Tesco has recently announced a switch to PE films for its organic bagged salads, as part of a group-wide pledge to make all of its packaging recyclable or compostable, and is using environmentally-friendly ultrasonics technology to seal these bags. Usually, prepared salads are packaged in OPP, which cannot currently be recycled in the UK. PE, on the other hand, can be recycled into carrier bags as well as long-life products such as park benches, bollards and waste bins. Whilst OPP bags could be produced using a conventional heat sealer, the same sealing technology could not be used for thicker PE films – instead, historically, an impulse sealing head was required. The recent development of heat-sealable PE films has eliminated the need for two different sealing modules when running OPP and PE, but ultrasonics has emerged as the sealing technology for creating high integrity seals on both substrates. Latest generation bag makers such as ILAPAK’s Vegatronic 6000 can seal everything from laminated films to PE and LDPE films ultrasonically. ILAPAK UK estimates that one third of all VFFS (vertical form fill seal) packaging machines in the salad and cut leaf industry field are n...