“There is never a second chance to make a good first impression.” These words of Oscar Wilde, today, we also use in the world of food packaging.
The food packaging is the presentation letter of food. But in addition, said food packaging, in the 21st century, is linked to such fundamental concepts as: food safety, traceability, sustainability and even the marketing of the company selling the product.
Currently, we see how global trends for the packaging of both horticultural and seafood products are demanding a renewal in the suppliers of this food packaging. Society’s environmental awareness, as well as the new regulations in European countries in this regard, are causing a greater increase in spending on R & D & I.
These global trends are not occurring homogeneously in all countries. We can distinguish the behavior patterns geographically:
- Greece, Portugal, Italy and Spain itself, on occasions, are more reluctant to change suppliers and look for eco-friendly alternatives due to the final cost of products.
- France, on the other hand, has approved a new law on food packaging and in 2022 it will be forced to prohibit the use of plastic material and, therefore, is closer to that change in the trend with respect to more traditional customers.
- In Central Europe, this is where this real interest in compostable products is currently observed. They are aware that this type of mesh is more expensive than normal mesh but they assume the added cost in premium products.
In this sense, the Galician company Ecoplas has known how to align itself with these new interests required by consumers and currently offers more than a sustainable solution for food packaging in this regard throughout its range of products.
Ecoplas was launched in 2006 and in its beginnings, it was dedicated solely to the manufacture of extruded mesh for the cultivation and packaging of shellfish. Years later, and knowing the needs of the market, it was expanding the range of products dedicated to other sectors such as agriculture or the packaging of fruit and vegetable products, both nationally and internationally.
For Ecoplas, the current premises of the company are to offer solutions according to these requirements:
- Food safety
- Circular Economy
- Technology 4.0
As a result of this, Ecoplas defends for this year 2021 the introduction in the market of a new concept of mesh, which they have called SMART NETS.
Anxo Vidal, Business Director of Ecoplas tells us how with Smart Nets they intend to cover a series of needs that both end consumers, prescribers (supermarkets) as well as their own customers (understood as packers) have, and that until now are not being resolved by the rest of suppliers.
Ecoplas is a company committed to society and its clients where innovation is its anchor pillar, which is why a series of values that define us are implicit in its DNA:
- Social and environmental commitment
- Development and innovation
- Inclusion and diversity
- Honesty, integrity, responsibility
To respond to these global needs and trends that we have discussed, Ecoplas currently has two product lines, both of which are closely aligned with the preservation and conservation of the Environment:
- R – NET: It is a line of products based on the triple R:
Recyclable: All the meshes they manufacture are recyclable and are deposited in the yellow container, thus extending the useful life of the raw material.
Renewables: Raw materials can come from renewable sources such as sugar cane and even obtain the Tuv Austria seal of “Ok Bio-based”
Reduce: The use of plastic in manufacturing is reduced, achieving lighter meshes with the same performance
- ECO-NET: This is the line of compostable products that have been developed in the different R&D projects in which they participate and have participated. This range of products is endorsed with the “Ok Compost” seal of Tuv Austria.
An example of the tenacity and constant effort to innovate in the manufacture of compostable extruded meshes is represented by the current project VEGE PACK 2020-2023.
The main objective of VEGE-PACK is to develop compostable packaging based on films and meshes with antimicrobial, antifungal and / or anti-germination properties, by including in the biopolymer matrix the functional additives obtained from the fractions of interest of the by-products of the pepper, the custard apple and / or avocado.
All the solutions that Ecoplas offers for food packaging allow the correct visualization of the products.
The effect it generates is that of a product packed with a security seal that guarantees that it has not been tampered with after said process and is presented with a label that provides the customer with additional food safety.
In all the label options that Ecoplas proposes to its customers, both the traceability of the product and their commercial brand are included, providing them with an appropriate customization to their needs.
The daily work, the effort and the desire to innovate make Ecoplas a reference at the national level and obviously, it is correctly positioned as a Spanish company specialized in sustainable solution for food packaging to make the definitive international leap that it is currently looking for.