Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation on October 3 announced cost-saving opportunities and sustainability benefits for produce growers and grocers at the 2009 Produce Marketing Association's (PMA) Fresh Summit International Convention and Exposition in Anaheim, Calif.

 

Dwight Morris, western region vice president for Smurfit-Stone's Corrugated Container division, told PMA attendees that, "Our Meta Tray-8 cases, RecyclaCorr corrugated containers, and recycling and waste services reduce operating costs and enhance the sustainability of both the produce growers' and grocers' operations."

 

Smurfit-Stone is the only North American packaging company that produces the Meta Tray-8 cases featured at PMA. Packaging equipment manufactured by the company's Automated Packaging Systems group, including the Meta Tray-8 machine, makes containers that are designed to use less fiber or use the same amount of fiber but achieve greater stacking strength.

 

Compared to a regular slotted case, the Meta Tray-8 case can be made with up to 21 percent less fiber and equal stacking strength, or up to 127 percent more stacking strength. The Tray-8 also outperforms a BTB. The Meta Tray-8 can be made with up to 18 percent less fiber than a typical BTB, but with equal stacking strength, or up to 46 percent more stacking strength.

 

Greater box strength increases stackability for produce growers and grocers, while less fiber translates into lower supply chain costs and a more sustainable package. The Meta Tray-8's additional mitered sides allow for enhanced graphics and greater visual appeal, making the box a more effective marketing tool.

 

Smurfit-Stone also produces a sustainable, fully recyclable alternative to wax- impregnated packaging called RecyclaCorr.

 

"Our customers are using RecyclaCorr cases for produce, bakery, floral, beverage and protein products because the packaging is specially formulated to protect products stored and distributed in cold-humid environments. RecyclaCorr is also FDA approved for food contact," said Morris.

RecyclaCorr also adds value to sustainable packaging scorecards and to end-users who generate additional revenue by recycling their old corrugated containers.

 

RecyclaCorr, Meta Tray-8 cases and other Smurfit-Stone cases can incorporate traceability features. "Food traceability is a serious concern in a supply chain that distributes from state to state and from country to country," said Morris. "We work with customers to provide traceability solutions that are appropriate, reliable and cost effective for both field- and shed-packing operations, as well as other applications."

 

In addition to providing recyclable packaging solutions to our customers, Morris told attendees that, "Smurfit-Stone's Recycling division works closely with our Container division to offer our recycling and waste services capabilities to our packaging customers. The waste services programs we provide properly manage our packaging customers' waste streams, while reducing their costs and improving the sustainability of their operations."

 

Morris added, "We manage recycling and waste solutions services for some of the largest companies in the United States. Our teams of waste management experts are working to create 360-degree sustainability programs for our customers that include turning scrap into new products. We are continually looking for new and innovative ways to serve our customers."

 

Smurfit-Stone Container Corporation is one of the industry's leading integrated containerboard and corrugated packaging producers, and one of the world's largest paper recyclers. The company is a member of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Chicago Climate Exchange. Smurfit-Stone generated revenue of $7.04 billion in 2008; has led the industry in safety every year since 2001; and conducts its business in compliance with the environmental, health, and safety principles of the American Forest & Paper Association.