Reduce Plastic Waste While Enhancing Shelf Appeal

Rising levels of waste from food and food packaging are still on the increase, despite all apparent efforts by society in general.

According to, each year 3.2 million tons of waste is sent to landfill. Auckland alone produces 1.6 million tons of waste a year. This is set to double over the next decade and these rates are clearly not sustainable.

Food waste, along with waste from packaging, is a significant contributor to these figures. In NZ alone cafes and restaurants throw away 24,372 tons of waste a year.

Packaging food into a cardboard tray base:

Food producers clearly need to reduce both food and packaging waste.  At Vacpack we now have a great range of innovative machinery and cardboard base products to make this possible.

These products maximize the use of biodegradable and recyclable materials and can help reduce plastic waste by as much as 80%. In addition, they help extend a products safe shelf life and maximize a products shelf appeal.

Skin packing with a cardboard base:

Food producers clearly need to reduce both food and packaging waste.  At Vacpack we now have a great range of innovative products to make this possible.

These products maximise the use of biodegradable and recyclable materials and can help reduce plastic waste by as much as 60-70%. In addition, they help optimise product shelf life and improve presentation.

We believe that skin packaging using a cardboard base is the answer for many applications.

The benefits of Skin & Tray packing with a cardboard base

The European based Denkstatt Food Packaging Sustainability study backs this up. The study found that skin packaging reduced both food and plastic waste with clear environmental and cost benefits. 

Using beef cuts, the study compared PET trays to vacuum skin packaging. It found that (excluding storage time for maturing meat) vacuum skin packaging increased the minimum shelf life from 6-7 days for MAP to 12-14 days. It also noted that:

“The waste rates in the retail sector during the three-month test period were 5.8% for MAP and 3.7% for vacuum skin packaging. This waste reduction is the main reason for reduced emissions when accounting for environmental impacts.

The results are considerably better again, when our cardboard base boards and trays are used as a replacement to the traditional PET and similar plastic trays. That is why, Vacpack are now ready to bring this world leading technology here to New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific, from our European partners, Frimaq.

The Frimaq / Vacpack system – How it benefits New Zealand food producers

With the Frimaq / Vacpack systems, food producers can create pre-formed trays to fit their product. Food is then hermetically sealed with a crystal-clear transparent barrier film. The packaging literally fits the product like a second skin.

This creates a stable packaging environment and as a result, it helps reduce waste, enhance quality and shelf appeal – All while reducing plastic waste by up to 80%.

Because the vacuumed barrier film creates an atmosphere-free environment food stays fresher for longer. This makes it ideal for items such as meat, fish, ready-meals, marinated products, delicatessen meats, cheese and poultry. It also acts to lock in flavours, helping items such as marinated meats reach their full potential.

Option 1: Flat board trays

Vacpack supplies flat die cut cardboard as a simple first option. Food is placed on the board then skin film is adhered to the pack. As a result, all outside atmosphere is eliminated. This extends the safe shelf life of the product. 

This system is ideal for packaging products such as salmon and other fish & meat products, steak, mince, sausages, bacon, poultry, delicatessen items, cheese, ready meals and more.

The most common board sizes are 180mm x 260mm and 180mm x 250mm. For smaller production, choose our Model Maxi Skin +40 tray and board packer.  

See product videos:

For larger production we have many automated options including our TSA linear systems. 

Option 2:  Formed and sealed trays

Next, Vacpack offers the MC-1000 Tray Cutter / Former. This is a linear automatic machine that can be used as a stand-alone tray-making machine or as the first stage of a larger system, including packing & sealing.

As a stand-alone tray-maker, trays are die cut from a roll of board. The board is then pressed to make a formed tray and a light film is adhered to it. These trays can be used as individual bases on any tray-sealing machine with the correct tooling.

The MC-1000 can also be used as the first stage in a larger integrated linear system where producers can make the tray, place product in it and then film seal the top. Film can be applied as either a top film or a skin film.

See product videos:

Option 3: Thermoformer, with cardboard base:

This system presses a cardboard base into a formed shallow tray. These are similar in shape to polystyrene trays currently used in New Zealand supermarkets. During the press forming process a light film is adhered to the board. This acts as a seal against moisture loss. Food is placed in the formed tray and a light film is skin packed over the top. This seals the food product into an atmosphere-controlled pack, giving a better shelf life and eliminating any contamination or liquid spillage. 

See product videos:

To chat about all available options: