US-based packaging firm International Tray Pads and Packaging, Inc. says using that its range of ‘S’ tray packaging pads results in a much lower carbon footprint than conventional products.
The firm claims that thanks to the extra-absorbent qualities of its pads, the energy requirements for production, transportation, and warehouse storage and handling are reduced.
The tray pads, which are designed particularly for use with fresh meat and poultry, use super absorbent polymers which the firm claims hold and retain 35-50 per cent more moisture than traditional paper/pulp pads. Its standard all-paper 4.5 inches x 7 inches tray pad will absorb 50g of moisture; by contrast, the equivalent product in its ‘S’ range will hold over 100g.
This improvement in performance means the tray pads can be up to 33 per cent smaller than other products, thereby increasing their energy efficiency.
Because of their smaller size, adds the firm, its ‘S’ tray pads require less raw material than standard products. It points out that by cutting back on its use of bleached cellulose pulp, the key production material, it is helping to preserve natural resources.
However, the firm is emphasising the absorbent qualities of its product as much as the reduced carbon footprint.
According to the Carbon Trust, the food and drinks sector is the fourth highest industrial energy user in the UK.
Producing environmentally products and reducing carbon footprints is a key topic for manufacturers in the food industry. Earlier this month, the UK packaging supplier Paragon announced plans to open a new facility in Kenya to be closer to products which it packages there, such as coffee beans, in order to avoid air-freighting empty packaging around the world.
And several confectionery firms have committed to a more environmentally-friendly Christmas, with biodegradable packaging and less volume on the gift list.
“The general public is increasingly aware of the effects of climate change and the impact that it has on the environment,” said the Carbon Trust. “It is important for businesses to demonstrate their commitment to reducing carbon emissions to ensure that they retain consumer confidence and maintain their position in the marketplace.”