SEE introduces the Cryovac Overwrap Tray, a biobased compostable protein tray, at the IPPE event in Atlanta, Georgia. Certified by the USDA and derived from renewable wood cellulose, the tray offers a sustainable alternative to Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) solutions. It addresses challenges faced by customers complying with legislation against polystyrene materials, ensuring durability through processing and full compostability.

SEE's Biobased Compostable Protein Tray: A Sustainable Shift in Fresh Meat Packaging

SEE launched the Cryovac Overwrap Tray at the IPPE event, held in Atlanta, Georgia, last month, marking a major shift in fresh meat packaging as manufacturers seek alternatives to Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) solutions.

The biobased compostable protein tray is made from food-contact grade resin, certified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Derived from renewable wood cellulose, the material breaks down naturally, leaving no chemical residue, according to Tiffani Burt, SEE’s executive director for sustainability, digital and smart packaging.

“What we heard from our customers was that the other sustainable alternatives that they were testing and investigating had some critical failures or flaws, especially moving through processing,” said Burt.

“The wet and harsh nature of processing plants can prove challenging for some rigid packaging materials, like fibre-based moulded pulp solutions. Our tray was designed to withstand that, allowing the product to pass through distribution without impacting the shelf life.”

Ensuring durability for various processing environments was a priority, and the tray is fully compostable, derived from a biopolymer made from cellulose, processed using innovative proprietary extrusion technology. The material can compost in home composting bins as well as industrial composting solutions.

The Cryovac Overwrap Tray is part of the global shift away from polystyrene materials, with over 60 countries, including the EU, UK, Canada, and India, imposing legislation to phase out polystyrene. This has prompted industries, particularly fast-food and fresh meat, to find more sustainable alternatives.

Compostable packaging is favored by consumers for its eco-friendliness, as highlighted in a 2023 survey by McKinsey, where consumers in 10 out of 11 major countries believed that compostable packaging materials are the most environmentally-friendly.


Keywords

SEE , packaging tray , IPPE event , fresh meat packaging , Expanded Polystyrene alternatives , biobased compostable tray , USDA certified , Cryovac Overwrap Tray , sustainable packaging , legislation , polystyrene phase-out , compostable materials , microplastic pollution , global ban

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