Recyclable Packaging for Feneberg’s Minced Meat by Schur Flexibles: New Concept Saves Additional 36 Tons of Plastic Per Year

Feneberg Lebensmittel GmbH, a successful retail chain from Southern Germany, demonstrates in an impressing manner the opportunities that arise from questioning existing concepts and breaking new ground. This family business, based in the Allgäu region of Germany, now uses an innovative packaging solution by Schur Flexibles for its self-service minced meat products by the Feneberg in-house butcher’s: the recyclable and sustainable flow-wrap MonoFlow(re) film. The results have been impressive: by switching from tray to flow wrap, the two companies have managed to save 70% of plastic.

Rethink initiative leads to award-winning flow-wrap alternative

The MonoFlow(re) PXC, classified as having “excellent recyclability”, is just one of the successful products developed as part of the Schur Flexibles rethink initiative. In collaboration with its customers, the packaging manufacturer rethinks existing solutions and replaces them with sustainable, holistic packaging concepts. The MonoFlow(re) PXC is a highly transparent, fully recyclable high barrier PP flow-wrap film. It is ideal for sensitive products such as fresh meat but also suitable for cheese or fresh pasta. By switching from conventional tray or thermoformed packaging to MonoFlow(re), manufacturers can save up to 70% of plastic. The final packaging is characterised by lower weight and less use of plastic. This optimises energy consumption and space requirements during manufacture, storage and transport. The packaging also provides unrestricted performance: oxygen and water vapour barriers of different levels are possible, and with its wide sealing range, it can be processed efficiently and reliably on existing flow-wrap packaging lines. A masterly finish – using flexo, gravure or digital printing – ensures an eye-catching presentation at the point of sale.

This comprehensive concept also convinced the jury of the German Packaging Award 2020. MonoFlow(re) PXC won the much coveted award in the sustainability category.

Resource-saving solution for sustainable food

As an established retailer, Feneberg has always championed regionally produced food of the highest quality. The meat processed at the Feneberg butcher’s is sourced from farmers under contract in the region. The in-house organic brand ‘VonHier’ guarantees the production, processing and sale of food within a 100-kilometer radius of the company’s headquarters in Kempten. The obvious conclusion is to also use packaging that conserves resources. Less plastic and better recyclability were prerequisites, and at least the same level of quality in terms of protection, freshness, best before date and transportability. “A product as sensitive as fresh minced meat places high demands on the packaging. It goes without saying that this requires specialised, flexible packaging that does not compromise in terms of product protection,” says Max Wolfmaier, Sustainability Manager at Schur Flexibles, commenting on the high level of performance achieved by the film. The fact that all requirements across the board were fulfilled was not only due to the rethink initiative, but also a result of the close cooperation between client Feneberg, packaging manufacturer Schur Flexibles and machine supplier Ulma Packaging.

With a decision in favour of MonoFlow(re) PXC, Feneberg’s packaging now also greatly contributes to resource savings. The new solution has allowed for a 70% reduction in the amount of plastic used. This has consequently led to a significant reduction in transport volume for packaging material by reducing the delivery from several pallets of trays down to only a few rolls of film instead. Christian Gareiß, Head of Production Technology at Feneberg, explains: “By converting our minced meat packaging to a flow-wrap, we bring 35,700 kg less plastic into the market each year. This plastic no longer needs to be produced or transported as raw materials and as finished goods nor recycled by the consumer. In the past, a maximum of around 5,000 sales units were made with one pallet of packaging material. With our flow-wrap packaging we can produce up to 81,000 sales units with one single pallet. This means that if in the past 100 trucks have been needed to deliver the packaging material “tray”, today only a maximum of 7 trucks are on the road to deliver the film material that will then produce the same number of sales units.”

The new packaging concept combines the required high levels of product protection and machinability with greater sustainability. It has already been well received by Feneberg consumers. Therefore, the next step will be to offer all other self-service meat products in this innovative packaging.