Panvita Group is adopting the DS Smith Easy Bowl corrugated cardboard tray in a bid to lower plastic consumption across the Ave meat product line by over 1.6 million pieces of packaging every year.

The Easy Bowl was developed alongside MULTIVAC and is laminated with a thin plastic layer and sealed with flexible materials. Designed to replace up to 85% of plastic with lightweight cardboard, it is made from recycled paper and can be recycled at end-of-life.

DS Smith recommends that the tray be applied to meat, fish, and prepared meal products due to its barrier resilience, which is expected to improve both product safety and shelf life – reportedly equalling that of conventional modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) for fresh food. It adds that the structure is both light and rigid, thus lowering the amount of plastic used in the packaging and enabling easy separation of components for recycling.

A range of sizes, shapes, and constructions are available for the Easy Bowl in a bid to provide an adaptable solution for existing production equipment and prevent disruption to production efficiency for manufacturers making the transition.

The Ave meat branded products are the first of Panvita’s products to utilize the Easy Bowl solution. It is being displayed on advertising billboards in Slovenia and on shelves in stores.

“DS Smith Slovenia is ready for a broader implementation of the DS Smith Easy Bowl not only in Panvita, but also in the Slovenian and European markets,” says Michal Zawistowski, general manager at DS Smith Slovenia. “We see DS Smith Easy Bowl as a sustainable packaging solution for a wide range of meat and other food products that are currently packed in styrofoam or plastic trays.

“We’re talking about millions of pieces of plastic packaging that could be replaced with sustainable corrugated cardboard solutions and reducing plastic consumption by 85%, depending on the dimensions and version of the packaging.

“DS Smith Easy Bowl is setting new standards in the packaging industry in partnership with Panvita. We are proud to contribute to a more sustainable future as a part of our company-wide purpose and Now & Next sustainability strategy. We are proud to offer solutions that are technically sophisticated, adaptable, and sustainable.”

Toni Balažič, director of the Panvita Group, continues: “At Panvita, we strive for a sustainable future at every step of our production. With our excellent collaboration with DS Smith and the introduction of new packaging, we have taken an important step forward in our commitment to reducing environmental impacts.

“This DS Smith Easy Bowl innovation aligns perfectly with our goals, such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, increasing the procurement of sustainably produced raw materials, and using at least 75% recycled packaging.

“We believe that with this action, we not only fulfill our sustainability commitments, but that we also encourage the entire industry to handle resources more responsibly and better protect the environment. With this action, we confirm our commitment to sustainability and pave the way for a healthier and more sustainable food chain.”

It is hoped that the DS Smith Easy Bowl will address increasing consumer interest in cutting down on ‘problem plastics’ in packaging. Research commissioned by DS Smith implies that 50% of European consumers are making more conscious efforts to separate and recycled waste than five years ago, and 50% are actively looking for products made from recycled materials. 62% of consumers also claimed to be willing to pay more for packaging containing less or no plastic.

DS Smith’s work with Panvita Group follows its collaboration with Eat Happy to replace 1,250 tonnes of single-use plastic every year with its fully recyclable, high-barrier trays and lids for sushi products.

Additionally, Holmen Iggesund has released a 30-gsm version of its fibre-based, PET-coated ready-made meal trays expected to eliminate over 25% of plastic content compared to its previous design; and Sabert Corporation Europe’s multifunctional Tray2Go is anticipated to serve as a fully recyclable packaging solution for chilled food-to-go, confectionary, and baking products.

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