AR Packaging has developed a fibre-based ice cream box with an integrated lid to help Picard, a French producer of frozen food, replace its plastic tubs – a move expected to save 16.5 tonnes of plastic per year.

The new ice cream box contains more than 95% cartonboard, which is based on renewable fibres from sustainably managed forests. A thin inner layer of polyethylene (PE) seeks to ensure product protection and pack integrity.

“Our main motivation is to find alternatives to plastic packaging when the product and its environment allow it. We were looking for an innovative cartonboard solution, which would allow us to find harmony in the complete range,” says Gilles Lapique, project manager for packaging at Picard.

“Our desire was to adapt a box-style casket, easily automated by our packers and guaranteeing all the functionality of an equivalent plastic packaging.”

The development team at AR Packaging’s plant in Cholet, France, took on the challenge and sought to develop an easy-to-use alternative to the 500ml plastic tub. The box is supplied to the different ice cream producers for Picard as an erected tray with an integrated lid and re-closable option.

According to AR, product leakage is prevented thanks to a smart construction with a special flap. The lid can be provided as two options; either to be formed manually after filling or to be formed mechanically in the filling and packaging line at the customer facility.

“The new ice cream packaging for Picard is one more example of how we challenge the conventional and develop more sustainable solutions without compromising product quality, consumer convenience, and industrial efficiency,” comments Pierre Guillebeau, sales director for food and consumer goods at AR Packaging.

“This fibre-based packaging can be used for many other products than ice cream too, for example, frozen foods and chilled ready meals, and support brand owners to substantially reduce its carbon footprint from packaging.”