Two Austrian brands are switching to 80% paper-based food trays for their deli products. The new trays reduce plastic usage and the paper part of the tray is fully recyclable in Europe, according to the packaging manufacturer.
Dairy products company SalzburgMilch and organic brand Spar Pure Nature adopted the trays, made by packaging and paper manufacturer Mondi, for their 175g packets of sliced cheese. Called Performing, the line of shallow trays has a thin plastic coating that easily separates from a paper tray that is 100% recyclable across Europe, Mondi said.
SalzburgMilch expects to save approximately 40 metric tons of plastic annually by transitioning from rigid plastic trays to the new paper-based ones, the packaging manufacturer estimated.
“The product is made locally in Austria, meaning transportation is kept to a minimum and the overall carbon footprint is reduced,” Mondi noted, adding that the base paper for the tray is made primarily from locally-sourced wood, and the trays themselves are processed and coated in Zeltweg.
Originally released in 2019, the original Performing packaging range could be recycled in Austria, but the paper part of latest version is recyclable throughout Europe, the company said. Mondi added that, compared to standard plastic trays, these paper-based trays result in a 70% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
Finding sustainable packaging solutions for fresh products remains a challenge for food companies that have made commitments to reduce plastic. The Austrian brands say that the new trays support their environmental goals.
“We have already saved over 100 metric tons of plastic through numerous measures in the last three years and we are not resting on our laurels, which is why we have made further improvements to our new paper trays,” said Andreas Gasteiger, managing director of SalzburgMilch.