Proseal Australia has won a prestigious Australian Packaging and Processing Machinery Association (APPMA) Award of Excellence. In the Customer Collaboration category, the company was rewarded for its pioneering work with its customer Fresh Berry and packaging partner CKF of Canada in delivering a solution that reduced the amount of plastic packaging for strawberries by as much as 96%.
The replacement of clam-shell punnets with top film sealed varieties has become commonplace in many markets, particularly Europe and North America, as it reduces the amount of plastic by around 35-45%. The Proseal Australia solution, already proven by its sister company Proseal America, uses a punnet from CKF made from a wood pulp blended material. As well as a 95% drop in the amount of plastic used in the packaging, the punnet is both recyclable and home compostable, offering the strongest environmental profile.
Proseal Australia supplied the heat sealing machine and tooling within three months of confirmation of the order, which were delivered and integrated into the Fresh Berry packhouse to allow the launch of customer trials in August 2018. The Proseal tray sealer is highly flexible and able to handle different pack sizes with fast changeovers using quick interchangeable tooling and easy-to-change pre-printed films.
Top seal packs also offer a number of additional benefits over clam-shells, including extending the shelf-life of products, reducing overpacking, eliminating spillage and providing effective tamper-evidence. In addition, they reduce storage and transportation costs. The combination of these many benefits can deliver a ROI of less than two years for growers.
“It was Proseal Australia who introduced us to the top seal concept, and throughout our dealings with them we have found them highly professional and flexible,” comments Jenny Briggs of Fresh Berry. “They provide incredible backup support with training and servicing to ensure their equipment is always working effectively and efficiently.
“We find the application of top seals for our strawberry punnets quick, clean and simple. The seal is non-resealable ensuring tamper-evidence is easily identified. Top sealing film has significantly reduced our plastic usage and storage requirements compared with conventional clam-shell packaging.”
Another advantage of the punnets developed by Proseal and CKF is that they mirror the common footprint of PET punnets, meaning there is no need for companies to invest in additional tooling. This allows them to make a smooth transition to compostable packs without any downtime.
“We are thrilled to have won the APPMA Customer Collaboration Award of Excellence,” comments Scott Templeton, General Manager of Proseal Australia.
“Proseal has always been at the forefront of innovation in tray sealing developments. Equally important to us are the close and long-term working partnerships that we seek to establish with both our customers and suppliers. This award ideally encapsulates both these elements and I thank Fresh Berry and CKF for their hard work and commitment in ensuring the success of such a ground-breaking project.”