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Paper-based lidding for tortillas

Paulig, based in Helsinki, Finland, and owner of the Santa Maria brand, actively strives to reduce its environmental impact and has worked for some time now to develop packaging that protects product while minimizing environmental impact.

Tortilla packaging
New paper-based tortilla packaging.

It’s not easy to develop a material to package soft tortillas, especially not Santa Maria’s since their tortillas are made without preservatives. This means they are more sensitive; if not packed in thoroughly evaluated and optimized packaging they will mold. So after working closely together with Flextrus, a member of AR Packaging, for about a year and a half and testing of different lidding films and base webs, the right combination of materials has finally been arrived at.

The new packaging consists of a thermoformed base web and a lidding film based on unbleached 50 gsm paper that is coated with tailored barrier material to secure the shelf life of the tortillas and thereby minimize food waste. AR Plastic isn’t very specific about what it means by “tailored barrier material,” nor does the firm identify the base web, calling it “a combination of environmentally sound plastics to ensure product protection with efficient use of material.” But AR Packaging claims that because the lidding material is paper-based, the carbon footprint is reduced by 35% compared to the packaging format used formerly. This means, says AR Packaging, that Santa Maria will reduce its plastic consumption by 150 tons annually.

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