Consumer packaging company Sonoco Europe has expanded its two injection-moulded rigid plastic packaging production sites in Zwenkau, Germany.

The €8m facility expansion project has increased the site’s workforce from 75 to 100.

With the expansion, the company intends to increase its production capacity and improve the location’s energy efficiency.

Parent company Sonoco currently uses advanced in-mould labelling (IML) technology to design injection-moulded rigid plastic packaging in its Zwenkau facility.

"We will further extend this lead and react to the rapidly increasing demand for modern plastic packaging in the food market.”

The IML technology enables the production of plastic containers, which are suitable for spreads, sausage products, and fish and dairy produce.

At its Zwenkau site, Sonoco also produces IML lids for rigid paper containers.

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Sonoco Europe consumer products general manager and division vice-president Séan Cairns said: “The sites Zwenkau I and II were already among the most modern and efficient plants in our industry.

“With the current investments, we will further extend this lead and react to the rapidly increasing demand for modern plastic packaging in the food market.”

The company said that its patented PermaSafe technology allows the design of plastic containers in various shapes and colours for sterilised and pasteurised food.

Sonoco plastic packaging sales director Andreas Rothschink said: “Due to the PermaSafe technology, our plastic containers durability rivals that of tin cans.

“At the same time, they offer more decoration possibilities and higher convenience for consumers.”

With more than 70 operations across Europe, Sonoco currently provides various rigid plastic packaging solutions worldwide.

Sonoco ThermoSafe recently acquired the PharmaPort 360 assets, licenses, trademarks and manufacturing rights from AAR, making its entry into the active temperature-controlled cargo containers market.