Canadian Packaging

Lightweight Plastic Tops Metal Strength


November 28, 2008
by Canadian Packaging staff

A switch from metal to plastic may not at first sound like a sustainability ‘no-brainer,’ but for the French company Un Air d’Ici, repackaging its flagship, premium-priced Ice Fruit product line in plastic containers turned out to be a green win-win all around.

In addition to weighing nearly a third less than comparable metallic packages, the Ring-Lock round containers—manufactured by the Danish group Superfos—have enabled the frozen-treats producer to attain better product protection and a more efficient packaging process, according to chief executive Franck Bonfils.

“As we aimed to get a perfect, high-quality solution, Superfos emerged as a natural choice for our packaging supplier,” Bonfils recalls.

“The switch from metal to plastic containers has led to weight reductions of more than 30 per cent and a more efficient use of our storage capacity—factors that save both money and carbon-dioxide emissions in the product’s life-cycle.”

Bonfils adds that better stackability offered by the plastic containers has not only enabled better distribution efficiencies in transport and distribution, but also a significant reduction in accidental product spoilage and damage.

“Before, an accidental drop to the floor would entail a rejection of the entire product,” he explains, “but now the container can stand a lot more punishment.

“As our main market is the supermarkets, this new packaging concept has been well-received.

“And because we can use the same packaging solution for six products, our packaging process has been simplified and made more efficient,” Bonfils points out.
“Additionally, we have improved our filling line—thereby making it possible to use the same packaging line for all our products.”