Meat in cardboard trays
Organic meat products from the Spar Austria Group are now packed in trays, most of which are made of cardboard and are easy to recycle. The retailer is investing EUR 7 million in new machines from Tyrol that can process plastic-saving packaging.
Products of the Spar “Natur pur Bio-Fleisch” in self-service use less plastic packaging. The new cardboard trays have only a thin plastic liner. This guarantees hygiene, seals the meat airtight and keeps it fresh for longer. Plastic and cardboard are easy to separate, collect separately and recycle, explains the Spar Austria Group. The new packaging saves around 70 per cent of plastic compared to conventional plastic trays. To start with, the company is converting ten organic products to this new packaging. Overall, the aim is to reduce the volume of plastic packaging by five tons a year.
Spar’s own meat plant, Tann, has been saving tons of plastic since 2018. For example, the thickness of all resealable packaging for pre-sliced sausages has been gradually reduced by around one third. The technology for the new packaging comes from Tyrol. All Tann production plants, including Tann Marchtrenk, where the organic meat products are cut and packaged, rely on Multivac machines and packaging from Ausserfern. According to Spar, it is investing EUR 7 million over three years in new systems at the packaging specialist’s production facilities in Wörgl, St. Pölten and Monselice (Italy).
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To deliver meat products to the markets, Spar uses reusable tubs instead of disposable cartons. More than 406,000 tubs are in circulation at Spar, filled with fresh meat, sausage and ham in the Tann production plants, delivered to the stores and returned via the existing logistics system. This saves several hundred tons of board every year. For several years now, meat cuts from slaughterhouses have also been cooled and delivered in returnable tubs instead of sealed in plastic film. In the production plant at Föderlach (Carinthia) alone, this switch saves 10 tons of plastic a year, according to Lukas Wiesmüller, Head of Sustainability at the Spar Austria Group.
With the slogan “Saving plastic together with Spar”, the food retailer is drawing customers’ attention to ways of doing without plastic or saving packaging in general. Avoiding and reducing waste and promoting recycling is the focus of the plastics reduction programme. When purchasing meat and sausage products, customers can save packaging by using the service counters. At Spar in Austria, sausage and ham are packed in thinly coated paper, with several different articles in one paper bag. If you don’t want to use these, you can also bring your own Spar containers from home.