Fresh meat packaging revolution


MAPET® II offers all the properties of traditional multi-layer materials and has the potential to become industry standard

Following a return to its roots in 2009 with the launch of an innovative range of high quality trays and containers for the meat and poultry market, Faerch Ltd has now gone one step further with the introduction of MAPET® II mono packaging, which is set to compete against containers produced from multi-layer materials. 

The Plastics recycling industry has for several years argued against the use of multi-layer and laminated materials for food packaging owing to the difficulties of separating them for recycling. With better potential to be sorted and recycled, Faerch is calling on the plastics recycling industry to back MAPET® II as the new industry standard.

The brand new packaging product, designed primarily for manufacturing trays for meat and poultry, has the same properties as multi-layer materials, but is produced from just one substrate, MONO amorphous polyethylene terephthalate or MAPET, which offers better sealability than its predecessor, MAPET I.

Traditionally the meat industry has used trays produced from multi-layer or laminated materials to ensure adequate sealing with film. Faerch wanted to develop a new type of tray produced from a single material that would have better clarity to meet the growing consumer trend to assess the quality and integrity of food products prior to purchase. The tray had to have the ability to be sealed that was similar to laminates. Similar speed, similar ability to handle the inevitable rim contamination and similar strength.

Joe Iannidinardo, Managing Director of Faerch in the UK, explains: “With MAPET® II, instead of adding a top layer, we have used a small amount of special adhesive suitable for food packaging applications around the rim of each tray to ensure that it can be sealed easily. At the same time the quantity of adhesive is so low that there will be no contamination of the waste stream. Of course the fact that the trays are made using Post-Consumer Recycled materials gives them a very low environmental foot-print.” 

MAPET® II is produced by extruding an APET mono sheet, thermoforming the tray using Faerch’s standard production process, and integrating a robot station at which a specially developed adhesive is rolled on to the sealing flange. The adhesive, which was also developed by Faerch, has been approved for direct contact with food at temperatures up to 40°C. 

MAPET® II may be used with a wide range of sealing films, including market standard PE. The packer will not need to make any changes to either lidding films or machine adjustments. Simply put the trays on the machine and they will run.

It is anticipated that MAPET® II will be used initially for top sealed fresh meat products with further applications for various Chilled Foods & Snacks products such as biscuits and cakes.

And, since MAPET® II has better potential to be recycled than multi-layer products, it is hoped that the plastics recycling industry will back it as the new industry standard.

Since it was established in 1969, Faerch Plast has built an unrivalled reputation for high quality plastics packaging products, supplying major blue chip customers in the ready meal, fresh meat, cold foods and snacks, and ambient food sectors with a wide range of containers and trays produced from PS, CPET, APET, PP, PLA, MAPET® and AMPET®. 

Danish parent company Faerch A/S has opened a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in the North East of England. A large part of its production for the UK market will be moved to the new Durham-based plant as part of an on-going strategy to secure costs, improve efficiencies and minimise its environmental impact.

This key move will help improve operating efficiencies, shorten lead times and further strengthen the overall service provided to its rapidly expanding UK customer base