Lightweight packaging has been highlighted as a key factor for food companies looking to boost long-term sustainability.
A drive for more durable plastic packaging has been helped by industry targets and government policies which have prompted the introduction of further investment. The benefits of moving away from tins are wide ranging including an extension in shelf-life which is exceptionally important when food manufacturers are aiming to slash waste volumes and also reduce the amount of carbon emissions they produce on an annual basis.
Various companies have already begun introducing a range of products that are stored in plastic containers instead of the traditional tin or glass. Heinz launched a fridge pack of its Heinz Beanz products which are aimed at customers that have families and need a large volume to be kept throughout the week. The company has long been an advocate of plastic packaging with a large number of their sauce products coming both in glass and a more lightweight material.
Speaking to FoodManufacture.co.uk, Pim Vervaat, the chief execuitve of global plastics packaging company RPC, said: "Companies like Unilever have a commitment to reduce the weight of their products by one third, and these trends will continue.
"Light-weighting will continue to be our focus. But we also need to provide the whole package; so we also have to get the decoration and the functionality right while also beating glass and tin in terms of cost. This is a very competitive industry and we need to keep offering good value."
The news provider reported that the surge in demand for baby food products has sparked the need for more technological developments.
More and more producers of high-end organic baby food products are aiming to move away from the use of glass jars and use a environmentally-friendly plastic offering that can be recycled much more routinely than the other items. It was also highlighted that figures the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs showed a 51 per cent rise in plastic recycling since 2001.