DuPont Winning Breakthrough and Greener Package Award

Healthy Choice, Marie Callender's, Kid Cuisine & Banquet Meals and Entrees


Most frozen meals in plastic packaging have traditionally used virgin CPET trays. Through ConAgra Foods' partnership with APT, an ultra-clean rPET resin has been qualified for commercial use in our trays. This resin has been FDA approved for direct food contact for dual ovenable conditions. We have qualified up to 40% rPET in our CPET trays. This reduces the amount of virgin PET required to support ourbusiness by at least 8,000,000 pounds per year. It also created an additional value stream for recycled PET, strengthening the recycling infrastructure. ConAgra Foods was the first food manufacturer in North America to utilize this technology.

CPET has poor end-of-life options. It is not traditionally compatible with the PET recycle stream (although it is marked with an SPI code of "1"). ConAgra Foods is one of the largest manufacturers of frozen foods in North America and is committed to improving the environmental impact of its packaging. Since end-of- life packaging is an area where we have limited control, we partnered with our tray supplier, APT, to identify opportunities to look at new technologies on the raw material side. With dual ovenability remaining a requirement from consumers, and large capital investments already in place at APT, material options were somewhat limited, but recycled content was clearly a place worth looking for options.

Judge's Comments
Diverting 8 million tons of plastic into CPET trays is an achievement. The technologies used to precondition the recycled plastics will also facilitate further development in this field and needs to find its way into the sustainable toolbox.

Resource & Energy Optimization

The new packages use up to 40% PCR rPET depending on the tray specification. Across the total CPET business for our four Frozen Food brands, we are averaging >16% of our total CPET from PCR.

Categories: Food and Beverage DuPont Award Winner Greener Package Award Winner Consumer Goods