Schur Flexibles creates recyclable packaging for Feneberg’s minced meat

The new concept has had impressive results; saving an additional 36 tons of plastic per year, and will be rolled out to the rest of Feneberg’s self-service meat products.

Feneberg Lebensmittel GmbH, a successful retail chain from Southern Germany, has employed a new innovative packaging solution developed by Schur Flexibles for its self-service minced meat products. The products, sold by the Feneberg in-house butcher’s is now packaged in the recyclable and sustainable flow-wrap MonoFlow(re) film. By switching from tray to flow wrap, the two companies have managed to save 70% of plastic.

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.

The final packaging is characterised by lower weight and less plastic, which 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.

As an established retailer, Feneberg has always championed high quality, regionally-produced food. The meat processed at the Feneberg butcher’s is sourced from farmers under contract in the region and the in-house organic ‘VonHier’ brand guarantees the production, processing and sale of food within a 100km radius of the company’s headquarters in Kempten. Therefore, the retailer also wanted to 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,” said Schur Flexibles sustainability manager, Max Wolfmaier.

The new solution has allowed for a 70% reduction in the amount of plastic used, which resulted in a significant reduction in transport volume for packaging material by cutting the delivery down from several pallets of trays, to just a few rolls of film.

Feneberg head of production technology, Christian Gareiß explained: “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 has already been well received by Feneberg consumers and there are plans in the pipeline to offer all other self-service meat products in this packaging.

MonoFlow(re) PXC also impressed the jury of the German Packaging Award 2020, winning the much-coveted award in the sustainability category.