European thermoforming packaging provider Novolex has announced that its Waddington Europe division has become the first company to provide a full range of easy-to-recycle soft-fruit punnets to the UK industry.

In comparison to the traditional punnets, the new solution uses less plastic and is made using Waddington’s Monoair cushion technology.

According to Novolex, the Monoair punnets are designed to provide a clear view of the fresh fruits contained inside them.

It is a lightweight solution that provides rigid protection to fruits to ensure that they do not turn soft while in transit.

The company commented that the new punnets can be produced using up to 100% of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) contents.

It can also be recycled into a food-grade rPET that helps in manufacturing new packaging.

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The new 100% mono-material solution is currently available in a total of three different versions, including square (WE62), large rectangular (WE80) and standard rectangular (WE37).

Waddington Europe managing director Eduardo Gomes said: “Our punnets have proven to be immensely popular, so we wanted to broaden our offering to provide an even wider array of choices, including the first large rectangular version (WE80) on the UK market.”

Waddington Europe said that its UK-based industry partner and distributor Produce Packaging is now stocking the Monoair range of soft-fruit punnets.

Traditionally, the bases of standard soft-fruit punnets have been made using rigid PET plastic to provide a 360° view of the fruits inside.

Such bases also required an extra layer of bubble padding, which is attached using an adhesive glue, to protect soft fruits from turning soft while in transit. This further signifies that consumers cannot recycle the packaging without removing bubble padding and adhesive, the company stated.

Gomes added: “Thanks to our new MONOAIR technology, our punnets do not require this extra bubble padding, reducing plastic content and making them much easier to recycle.

“Consumers can effortlessly place the punnet into their recycling bin without the hassle of separating the padding. That simplifies life for consumers while increasing the number of punnets that are recycled.”