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Detpak develops new sustainable packaging range for fresh produce

December 6, 2022

At Detpak, we strive to keep our customers ahead of the sustainability curve. As a specialist across the food service, FMCG and grocery industries, we work with some of the largest and most iconic brands to provide innovative packaging solutions across their global network.  

Well-established relationships across the Australian grocery and convenience landscape are testament to Detpak’s capabilities in this space, with innovation and a push towards sustainability driving new packaging solutions.

“Detpak is committed to reducing and removing, where possible, plastic packaging for fresh produce,” said Ken Lu, National Sales Manager – Grocery & Convenience at Detpak.

In response to this need, Detpak recently developed a range of ten paper and board packaging items, suitable for use with over 30 different fruits and vegetables to replace the traditional plastic packaging often used for fresh produce. Detpak worked with a number of fresh produce vendors in the development of the range, with numerous considerations taken into account to ensure the solutions were suitable.

“Windows in the products allow visibility of the fresh produce for consumers and produce quality inspections, while vent holes allow breathability. The raw materials used in the range can also cope with the moisture to which the packaging is exposed during transport and refrigeration and are of a suitable strength to survive the product life cycle – from produce packing, transport, storage, shelf display filling and customer handling,” said Tom Hilder, Product Designer at Detpak.

Detpak's new sustainable packaging range for fresh produce.
The Detpak team at the Hort Connections Trade Event showcasing Detpak's new sustainable packaging range for fresh produce.

“While the range includes ten standard packaging items, some are suitable for a variety of produce types. These products also come in multiple variations, such as different sizes and window shapes, and can be customised. The range options are almost endless,” said Tom.

Innovative solutions were implemented to ensure the range was adaptable to the requirements of a range of fresh produce. For example, the cucumber packaging utilises Detpak’s RecycleMe™ technology as a moisture barrier. This was necessary to ensure the product shelf-life requirements were met whilst still allowing the packaging to achieve the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) for kerbside recyclability.

The RecycleMe™ lining is exclusive to Detpak in Australia and New Zealand and provides a highly mineralised resin alternative to traditional coatings. This technology is supported by extensive testing, international pulping certification and has been tested and endorsed by paper recycling mills. The formulation not only provides an equal barrier but reduces plastic use by 40%. ‘

“Existing RecycleMe™ lined products have been approved for the ARL, allowing them to be placed in kerbside recycling bins (subject to final PREP tool reports). With the Australian Government committed to working with industry to apply the ARL to at least 80% of supermarket products by December 2023, RecycleMe™ is a great solution for recyclable, coated paper and board, across a range of products,” said Tom.

Detpak were able to deliver this solution in just seven months, when normally a project of this scope would take at least 12 months to deliver.

“This project involved significant collaboration across the Detpak business, including industry leading teams of design and sustainability experts. This is a fantastic example of the strength of Detpak’s capabilities,” said Ken.

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Detpak's new sustainable paper and board packaging range for fresh produce displayed at Hort Connections