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Eco-friendly film-card pack

Applications are imminent for this 'new generation' carded package that combines a printed die-cut card with a corn-based PLA film.

Eco-friendly packaging has stretched into a new format: carded packs. Products in EcoStretch packaging from Witko, Inc. are expected to appear on store shelves soon.

Promoted as a "polyvinyl chloride-free" package, EcoStretch was introduced last month, though Witko had been working with potential customers for some weeks prior. Major consumer packaged goods companies are already testing prototypes of EcoStretch packs for their products, says Witko vp of sales and marketing Dale Ringer. He expects a market introduction by the end of 2006. The initial introduction could likely be from among several diverse categories, either a health and beauty care product, or electronics item, or a packaged toy.

Witko claims EcoStretch is "a source-reduced package that's thinner and lighter in weight than a clamshell, yet tough and puncture resistant."

Converted from source material from polylactic acid (PLA) from NatureWorks, LLC, the pack's film is provided by EarthFirst. Received in roll form, Witko cuts the PLA film to size, seals it to the card stock backing, and then shrinks it during packaging. The clear film contains, protects and showcases the product in much the same way that a carded blister does.

PLA film is tough and clear

A particular grade of PLA film in thicknesses of 3 to 5 mils is used, Ringer tells us. He claims the high-clarity PLA film is an eco-friendlier, yet equally functional substitute for PVC or DuPont Surlyn™ film that provides solid theft resistance, he adds.

The printed paperboard card can be either SBS or recycled material.

Witko is a full-service contract packager that also converts the film into the EcoStretch carded pack format prior to card packaging on four automated lines. Sealing is via radio-frequency. Witko can provide an easy opening feature for the packs if desired.

Ringer says interested customers are considering EcoStretch as replacement for current packaging and for new product launches.

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