single tray chopping board

Leading fresh food packaging manufacturer, LINPAC, has been chosen as a finalist in the 2016 European Business Awards for the Environment (EBAE).

LINPAC is one of 11 UK entrants selected by the award organisers, the RSA Environment Awards Forum, to compete on the European stage. UK entrants are selected from the winners and runners-up of various award schemes accredited by the RSA as only they can act as feeder schemes to the European Commission’s biennial EBAE.

The EBAE recognise outstanding, new or innovative contributions to sustainable development and reward European companies which set an example by successfully bringing together innovation, economic viability, environmental considerations and social equity.

LINPAC was crowned in the Sustainability Leaders Awards for its Rfresh® Elite rPET tray for meat, fish and poultry in November 2015. The tray took two years to develop by the innovation team at LINPAC. It uses a unique, patented sealant on the tray flange to create a secure seal with the lidding film, removing the need for the industry standard laminated PE base film.

The ingenious sealing system, which is food contact approved, can be removed in the hot wash processes employed by Europe’s PET recycling companies, meaning a recycled Elite tray will yield 100 per cent crystal clear PET – a breakthrough in tray packaging design.

Alan Davey, director of innovation at LINPAC, said: "Representing the UK in such a prestigious award is a testament to the hard work and dedication that goes into keeping LINPAC at the forefront of the packaging environmental challenge and we were delighted to receive the recognition and share it with our employees and key stakeholders. We are proud of our commitment to working with packers and retailers to develop supply chain efficient and sustainable packaging solutions.

"Our commitment to environmental stewardship has become embedded into the very ethos of our company. We believe that the external recognitions that we have received to date help us attract, retain and engage our employees, customers and partners. It helps to validate that we are doing the right thing. Being recognised at these awards is an honour of our achievements in improving our environment and encourages other manufacturers within the industry to follow our lead."

To enhance the environmental credentials of Elite trays further, they are manufactured from up to 95% post-consumer recyclate in a bid to create a closed loop recycling process and have been developed in conjunction with the company’s light weighting programme. The initiative was implemented to reduce the overall weight and carbon footprint of trays, whilst maintaining operational efficiency and product integrity.

LINPAC has already won a number of awards for the Rfresh Elite tray, including a PackTheFuture Award and Plastics Industry Award.

The EBAE are comprised of four categories in which companies are rewarded for outstanding new or innovative management practices, products, processes and international co-operation activities, which contribute to economic and social development without detriment to the environment. An additional award is also given for biodiversity; the winner being selected from entrants to the other categories.

Dr Malcolm Aickin, chairman of the RSA Environment Awards Forum, said: "The UK has always made an excellent showing in Europe providing significantly more winners than any other country. This year the entrants represent a very broad range of activity and diversity of achievement. Their collective strength gives high hopes that our winning record will continue."

All of the UK entrants will now go forward to the European finals, to be held in Tallinn, Estonia, in October this year.