Following their recent triumph in being honoured with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade, market-leading aluminium foil tray manufacturer, i2r Packaging Solutions, is celebrating once again, having been awarded a coveted Alufoil Trophy 2020 in the Resource Efficiency category. The company secured the prestigious accolade for its multi-award winning smoothwall container, i2r Ultra™.
The Alufoil Trophy competition is organised by EAFA (the European Aluminium Foil Association), as a showcase for excellence and innovation using aluminium foil. The competition is open to products that are either made from aluminium foil or contain aluminium foil as part of a laminate, structure or packaging system, as well as aluminium closures.
As a highly innovative range of smoothwall containers, i2r Ultra™ is used for packaging high quality 'ready to cook' convenience products, including red meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, BBQ food and desserts. Key features used in the design of the tray include: a new hexagonal base emboss, which adds a significant amount of additional strength, together with an overall reduction in pack weight; wall to base ribbing, which also increased structural strength, as well as further reducing weight; and a structural step to add strength to the flange. In its development, the design went through a protracted process using finite element analysis (FEA) predictive software and thereafter independent scientific testing and validation, including compression and tension tests conducted against the relevant ISO standard. On the base of the tray, an 'Alu' recyclable logo is included, together with a 'rinse & recycle' message, both of which provide the consumer with a clear and strong environmental call-to-action.
Commenting on i2r’s entry, head of the judges, Veith Behrmann, Group Packaging Manager for Nestlé Nespresso, said: “Often we do not appreciate how much thought and effort goes into improving aluminium foil containers. Here, even small things can make a big difference.
“The pack has gone through a transformational rethink, which has resulted in a stronger container using 10% less material. That is a significant and sustainable achievement worthy of recognition.”
Jon West, i2r’s commercial director, added: “We are proud of our history of innovation and we are delighted to receive this award for our i2r Ultra™ product. Reducing packaging by design and increasing awareness of recyclability is an essential element of our business ethos.”