and that shelf-life is optimised. After use, it can be returned to Woolworths for recycling.

John Shipley, our Business Unit Director for the Australian Market, said: “Costa’s initiative is an excellent example of a plastic reduction project. KM is delighted to support Costa’s desire to mix up the tomato category, offering alternative packaging formats and differentiation on-shelf.”

KM Packaging has a range of suitable lidding film for all major types of food trays found on the global market today. And we are collaborating with other innovative companies to ascertain how new technologies and materials can transfer into lidding films. 

Our aim is always to ensure you always have the most suitable lidding film. Just as we were able to do for the Costa Group in Australia.

For more information on our solutions for fresh produce packaging click here >> 

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