APT to expand PP and multi-layer tray offering

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Packaging Meal

Associated Packaging Technologies (APT) said that increased demand for both extended shelf life and microwave only packages has influenced its decision to significantly expand its existing polypropylene (PP) and multi-layer thermoforming capabilities.

The packaging supplier is one of the leading manufacturers of CPET dual-ovenable containers for the global market and also produces trays for the North American frozen food sector.

George Frederick, VP of sales and marketing at APT, said the company has begun a multi-million dollar investment in its Cambridge, Ontario, Canada plant to develop further its existing PP and barrier tray production, and plans to incorporate these into its proprietary rotary thermoforming technology.

He told FoodProductionDaily.com that factors including logistics in the US are forcing upward the demand for packaging that lengthens the shelf life of food products, with APT seeing significant opportunity for growth in trays for shelf-stable entrees, refrigerated, and prepared foods.

According to Frederick, the plant expansion will provide APT with an extra capacity of some 300 plus million units.

Cost savings

Responding to a query as to whether this additional volume will bring down the cost of PP trays, Frederick said that the intent was to be able to offer food processors the most cost efficient offering: “Utilizing our low cost, patented, rotary technology should ensure this.”

He said that a primary aim of the plant expansion is to manufacture technologically advanced multi-layer trays that satisfy high oxygen barrier requirements for a wide range of food products from soups to fruit pieces to ready meals and case ready meats.

The investment is also directed at the introduction of initiatives targeted at greater efficiency, added Frederick.

Greener trays

APT is a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and claims to be leading the way in sustainable packaging.

“As the leader in using recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) within our CPET range, APT will pursue all opportunities for improved sustainability where possible,”​ said Frederick.

The packaging manufacturer, in conjunction with food processor ConAgra, last year launched what they claimed was the first ever use in the North American market of rPET in frozen ready meal trays.

APT told FoodProductionDaily.com at the time that its partnership with the food processor was a ‘natural fit’ as both companies were focused on reducing their environmental footprint.

ConAgra’s vice president for sustainability, Gail Tavill, said that the move would have a positive impact on the environment by ensuring eight million pounds (lb) of plastic would be diverted from landfill to recycling streams annually.

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