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Report: Innovative New Sustainable Packaging at PACK EXPO Las Vegas

PMMI Media Group editors fanned out across the many booths at PACK EXPO Las Vegas to bring you this Innovations Report. Here’s what they saw in the sustainable packaging category.

Image #1 in the article text.
Image #1 in the article text.

There was a time when a review of packaging material innovations debuting at a major trade show like PACK EXPO would focus on examples of improved functionality and performance. Think enhanced gas barrier characteristics, antimicrobial properties, improved slip properties for better machineability, or the addition of new tactile elements for even greater shelf impact.Image #1 in the article text.Image #1 in the article text.

But the PMMI Media Group editors who roamed the aisles of PACK EXPO Las Vegas last September looking for new developments in packaging materials found, as you’ll see in the coverage below, that one topic ruled the roost: sustainability. Perhaps this should come as no surprise, considering how clamorous consumers, retailers, and for that matter society in general have become about sustainable packaging. Still, it’s worth noting just how dominant this one aspect of the packaging materials space has become.

Also worth pointing out is that developments in the paper sector are abundant, to say the least. Let’s begin with the all-paper blister pack machine (1) featured at the booth of Starview, an initiative developed jointly by Starview and paperboard converter Rohrer.

“The conversations between Rohrer and Starview have been going on for quite a while,” says Sarah Carson, Head of Marketing at Rohrer. “But in the past year or two the pressure on consumer packaged goods companies to deliver on ambitious sustainable packaging goals by 2025 was increasing considerably, to the point that customer demand started to really ramp up. That included one significant customer who was so serious about the idea that it gave us a powerful business reason to invest in the R&D that it was going to take. Fortunately, we had already established a great partnership with Starview from the machinery side.”

“We had both intended to actually launch this last year at PACK EXPO in Chicago,” says Robert van Gilse, Director of Sales and Marketing at Starview. As we all know, COVID-19 put the kibosh on that plan. But then when customer interest in the concept grew the way that it did, says van Gilse, “We knew it was time to get really serious.”

On the machinery side, a key goal throughout the development process was to come up with tooling that would make it possible for existing customers already running automated Starview blister machines to get in on the all-paper blister option by simply adding an auxiliary feeder to any one of Starview’s FAB (Fully Automated Blister) Series of machines. With this tooling in place, a flat paper blister is picked from a magazine feed and, thanks to precision scoring done by Rohrer, is erected and made ready to receive whatever product the customer happens to be packaging. Then it’s just a matter of applying the blister card and heat sealing card to blister.

As for the paperboard components that come from Rohrer, at the PACK EXPO Las Vegas booth demo the blister was a 20-point SBS and the blister card was a 14-point SBS. The virgin board is FSC certified, notes Carson. She also says that Rohrer, a member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, worked with that organization to make it possible for customers to easily get permission to use the SPC’s How2Recycle logo on their blister packages.

Printing, meanwhile, is done on an offset press, and if customers so choose, a window can be die cut into the blister card to provide product visibility. Keep in mind that customers using this all paper blister are producers of products like kitchen gadgets or tooth brushes or pens as opposed to pharmaceutical or healthcare products where such a window would of course be out of the question.

When asked what the All-Paper Blister will cost compared to comparable alternatives, both Carson and van Gilse said there are so many supply chain variables percolating right now that it’s difficult to say.

Watch video   

Watch a video of the machine in action.

Innovative trays

Image #2 in the article text.Image #2 in the article text.The Syntegon Kliklok topload carton former known as ACE—developed with a particular focus on ergonomic design, sustainability, and increased efficiency—made its North American debut at PACK EXPO Connects 2020. (Click here for more on this machine.) The ACE (Advanced Carton Erector) was on display once again in Las Vegas, but now it is available with a special head that lets it form a unique compartmented paperboard tray (2) that is certified as compostable. Syntegon sees the new tray as a far more sustainable alternative to the plastic trays that are widely used in packaging cookies, for example.

Samples of the tray shown at PACK EXPO were 18-pt natural kraft, though a range of thicknesses are available from CMPC Biopackaging Boxboard, which produces the tray. Trays can also be offered with a barrier coating, says CMPC Biopackaging Boxboard, that is repulpable, recyclable, and compostable.

The ACE machine is capable of forming either glue-style cartons or lock cartons that require no glue. The paperboard carton introduced at PACK EXPO is a lock style requiring no glue, and Syntegon indicates that a three-head ACE system can handle 120 of these paper trays/min. Adds Syntegon Product Manager Janet Darnley, “Getting mechanical fingers to form a tray like this having compartments as it does is a significant accomplishment, especially when there’s no glue involved.”

