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Paper packaging is on the advance

A request from the USA resulted in Gamma Plastic, an Italian packaging company, developing unique paper packaging for fruit and vegetables made from Nordic Paper’s kraft paper. Andrea Barzon, the CEO of Gamma Plastics, talks about the strong sustainability trend in the market.

Gamma Plastic is an Italian, family-run company that produces packaging for fruit and vegetables. It has customers all around the world. When the company launched in the 1950s it used tissue paper, a common packaging material for fresh fruit until the 1960s. As plastics entered the packaging world, Gamma Plastic transitioned to plastic packaging. But now something exciting is happening: interest is increasing in paper solutions for fruit and vegetable packaging.

“We’re seeing a strong sustainable trend in the market,” says Barzon. Over the past decade the market has started paying attention to the problems caused by plastic and is looking for alternative solutions.

But sustainability is not a new issue for Gamma Plastic. The company has always focused on minimising its environmental impact and all of the company’s products are either renewable or compostable.

Five years ago Gamma Plastic was contacted by a US grocery chain that wanted help producing new packaging for fresh fruit and vegetables. The packaging needed to be fully recyclable, support a circular economy, help make the products last longer and also enable an appealing in-store display.

The result was G-Bag, a shopper for fruit and vegetables. The paper selected was Nordic Paper’s iamKraft® MG. In addition to quality, one key factor was the paper’s FSC certification.

G-Bag is designed to fit into the trays the stores are already using. The patented handle can be twisted to enable stacking without the packaging or product being damaged. Gamma Plastic’s Aerographic® technology allows customers to have their own unique design printed on the entire bag. The technology also allows air to circulate in the bag, extending the life of the contents and allowing end consumers to see what the product looks like inside the bag.

“End consumers can see what the product inside the bag looks like, even at a distance,” says Barzon. Barzon says there is a lot of interest in the G-Bag.

Gamma Plastic has received inquiries about packaging for everything from grapes to herb plants, such as basil. There is interest throughout Europe but also in the USA.