Tyson® Brand, the ubiquitous protein producer best known for chicken, has a corporate goal of incorporating better, more sustainable plastics in its brand packaging. One example of it working toward this goal is in a new package design for its Instant Pot Meal Kits, which use Amcor’s AmPrima™ Recycle Ready Pouch. For their efforts, the Tyson and Amcor meal kit pouch collaboration received a 2022 Gold Award from the FPA for Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging.
The pouch, says Amcor, is a future-ready new flexible technology. The Tyson Meal Kit outer carry pouch, made of new AmPrima PE Plus proprietary film, showcases the next-generation flexible packaging materials now available to sustain the drive toward recyclable plastics and reduction of virgin and harmful materials, a common goal of the top 100 consumer goods brands, including Tyson.
|Read about all of the other 2022 Flexible Packaging Award-winning innovations, all 14 Gold winners, by clicking here.|
The film solves one of the flexible packaging industry’s biggest sustainability challenges. Many mixed-material flexible barrier films perform very well as packaging and on production lines, but are unable to be recycled. Amcor conducted years of research on how to replace layers that aren’t compatible with the PE film recycling stream.
The new material delivers high levels of clarity, stiffness, and heat and abuse resistance—qualities that are unavailable in any other recycle-ready films on the market today, according to the company. As in other Amcor AmPrima films, the drop-in AmPrima PE Plus solution is fully functional with appropriate price/value. That means it’s not only a sustainable solution, but a highly practical one that’s good for brands and business. The new material will not compromise filling performance, graphics or printing, or barrier properties, according to the company.
In this Instant Pot Meal Kit application, the film is used in a new flexible carrier pouch, which allows Tyson to make significant improvements over the existing three-part rigid packaging system. Based on an ASSET™ environmental life cycle assessment, the new pouch exhibits sustainability improvements that can be illustrated in relatable, real-life ways. For instance, it provides an 80% reduction in overall carbon footprint (fossil fuel), the equivalent of 62 cars driven for one year. It also uses 84% less water to produce, the equivalent of 9,200 10-minute showers. It provides an 80% reduction in non-renewable primary energy demand, equal to 2490 CFL lightbulbs burning for one year. And it provides a 75% reduction in baseline packaging weight, from .060 kg to .015 kg per package. These dramatic gains provide a promising alternative for a wide range of brand packaging applications, extending the use of flexible packaging into sustainable new territory, and reframing the plastics narrative through a more positive lens.
The large, clear pouch gives consumers a 360-deg view of the fresh kit ingredients. Because the graphics are reverse-printed into the outer carrier (eliminating the need for a label), brand graphics are not impacted by the high-humidity, high-abuse environments of food distribution and retailing. Since the materials are recycle ready and are eligible for the How2Recycle Store Drop-Off logo, the package allows Tyson to further influence consumer engagement and provide the sustainable choices today’s consumers seek. After all, according to a 2021 survey conducted by the Boston Consulting Group, 67% of consumers consider it important that the products they buy are in recyclable packaging, and more than half take sustainable packaging into consideration during purchase. PW