On display at the AR Packaging booth was a package just now being launched by Toronto-based Club Coffee that takes full advantage of AR’s Boardio®technology. In an upcoming issue we’ll have feature-length coverage of this recyclable, mostly paperboard alternative to today’s multilayer packaging, which is difficult to recycle.

Other news from AR Packaging is the launch of a paperboard tray concept (3) intended for modified atmosphere packaging of ready meals, processed meat, fresh fish, and other chilled foods. The fully recyclable TrayLite® solution provides an efficient and convenient alternative to full plastic barrier trays and reduces plastics by 85%, says AR Packaging.Image #3 in the article text.Image #3 in the article text.

Alternatives with recycled or renewable plastics are available today, but many brand owners, retailers, and food producers have set targets for fully recyclable packaging with maximized fiber content. By combining its expertise in both cartonboard packaging and flexible high-barrier materials, AR Packaging was able to develop a tray that has an Oxygen Transmission Rate lower than 5 cc/sqm/24r.

Made of sustainably sourced cartonboard, the two-piece paperboard tray is lined and sealed with thin higher barrier mono-material films to ensure product protection and extended shelf life. When asked how film is attached to cartonboard, AR says only this: “The cartonboard and the liner are developed to adhere without any use of glue or adhesive and in a manner that makes it easy for the consumer to separate for recycling after use.” The cartonboard tray, liner, and lidding film—a multilayer PE with a thin EVOH layer for gas barrier purposes—are easy for the consumer to separate from each other and recycle in separate well-established recycling streams across Europe, says AR.

“We are excited to offer a new improved paper tray and support the development towards more circular packaging solutions,” says Yoann Bouvet, Global Sales Director Food Service at AR Packaging. “Designed for recycling and easy to handle, heat, and eat from, TrayLite® is ideal for a wide range of products such as ready meals, chilled meat & fish, and nutritional food. Being lightweight and using 85% less plastic, it is a sustainable alternative to the conventional plastic trays.”

Thanks to the patented design of the tray, the thicknesses of cartonboard can be tailored to the exact needs, and therefore fewer resources are used while tightest seal integrity is achieved. The inner liner is recyclable as mono-material PE with an ultrathin barrier layer that provides the crucial product protection and thereby minimizes food waste. And branding and consumer communication is excellent thanks to the full surface print possibilities on the tray—both inside and outside.

“Our goal is to create safe and sustainable packaging solutions in cooperation with our customers and thereby help meet consumer needs and our customers’ ambitious sustainability targets,” says Harald Schulz, CEO at AR Packaging. “The launch of TrayLite® confirms this commitment and is one more addition to our wide range of creative innovations provided by our multi-category packaging group.”

Watch video   

Watch a video of the innovative paper-based tray.

Developments in pouches

Image #4 in the article text.Image #4 in the article text.UFlex partnered with Mespack, a manufacturer of flexible packaging, end-of-line, and soluble pods equipment, and Hoffer Plastics, a leader in the custom injection molding industry, to develop a sustainable solution that will address the complexities of recycling attached with hot-fill pouches.

These three innovative firms have jointly developed a turnkey solution (4) that not only enables 100% recyclability of hot-fill pouches with its new mono-polymer structure but also the spout caps, thus bringing many ecologically responsible brands closer to reaching their sustainability goals.

Commonly, hot-fill pouches are used to pack ready-to-eat foods, allowing sterile packaging of a range of fresh, cooked, or semi-cooked food, juices, and drinks. It’s used as an alternative to traditional industrial canning methods. The utility of hot-fill pouches has outshone the expectations of consumers due to the functionality of easy storage and direct consumption of food content after heating it within the pack itself.

The newly designed recycle-ready single-material PP-based hot-fill pouch combines the strength of OPP (Oriented PP) & CPP (Cast Unoriented PP) in a layered laminated structure designed by UFlex offering enhanced barrier properties, easy heat seal-ability, and longer shelf life for unrefrigerated food storage. Sealing is done with patented closures from Hoffer Plastics in the form of tamper-evident, strong-seal spout caps. And pouch production features the mechanical integrity of the Mespack HF-series fill and seal machine, which allows efficient fill through the spout of pre-made pouches. The new design offers 100% easy recyclability of the laminated structure and spout cap as well within existing PP recycling streams and infrastructures. These pouches manufactured at a UFlex plant in India will be exported to American markets and will be used primarily for packing edible products such as baby food, food puree, and pet food, etc.

Thanks to Mespack technology, the HF Series is completely developed and designed to work with recyclable materials, and due to the continuous through-the-spout filling, up to 15% of the headspace is reduced by eliminating the wave effect.

