ABP introduces reduced plastic packaging

Irish beef processor ABP has today, Monday, October 7, announced the introduction of new sustainable packaging for a number of its European customers.

According to a statement from ABP, the move will see a reduction of 70% of the amount of plastics used to package its meat products. The packaging includes recyclable card coupled with thin film of peel away plastic.

The new development does not impact on the shelf-life of the product, according to the statement.

The packaging is being introduced on ABP’s Goodherdsmen organic meat products and will extend to other product ranges in the near future.

ABP revealed the new packaging at the Anuga Food Fair in Cologne this weekend.

Commenting on the move, John Purcell, managing director of Goodherdsmen, ABP’s organic division, said: “We have placed a very strong emphasis on our sustainable strategy across all our supply chain processes including energy use, water consumption, renewable energy and packaging.

“This very important work is ongoing and we are now pleased to announce the introduction of this new packaging for German customers which we hope to extend to other products shortly.”

As well as the reduction of 70% in plastic, other attributes of the new packaging include:
  • 10g lighter than the plastic tray it will replace;
  • Card used is sourced from PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) certified forests;
  • Plastic film is easy to remove from card for recycling;
  • Recyclable card with paper and board;
  • More attractive packaging.

ABP has also incorporated a euro hook hole into the card design, allowing retailers to now “hang” the packs in their retail fridges.

According to the statement, this new innovative way of ‘hanging’ the packs rather than the traditional shelving allows better circulation of chilled air, more contemporary merchandising techniques and better planogram design.

In Ireland, ABP this year became a founder member of Plastics Action Alliance, a collaboration of nine of Ireland’s agricultural processing and food businesses that have come together to make the plastic packaging in their respective supply chains more sustainable.

The alliance includes “market leaders” from Ireland’s beef, poultry, pork, lamb, fruit, vegetables and packed salad sectors.