CESENA – At Fruit Logistica 2020, Sorma, the group that leads the world in the design and construction of fruit and vegetable packaging, grading and weighing systems, launched an innovation destined to revolutionize packaging in this industry.
This is SORMAPEEL, an original patent pending solution developed by the Italian group, which after years of research into practical, sustainable solutions, has come up with a product for the circular economy that offers real benefits to the entire fruit and vegetable supply chain and even beyond, through to plastic and paper recycling firms.
SORMAPEEL is the new packaging line that can be applied to the entire range of Sorma fruit and vegetable packaging machinery. Therefore, its adoption does not imply any new investments to modify or change existing machines. Its second strong point is its performances: the new solution maintains all the content-visibility, breathability, resistance, speed and strength characteristics found on all the other Sorma packaging lines.
The innovative feature is the introduction of a “peel-off” strip of paper (hence “Sormapeel”), which is easily removable by consumers, making the separate recycling of the plastic and paper quick and trouble-free. What’s more, this packaging contains, on average, 50% less plastic than the conventional equivalent, and this material is completely recyclable: consisting entirely of PE (high density polyethylene) or PP (polypropylene), it can be recycled with even greater speed and ease.
The paper strip, on the other hand, provides many benefits. First of all, as well as adding strength, it allows the plastic film to be 70% thinner than normal: the paper protects the very thin layer of plastic that makes up the film. Secondly, this innovation is economical (costs very similar to the company’s standard line) compared to other solutions, which are much more expensive.
Thanks to the reduction in plastic content and its partial replacement with paper, the new line is extremely lightweight, compared to both non-recyclable mixed poly-bonded and single-material versions. In practice, the 1 kg size of Rosapack and Sormabag, weighing 2.79 g and 2.22 g
respectively, is even lighter than clipped net bags, which weigh 2.88 g and are not recyclable. Specifically, the 1 kg Sormabag weighs less than a 1 Euro-cent coin.
“With SORMAPEEL,” Group CEO Andrea Mercadini comments, “we have won a major race against time, with great benefits for the environment. As a Group, we have been working for years on the development of innovative materials and solutions to support the circular economy that is becoming more and more necessary to protect our planet’s resources. Today, we are taking a big step forward, because in a era when plastic polymers and their future are the focus of much discussion, Sorma is offering a solution that considers the most widely different packaging-related factors: convenience, cost saving and recyclability. And the combination of these factors makes this a real solution, which can genuinely be applied to all products, and not just a small selection of specific categories such as organics. What’s more, this solution is so innovative that a patent application is now pending.”
“Moreover, we have adopted very commonly used materials,” Mario Mercadini, Large Scale Manager, continues, “so the downstream recycling system is well established, and able to handle them easily and dispose of them effectively, not always the case with other materials, such as compostables. Within our organisation, the SORMAPEEL innovation has led to a change in the production process, but we are already able to guarantee continual supplies to all interested customers, anywhere in the world.”
Sorma Group was founded in 1973. It is currently the world’s only corporate group able to offer a turnkey solution comprising the entire line of machines required to automatically grade, weigh and pack fruit and vegetable products, together with supply of the technical material for creating all forms of packaging. It offers more than 160 automatic machine models, protected by 60 patents entirely developed by an in-house team of 35 engineers. More than 30 fruit and vegetable products can be graded and presented with the utmost precision and reliability, to effectively respond to the increasingly demanding needs of the Organized Trade. The Group has its own operations centres in Spain, Germany, France, Turkey, the Netherlands, the USA and Brazil. Alongside these subsidiaries, there are also 40 specialist distributors operating at the global level.