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Cascades launches eco-friendly ready-meal packaging

Respak, manufactured by Cascades, is designed to serve as a sustainable alternative to polycoated paperboard.
Respak, manufactured by Cascades, is designed to serve as a sustainable alternative to polycoated paperboard.

Respak is designed to give food producers a sustainable alternative to polycoated packaging material.

Geared toward food packaging and foodservice operations, Respak is a recyclable, compostable packaging material from Cascades. According to the manufacturer, the material improves upon polycoated cardboard, which cannot be recycled or tossed into the compost heap.

Heat and grease resistance

Marc-André Dépin, president and CEO of Cascades Norampac group (which specializes in packaging product development), told FoodProductionDaily the Respak material stands out because it offers the heat, moisture, and grease resistance of polycoated board, but with ‘green’ benefits.

"The development of Respak goes hand in hand with the company's values of respect for the environment and innovation,” he said. “We are very pleased to be the first to offer the packaging and food industries (as well as consumers) a green alternative that will significantly reduce the impact of food consumption on waste."

According to Dépin, an initial life-cycle assessment indicates Respak's environmental impact is up to 50% less than that of polycoated cardboard.

Lost to landfills

Polycoated cardboard is in wide use in ready-to-eat food products and takeaway meals, thanks to its resistance to heat and grease. However, Cascades reports, the product must be tossed into garbage cans; because approximately 2 metric tons of polycoated board are used every minute, that leads to a great deal of material lost to landfills.

In addition to being recyclable and compostable, Respak reportedly is made up of 50% recycled fibers. Cascades reports the material’s resistive properties are thanks to a barrier performing as well as less-sustainable, conventional polycoated board.

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