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Recart takes a bow in Chile

Among the latest food firms to begin using the Tetra Pak (www.tetrapackusa.com) Recart™ packaging system for retorted shelf-stable foods is Alimentos Wasil S.A. of Santiago, Chile. On a sophisticated packaging line in its own plant (see video at www.wasil.cl), the firm produces 13.4-oz cartons of vegetables, peaches, or fruit salad.

Pw 8979 Wasil In Tetra Recart

“We’re an innovative company that wants to be seen by the trade and by consumers as a leader in technology,” Wasil General Manager Guillermo Santa Cruz tells Packaging World. “We also are aiming to improve consumer satisfaction by offering better-quality product and easy-to-open new packaging.”

Recart is a carton-based packaging and processing system designed for shelf-stable food products that include particulates “of almost any size,” says Tetra Pak. The carton has an easy-open tear-off top.

The carton blanks are made of a six-layer laminated structure that includes paper, polypropylene, foil, and a lacquered outer layer to protect the printing. Tetra’s Recart filling system erects, fills, and seals the cartons, which then undergo steam retort processing to give them shelf stability.

When asked about the cost of the Recart packaging compared to that of steel cans, Santa Cruz chose not to comment.

From a sustainability standpoint, Tetra says the package is based on renewable resources, can be recycled by repulping, and is designed to fit into existing liquid carton waste streams. Some organizations wonder about such claims. A November 2006 report by two progressive British organizations, the Institute for Public Policy Research and the Green Alliance, points out that in the UK, less than 10% of such multilayer cartons are in fact recycled. The report lumps them in with other “hard-to-recycle composite materials,” and it recommends a tax be imposed on them to steer food and beverage marketers to “better alternatives.”

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