UK-based supermarket chain Tesco has partnered with Linpac and Hilton Food Group to maximise the recyclability potential of its plastic fresh food packaging solutions.

As part of the collaboration, the three companies have worked together to bring Linpac’s Rfresh Elite plastic pack for use in meat and poultry packaging applications.

Featuring more than 95% of food-safe recycled content recovered from plastic (PET) water bottles from household waste, the fully recyclable and lightweight solution is currently available across Tesco shelves.

The Rfresh Elite pack also features a specially designed sealant between the rigid tray and top film, eliminating the need for a polyethylene (PE) layer and making the mono-material easier to process by recycling companies.

Manufactured in accordance with Linpac’s Project Lightweighting for Excellence (LIFE) initiative, the Elite solution requires fewer raw materials during production and is up to 5% lighter than equivalent rPET trays.

According to Linpac, the Rfresh Elite solution undergoes the same recycling process as clear plastic water bottles.

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The crystal clear recycled plastic (rPET), produced from the process, can re-enter the recycling chain to create closed-loop recycling and ultimately, contribute to a circular economy.

Tesco packaging technical manager Mark Caul said: “As a food business, our long-term success depends on the health of the natural environment and our customers tell us this is important to them too.

“These trays represent a step change for the packaging industry by being much lighter, with the added bonus of making recycling easier for local authorities.

“This is a landmark innovation and a clear demonstration of our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment we live in.”

By using the Rfresh Elite solution, Tesco has been able to reduce the volume of plastic material being used and has created an end-market use for over 1,300t of plastic post-consumer waste.

Image: Linpac’s Rfresh Elite plastic pack solution. Photo: courtesy of Linpac Senior Holdings.