The pressure from consumers, governments and associations to minimise the use of plastic increase and many brand owners and food producer put much effort into meeting those expectations and strengthening their environmental positioning. One example is Picard, the French food company specialising in frozen products, who has replaced a plastic tub for ice cream with a carton-based solution provided by AR Packaging.
The new ice cream box contains >95% cartonboard, based on renewable fibres from sustainably managed forests, which makes it recyclable in the paper stream in many countries. The thin inner layer of polyethylene (PE) ensures 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 “Le Petit Marchand de glaces” range (other references packaged in cardboard cups)”, said Gilles Lapique, Project Manager 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 developed an easy-to-use alternative to the 500 ml plastic tub. The box is supplied to the different ice cream producers for Picard as an erected tray with integrated lid and re-closable option. 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”, said Pierre Guillebeau, Sales Director Food & 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.”