Star Quality: PaperSeal™ Tray Achieves Worldwide Recognition for Its Outstanding Contribution to Sustainability

PaperSeal™, our barrier-lined alternative to modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), vacuum skin packaging (VSP) and top-seal plastic trays.

In 2021, our barrier-lined alternative to traditional plastic food trays that was developed in partnership with tray sealing specialist G.Mondini Spa, scooped up six major award wins across Europe, North America, Japan and Australia, including two honours that praised PaperSeal™’s exceptional contribution to sustainability. This means PaperSeal has now been recognised worldwide as a sustainable alternative to modified atmosphere packaging (MAP), vacuum skin packaging (VSP) and top-seal plastic trays, reducing plastic by up to 90 percent and delivering the functionality and performance that brands and retailers require.

With consumer sentiment for the environment at an all-time high and regulatory taxes on single-use plastic soon to be in force within Europe, Graphic Packaging are best placed to support our customers in achieving their sustainability goals for 2022 and beyond.

Saving the Planet

As a leader in fibre-based consumer packaging, we are committed to protecting and preserving the planet with our Vision 2025 goals. Among others, our aim to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water usage, energy consumption, LDPE usage, and to ensure 100 percent of our products are recyclable remains firmly in focus. Our latest ESG Report highlights the progress we’ve made over the years. For instance, we have reduced GHG emissions by 7 percent since 2016. All our factories are involved in waste diversion programmes and last year 40% of them sent no waste to landfill, particularly in Europe.

PaperSeal has proven that it can satisfy the growing imperative for packaging to have lower environmental impact. Based on a cradle-to-gate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) conducted by SavvyPack1, the formed PaperSeal tray delivers a 34 percent reduction in CO2 emissions and a 40% reduction in energy consumption compared to a standard APET tray. Based on the number of PaperSeal trays sold since launch, this equates to a reduction of over 2,500 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions – the equivalent of 820 cars off the road annually.

The PaperSeal MAP burger tray, which was developed for Hilton Food Group and Swedish retailer ICA Gruppen, was awarded the ‘Save the Planet’ award in the European Carton Excellence Awards. The judges commended its ability to reduce plastic by up to 80 percent when compared to traditional MAP burger trays and praised its rounded corner design aesthetics. This introduction alone will eliminate 67 tonnes of plastic per annum for ICA Gruppen.

Following the European Carton Excellence Awards, the PaperSeal MAP burger tray went on to claim an Excellence Award in Sustainability from the North American Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC) towards the end of 2021 – another superb achievement for our team.

Further Award Wins

Rounding off the end of the year, our PaperSeal Tray saw success in Spain in the Liderpack Awards. Winning ‘Best Food Packaging’, PaperSeal was praised for its recyclability and excellent functionality across a wide range of products, including cheese, fresh or processed meat, ready-made products, frozen foods, snacks, salad and fruit. In addition, the solution also won a prestigious ‘Good Design’ award in Japan.

Finally, we won two WorldStar Awards – a major feat that could not have been achieved without the design innovation from our people. Awarded by the World Packaging Organisation, PaperSeal was recognised in the food category, both in Spain and Australia. The latter award was submitted by the retailer Woolworths after their PaperSeal steak tray helped the business use 75 percent less plastic versus its previous packaging format.

The phenomenal success of PaperSeal in 2021 follows meaningful progress made in 2020, and in total we have now helped our customers to eliminate an estimated 2,280 tonnes of plastic.

With a global manufacturing footprint and partner network offering a fully flexible supply chain, plus multiple formats to accommodate any food application, PaperSeal truly is a winner.

1 SavvyPack Analysis, 2020. These are only initial estimates for directional purposes based on actual data where possible or industry averages where needed. Results should be verified on a case-to-case basis depending on the actual supply chain, benchmark, packaging design etc.

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