The development of an ultra-transparent polypropylene (PP) by RPC Bebo Nederland has underlined the many benefits the polymer can bring to product manufacturers in terms of pack aesthetics, convenience and sustainability.
The new material has been developed to bring high clarity and natural gloss to the packaging of chilled convenience foods and microwaveable ready meals. The intention is to combine PP’s existing qualities with a new level of presentation to help brands stand out on crowded retail shelves or chill cabinets.
Prototype packs thermoformed using the transparent PP have already drawn an overwhelmingly favourable response, with one UK food manufacturer admitting that they had never before seen that level of transparency achieved.
RPC Bebo Nederland believes that this latest innovation reinforces PP’s credentials as a comprehensive polymer solution for convenience packaging. “Polypropylene is robust, watertight, microwaveable and extremely flexible in design,” explains Willem-Jan Van De Giessen, Team Leader – Convenience Food Packaging at RPC Bebo Nederland.
“In addition, research suggests that, amongst the many plastic polymers available, PP has a favourable environmental profile. As well as being fully recyclable, the relatively low density of material required to create a durable pack means that less energy is consumed and pack weight is lower – a crucial advantage when considering the carbon footprint incurred during production and the supply chain,” he adds.
One customer attracted by these benefits is food manufacturer Chiquita, who selected PP pots from RPC Bebo Nederland for a range of fresh fruit mixes – as reported in the October-December 2009 issue of RPC Matters. Chiquita is using the same pot in an additional joint project with McDonald’s Netherlands, providing a healthy dessert option for kids’ Happy Meals or healthy snack for other consumers.