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Light weight, foamed recycled Polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) food trays as a (RPET-FOAM)

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The objective of the project is to upscale the production of an innovative foamed recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) packaging material from pilot scale to commercial volumes, and to launch this revolutionary new product into the European food packaging market. Foamed rPET packaging is a lightweight, environmentally friendly alternative to virgin polypropylene (PP) containers, the current industry standard, which unlike PET is not currently recycled. Due to reduced weight/material usage and high recycled content the carbon footprint of raw material used in these innovative food tray product offerings are in excess of 85% lower than non-foamed virgin mono PP food trays.


1. Light weight, low carbon footprint packaging 2. Reduced polymer and oil raw material usage 3. Packaging with unique tactile and aesthetic qualities


  • This project will deliver light weight, low carbon footprint recycled packaging that will replace current industry standard virgin packaging which has poor environmental performance.
  • rPET foam material/trays has been launched into the marketplace. Over 3,000,000 rPET foam trays have been sold to three customer, LSG sky chefs catering GmbH, Fresh & Pack Services BV, and Fernholz GmbH. This has generated additional revenue of over €200,000.
  • The innovative foamed rPET trays have a density 21% lower than standard rPET packaging. The trays lighter than industry standard Polypropylene trays and contain 85% post consumer recycled PET. The final tray product is itself 100% recyclable.
  • Using the PAS 2050 Carbon Footprint standard, the project consortium have calculated the Carbon Footprint of 1 kg foamed rPET trays to be 1.28 kg CO2 eq. / kg. Companies utilising this new packaging offering will be lowering their carbon footprint by 1.41 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of trays produced comparedto industry standard virgin polypropylene trays.
  • By the end of this project the consortium will have convinced the mushroom market to begin converting to this environmentally friendly packaging solution. We will also launch this material into the additional markets of poultry, Prawn, Mussels and Collator trays for shelf ready packaging. By project completion, this project will realise a return on investment in terms of 15 new technical jobs in Ireland.

Partners and coordinator

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Holfeld Plastics LtdIreland
Cumapol BVNetherlands


Holfeld Plastics Ltd
Avoca River Park
Arklow, Co. Wicklow Southern and Eastern
Contact point: 
Mr. John Cullen
+353 (0)402 41234


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In brief

Food and Drink
01/06/2011 to 01/12/2013
Contract number: 

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