PPS East was crowned champion at this year’s Dragon’s Den style Ecopack Challenge, which took place at Packaging Innovations at the end of February. The company beat off strong competition from Waddington Europe, Parkside and Scandolara Spa, winning the chance to develop its idea, the Re-Fresh Box, with Marks and Spencer.
Before the show, packaging manufacturers and suppliers were invited to submit entries, with the EcoPack Challenge criteria stating that all products had to be new or recently launched sustainable or environmentally friendly packaging. Of those entered a shortlist of four was drawn up and invited to present live on the show floor to a panel of industry judges.
PPS East took to the stage to pitch its product, the Re-Fresh Box. It is a 3kg and 6kg volume lidded plastic tray that can be used throughout the supply chain, all the way through to supermarket food counters, including fresh food, fish, meat and poultry, and also pharmaceutical products. Re-Fresh has been designed with the major food retailers and the food service industry in mind, due its leak-proof properties. Each box can last for at least 10 years and can be reused, reducing the costs and carbon emissions involved with single-use packaging.
Joanne Moss, managing director at PPS East, commented: “We are absolutely delighted that our efforts in producing Re-Fresh have been recognised with this fantastic award win. Single-use packaging is having a vastly damaging effect on the environment and creating huge problems in the supply chain, which is why we’ve worked hard and listened to our customers to try and find an immediate and sustainable alternative through Re-Fresh.
“We are so pleased that the judges recognised that Re-Fresh is a great step forward for addressing issues in packaging and we look forward to working with the team at M&S and getting the message out further about the great benefits Re-Fresh can bring to the industry.”
The EcoPack Challenge was also a success for the runner up company, Waddington Europe, which will be testing its new material, Hydrozorb, with another of the judges – 2 Sisters Food Group. The material reduces surface tension, captures condensation and offers improved shelf life over standard r-PET.