Creating a suitable alternative to the hard to dispose of expanded polystyrene (EPS) meat trays has been a long running environmental challenge. Pact Group not only met that challenge, but in the process won a Sustainable Packaging & Processing Award at the 2017 Packaging Innovation and Design Awards.
The recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) Moisturelock meat tray previously received a prestigious Green Ribbon Award for environmental waste minimisation in New Zealand. The Green Ribbon Awards recognise the outstanding contributions made by individuals, organisations, businesses and communities to protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s environment.
Pact Group developed, designed and manufactured the rPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) Moisturelock tray for New Zealand retailer Foodstuffs. The collaborative relationship has delivered an innovative and functional pack, which also achieves the retailer's environmental objectives.
The trays comprise 50 percent recycled plastic, and are 100 percent recyclable, being accepted by every kerbside recycling scheme. As they are made from clear plastic, not black, they can be easily separated at recycling centres.
The real innovation, however, lies in the tray’s ability to capture fluid in the base. The little ‘dimples’ in the bottom of the tray hold the fluid there even when tilted or turned upside down, meaning customers don’t have to worry about any meat fluids sullying their shopping or having to remove and dispose of soaker pads prior to preparing their meat.
The labour efficiencies achieved through removing the soaker pad equate to approximately 70,000 hours for the meat processor. By moving from EPS trays to rPET Moisturelock, the equivalent of 14 Olympic size swimming pools full of polystyrene are saved from landfill every year and the avoidance of the cost to the community equates to $1.8 million per annum.
At PIDA Pact Group was also awarded the custom EcodEX packaging environmental assessment developed by Empauer valued at $10,000. EcodEX, which is certified to ISO standards, allows product developers to conduct a sustainability assessment of a product and packaging, based on the evaluation of carbon footprint, water use, energy use, land use and other criteria. EcodEX enables non LCA experts the ability to conduct a thorough sustainability assessment enabling better design decisions.
Implementing the acclaimed EcodEX assessment will provide Pact Group with a reputable third-party environmental evaluation of the product package. The report can be used for internal purposes to better design products and lead to higher returns or as a valuable sales tool in B2B presentations with key buyers.