Demand and the market move towards more sustainable packaging

There are sustainable trends that continue to grow steadily. Eco-friendly packaging, ideally biodegradable, for example, continues to be in great demand on the German and European markets. We spoke to Thomas Däbel, director of the German packaging specialist SERWO LLC, about reducing the use of plastic in fruit and vegetable packaging.

At Fruit Logistica last year, the SERWO team was present at the Dinopol stand.

“For trays, shopping bags and other packaging, cardboard and wood pulp, generally materials that rejoin nature, are gaining more popularity. This is where our focus lies, ”says Däbel. "This high demand is creating a capacity bottleneck in the European paper market."

Increasingly, according to Däbel, paper is being used for packaging fruit and vegetables, particularly in Germany, which is also noticeable in production. “Fortunately, we anticipate this development. We are well connected and can continue to supply our customers without any problems. But in general, we are noticing that delivery times are getting longer and that there are inevitably price adjustments due to the huge demand.

Pilot project: sealable wood pulp trays
SERWO will focus in 2021 on sealable wood pulp trays, which are already being tested in several producing companies and retailers food. “We had to do a lot of tests, test different materials and machines, and adapt to the requirements of the retailers. Processing speed is very important for sealing. '

The end result was a joint effort with the fruit and vegetable company Frutania: "Together with Frutania, we optimized the design of the wood pulp tray and it is now ready for the market."

«Have a partner with this experience in marketing it was very important to us. Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries or blackberries, are our test products. In the end, we achieved a sealing speed comparable to PET sealing, thanks to a special film that adheres very well permanently to the wood pulp. ' The first trials with organic blueberries in 125g trays started last year in the first supermarkets, and the sealable wood pulp trays have also been on the shelves of several trial outlets since the end of 2020. «The tests were carried out are currently evaluating and naturally we hope that the product will be well received by the retailers and consumers.

"The retailers they are joining "

Däbel is confident that it will be able to establish new, more sustainable packaging solutions: “We know it works and that there is demand. What is needed now is its adoption in supermarkets.

Each retailers now they have the opportunity to be innovative: “We notice that consumers are increasingly aware of their impact on the environment. The entire chain is responding to this development, from producers to retailers«. A major challenge, however, lies in the price. “Of course, a tub of wood pulp is a little more expensive, but plastic prices are also skyrocketing. The price premium for more sustainable materials is becoming more relative. Ultimately, it is a commitment to change, you just have to take the leap.

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