Vegetarian Products, Sustainably Packed

The food manufacturer Neuburger Fleischlos GmbH worked consistently on significantly reducing the amount of plastic in its packaging. With the help of a recyclable bottom film, the company has now succeeded in reducing the percentage of plastic by around 80 percent – while maintaining product safety.

With bratwursts, schnitzel and minced meat from the vegetarian „Hermann“ line, Hermann Neuburger and his son Thomas brought a food innovation to the market as early as 2016, after years of intensive research and preparatory work: The vegetarian product line is based on a mushroom, the king oyster mushroom. The company now holds a Europe-wide patent and runs its own mushroom farm in Ulrichsberg, Austria. The „Hermann“ line comprises four different products, two more will be added in 2020. Since the summer of 2018, the products are also available in Germany.

Recyclable film reduces plastic content in packaging

In addition to the expansion of the product range, the Neubergers are constantly looking for solutions to make their packaging even more sustainable. In cooperation with Schur Flexibles, the amount of plastic in the existing packaging has now been reduced by 80 percent. Those responsible at Neuburger Fleischlos GmbH decided on a recyclable bottom film made of polyolefins. It combines best machine runability with highest product protection. The EVOH barrier has a high oxygen barrier and excellent process capability on all common thermoformers. The novel bottom film is combined with a transparent, also easily recyclable top film. Despite the plastic reduction of the tray packaging by 80 percent (material weight), the recyclable alternative offers product safety and reliable sealing properties.

When selecting the product, Neuburger’s main criteria included the excellent processing on the packaging machines, the high transparency of the material and its suitability for pasteurization. In addition, the packaging was easy to open due to its good peelability. „The decisive factor for both sides, however, was that the packaging is easily recyclable,“ emphasises Fritz Humer, Chief Sales Officer (CSO) at Schur Flexibles. „In addition, the service was important as we conducted a successful test phase in close cooperation with the machine manufacturer,“ says Humer.