One of the U.S. pioneers of plastic clamshells for berries back in the 1980s is launching a new line of environmentally friendly packaging called ReadyCycle, coinciding with Earth Day tomorrow (April 22).
Sambrailo Packaging sales and marketing director Juana Ramirez told Fresh Fruit Portal the new line was fully recyclable, versatile and marketable, and had been developed to move the industry towards earth conscious packaging.
“A lot of the people that we have discussed this packaging with are passionate about getting away from plastic, and this option gives them that,” she said.
The representative noted that a plastic alternative would not be offered for this particular line to maintain the fully recyclable aspects and overall goals.
“We decided we’re going to go completely corrugated because it’s an easy way of recycling a product within an existing recycle stream that is established throughout the U.S,” she said.
“For this we thought there’s enough noise out there and enough requests that it was a good option to see where this takes us. We believe that this can be a paradigm shift in the industry, so we wanted to give it a shot.”
Ramirez noted that when paper labels were applied with most existing adhesives to plastic clamshells, this forces some recyclers to reject them. ReadyCycle will avoid that issue entirely by printing directly on the packaging with water-soluble inks.
“You’ve got one product that you’re providing all of your information on, inside and out, and you’ve got unlimited options to print on it,” she said.
“It just really depends on the creativity of who’s reading this, who wants to try it, and the grower-shipper who wants to market the product to a different consumer base that’s passionate about their impact on the environment.”
The new packaging can be used on a wide variety of produce items, including berries, tomatoes, and bell peppers, and the company is currently looking at using it with mangoes.
Ramirez highlighted that while the process of creating prototypes and production lines for plastic clamshells was timely and expensive, working with paper-based materials changed all that.
“With this you have quicker options to do prototypes and test anything with a customer, then once testing is approved, we decide it’s the right product and the customers are seeing what they want, it’s a lot easier and cost-effective to turn it around go into production runs,” she said.
“The nice part about the printing capabilities is that you can do promotional marketing campaigns directly on the packaging with a quick turn around.”
Ramirez also explained that Sambrailo Packaging had been in the industry for 94 years, and was excited to provide another option to its customers.
“We care about ag, we care about the environment, and we care about what’s best for the produce,” she said.
“We have come from all phases of berry packaging including the green mesh baskets to the plastic clamshell that revolutionized the industry. Clamshells have now become a commodity and we feel it’s our time to continue to innovate and offer the next packaging solution for the industry.
“Our world has changed so much, so let’s give back to something that is important to consumers who are looking for an earth conscious alternative. So we’re going to march forward and see where it takes us.”
Photos: Sambrailo Packaging