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Cat litter gets a 'hand' up

Cedar Fresh cat litter from MFM Industries, Reddick, FL, is the first commercial user of a special new injection-molded polyethylene handle located in a corner of its 12- and 14-lb flexible stand-up pouches. Introduced last October, Cedar Fresh uses a handle from 2N2 that’s applied by MFM to the bags on a machine from Marble Manor.

Pw 13966 Cedar Fresh1

The new handled bag replaces a heavier bag structure with a die-cut handle that was reinforced by the manual application of tape, says Mark Teixeira, former vice president of operations at MFM.

“We had a heavy-duty structure at that time, eight mils of linear-low-density polyethylene laminated to one mil of cast nylon,” he tells Packaging World. “Even then, we found we had to reinforce the handle area with tape that was manually applied, just for added security.” Then, at a stand-up pouch conference in January ’02, Teixeira learned about the 2N2 handle.

“After looking at samples, I incorporated it into our package design,” Teixeira says.

“I redesigned the bag to be able to insert the handle manually, because the converters I contacted weren’t prepared or equipped to do it automatically. Marble Manor built a machine so we could add the handle in our plant.”

Details on the current film structure were not available. However, MFM, 2N2, and its converter are now exploring ways to have the converter add the handle, possibly with a more automated process, in the near future.

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