The Italian Consortium, at the head of sustainability with the launching of a plastic-free, cardboard packaging
In the constant search for environmentally-friendly methods and processes, in the middle of May the VOG Consortium launched the first 4-apple tray completely made from cardboard. The Biosüdtirol® cooperative, associated with the VOG Consortium, was the one that delivered the first trial pallets to some customers.
VOG has been carrying out systematic research for some time now aimed at reducing the use of “disposable” plastic, replacing it with biodegradable, compostable or recyclable materials. Biosüdtirol wanted to be the first to start experimenting with production, preparation and sale trials, based on the growing demands by some ecological produce customers. As a result, it has made a new packaging line of packing for 4 fruits, made in 100% cardboard, without the need for any plastic film.
An important problem was effectively reproducing the double function of the tray: sealing the container and protecting the fruit, but at the same time showing the produce to help consumers select it. In comparison with the tray wrapped in transparent film, the tray with the cardboard lid does not make the “visual inspection” of the contents easy. Therefore, this aspect was taken into consideration during the study to ensure that the apples were sufficiently visible.
“Ecological produce consumers are very aware of this topic. We are happy with our result and we will evaluate it taking our customers’ comments into account”, states Werner Castiglioni, manager of the Biosüdtirol® cooperative.
“We have taken the first step”, Gerhard Dichgans, manager of the VOG Consortium, affirms. “Now we are studying several alternative solutions that the packaging industry is offering us. In the autumn, when the new apple seasons starts, we will be ready with other packaging lines for ‘100% cardboard’ trays containing 4/6 pieces, planned for the other cooperatives in the VOG group.