The new recyclable paperboard tray solutions for Morrisons' premium, core, and entry-level steak lines are designed to significantly reduce plastic usage, cutting 250 metric tons of plastic from the supply chain annually

Morrisons-VSP

Graphic Packaging helps Morrisons in redefining sustainable meat packaging. (Credit: Graphic Packaging International, LLC)

Graphic Packaging International, a US-based consumer packaging solutions provider, has joined forces with Morrisons to introduce a photographic print pressed board tray for the British supermarket chain’s private label steak portfolio.

The new recyclable paperboard tray solutions, available for Morrisons’ premium, core, and entry-level steak lines, aim to significantly reduce plastic use, eliminating 250 metric tons of plastic annually from the supply chain.

Morrisons procurement manager Dan Barnes said: “We know British shoppers look for packaging that helps them reduce their plastic consumption while also providing quality and value in their purchases, and we’re committed to delivering on these priorities.

“Our partnership with Graphic Packaging is a great one, as we worked towards our shared goal of delivering innovative, easily recyclable, paperboard packaging that meets the needs of our consumers.”

The premium trays incorporate Graphic Packaging’s advanced photo-quality print technology, offering unique branding opportunities and marking a substantial evolution in the pressed board tray portfolio.

Graphic Packaging trays and cups new business sales director Lauren Hutchinson said: “We are delighted for the Morrisons team. Thanks to their passion, collaborative spirit, and commitment, the adoption of our latest tray innovation allows them to not only further their progress toward their plastic reduction goals but also take advantage of the unique branding opportunities presented by our new print technology.”

Hutchinson revealed that the commercialisation was possible because of the close collaboration between the Morrisons team and three of Graphic Packaging’s sites located in Winsford, UK, and Lund and Tibro in Sweden.

Morrisons’ core range features unbleached paperboard for a kraft look, while the entry-level ‘Savers’ range uses bleached paperboard, providing clear visual differentiation between the product lines.

The pressed trays are vacuum sealed, ensuring shelf life equivalent to plastic packaging, and can be used with Morrisons Manufacturing’s existing equipment without requiring additional investment.

According to Graphic Packaging, the pressed board vacuum skin (VSP) trays are suitable for various fresh food applications, including deli meats, cheeses, and fish.

The photo-quality print covers the entire face of the tray and offers four-colour print capability on the back, enabling extensive branding opportunities, said the packaging solutions firm.

Earlier this year, Graphic Packaging signed a deal to sell its Augusta, Georgia, US-based bleached paperboard manufacturing site to Clearwater Paper for around $700m.