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A more environmentally friendly polystyrene tray, we were successful!

EVO, the first polystyrene foam food tray made with recycled material

When you go grocery shopping, do you pay particular attention to the type of packaging used to package your food? Recycled or recyclable clear plastic containers, polystyrene foam trays, cardboard boxes, etc. More and more, packaging is becoming a factor in the decision-making process of a food product as much as the type of food, where it comes from and its method of production. We want to make the best choice, but how does one decide?

All types of packaging provide a multitude of benefits according to the context and the product, specifically when we are talking about conserving foods as well as their cleanliness. Let us not forget that in the majority of cases, the loss of food because of poor conservation or contamination will be more harmful than its packaging when it comes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Ultimately, all efforts made to reduce the GHG emissions that come from the production of our packaging have an impact and will help to reduce the environmental footprint of a packaged food product. We see more and more containers that are made with recycled and recyclable materials, but what progress has been made with polystyrene foam, often called number 6 plastic?

So why not make better polystyrene foam packaging?

This is the challenge that our research and development team gave itself: provide food packaging as efficient as the standard polystyrene foam trays, while decreasing our GHG emissions. Following a life cycle analysis carried out by CIRAIG for Cascades, we concluded that we could lower our emissions by reducing the use of raw material, while increasing our use of recycled materials as well as by optimizing production processes in order to lower our energy consumption.

We have risen to the challenge! In 2013, we brought EVOK to market, the first polystyrene foam food tray made with recycled materials; it contains 25%! A first in North America, of which we are most proud!

 

By substituting a portion of the virgin materials for recycled materials, we substantially reduced the environmental impact on our products. And by how much? A 20% reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions compared to the traditional Cascades polystyrene foam. A huge step forward!

Where can we find EVOK?

How can you recognize EVOK products and encourage more responsible consumption? Look for the EVOK logo on the back of trays used for meat and fresh vegetables at your grocery store.

Will you be looking on the back of your tray during your next purchase? Will EVOK be found there? Ask your grocer the question!