When you next look at your rib-eye steak or chicken fillet consider that the packaging receives as much attention to detail as the quality of meat. Every effort is made by Astrapak to ensure that when we partner with a retail supplier, the packaging product we offer must only add value to the edible product it protects and encloses. We are particularly mindful that packaging should enhance the consumer experience but also do whatever possible to protect our immediate and long-term environment.
Thermoforming is a cost-effective and high-speed production method that produces lightweight, robust packaging. Thermopac extrude their plastic sheet requirements from raw material, which ensures that the highest food grade hygiene compliance throughout the production process is met. The manufactured plastic sheet is then thermoformed into the required shape and product.
Astrapak’s wide range of thermoformed products effectively serve the Food market, providing packaging for bakery, deli, fresh produce and prepared food applications as well as a range of trays developed to support MAP applications and shelf life extension.
The barrier meat trays are prepared using a mix (referred to as the “recipe”) of materials; while 60% is virgin raw material, 40% is re-grinded recycled material. The regrind portion of the mix comes from Thermopac’s own internal recycling processes.
“Offcuts of the thermoformed product are ground internally and fed back into the manufacturing process,” said Marius van Staden, Thermopac Supply Chain Manager. “When we run our sheet material, we work it back into our recipe. The remaining skeletal trim scrap from the forming process is ground into fine flakes when it is run through a grinding process, and that gets put into bags, which are identified and marked.
“When the extrusion department manufactures the rolled sheet that is used by forming, they work to the recipe. Although this is a standardised process for all of our products, there are different recipes for different material types used, like CPET, PETG, HDPE and so on.”
Minimising waste is key across the Astrapak Group, where offcuts are recycled and re-used during the manufacturing process to keep the efficiencies up in the factory.
Astrapak has become an industry leader in finding the balance between consumer quality packaging and considering the state of the environment in which we all live.