“With our future-ready approach focusing on circular driven packaging, we are trying to offer products that widen our sustainable footprint in the ecosystem,” commented Luc Verhaak, Vice President-Sales at UFlex Packaging. “Designing with mono-materials, like with this recycle-ready PP hot-fill spouted pouch, creates value for the recycling industry and helps in the development of a better recycling infrastructure. This co-creation with Mespack and Hoffer Plastics is an accomplishment backed by collective vision for a sustainable future and excellence in packaging, and it also marks the beginning of new opportunities in the future that can be tapped with our respective strengths.”

“One of our Mespack promises is to focus on developing innovative equipment for sustainable packaging solutions to preserve the environment and reduce the carbon footprint,” states Guillem Clofent, Managing Director of Mespack. “To do so, we follow three main strategies: Reduce usage of raw materials, replace them with more recyclable solutions, and adapt our technology to these new recyclable, biodegradable or compostable materials. In this case, thanks to the collaboration between key strategic partners, our customers already have a recyclable solution for pre-made pouches contributing to the circular economy, helping to achieve their goals at the same time.”

“Sustainability has always been a critical focus and driving force at Hoffer Plastics,” says Alex Hoffer, Chief Revenue Officer at Hoffer Plastics Corporation. “Now more than ever, creating products that are fully recyclable and circularly designed from the outset is not just in demand, it will shape the future of our industry and the environment. We’re proud to work with innovative, responsible partners like the UFlex and Mespack teams in leading the way forward.”

Watch video   

Watch a video of this innovative concept.

Sometimes it’s not just new products that are debuted at PACK EXPO, but also the ways those products go to market and which industry-first third-party certifications they might be able to tout. While that’s something unusual to report on in a new product review, we found it innovative, and this, after all, is the innovations report.

Glenroy used PACK EXPO to first officially introduce its TruRenu portfolio of sustainable flexible packaging (5). But as a cherry on top, it was also able to unveil certification in what’s called the NexTrex program, a circular economy-minded initiative whose output is durable goods. More on that in a bit. First let’s look at the new branding. Image #5 in the article text.Image #5 in the article text.

“The TruRenu portfolio includes PCR [post-consumer resin] content up to 53%. It also includes store drop-off recyclable pouches, and everything from spouted pouches, to roll stock, to our recycle-ready pre-made STANDCAP pouches,” says Ken Brunnbauer, Marketing Manager at Glenroy. “Not only are our store drop-off pouches certified by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition [SPC], we also were just informed that we’ve been certified by Trex.” Trex, of course, is the Winchester, Va.-based manufacturer of wood-alternative composite decking, railing, and other outdoor items made from recycled materials.

Glenroy says it is the first flexible packaging manufacturer to offer store drop-off pouches certified by Trex for its NexTrex program, whom brands can work with for their own, consumer-facing certifications. It’s a no-cost investment to the brand, according to Brunnbauer.

If the brand’s product is certified by Trex to be clean and dry when the pouch is empty, they can put the NexTrex logo on their packaging. And when the packaging gets sorted, if it has a NexTrex logo on it, it goes directly to Trex to eventually become durable goods, like Trex decking or furniture.

“So brands can tell their consumers that, if they are using a pouch that’s part of the NexTrex program, it’s almost guaranteed to not go in the landfill and instead end up as part of the circular economy,” Brunbauer added during a PACK EXPO chat. “It’s super exciting. We just got that certification as of early last week [Sept. 2021]. We announced it today as part of a focus on delivering sustainable solutions to serve the next generations.”

Paper bags and molded starch

Image #6 in the article text.Image #6 in the article text.Sustainable packaging initiatives were front and center at the booth of Mondi Consumer Flexibles in North America, as the firm highlighted three new sustainability-driven packaging innovations aimed specifically at the pet food market.

The new packages are

• FlexiBag in Box (6), which supports online and omnichannel pet food marketing

• FlexiBag Recyclable, a recyclable flat-bottom bag with a zipper reclosure feature, and

• FlexiBag Recycle Handle, a recycle-ready, rolled-glue-bottom bag with an easy-to-carry handle. Each package is designed to capture consumer attention—on retail shelves or through e-commerce channels—and earn brand preference among environmentally aware end users.

Options for all FlexiBag packages include premium rotogravure and up to 10-color flexographic or ultra high-definition flexographic printing. Bags are available with clear windows, laser scores, and gussets.

One thing that makes Mondi’s new FlexiBag in Box format so notable is that bag-in-box is rarely if ever seen in the pet food market. “Our qualitative and quantitative consumer research identified a consumer need for this format in the pet food sector,” says William Kuecker, Mondi Consumer Flexibles Vice President of Marketing, North America. “There is a demand for a package that allows consumers to easily serve from and yet reliably reclose. This should replace the current widespread practice of pouring pet food into a bin or tub at home. The inclusion of the slider on the package was also key to consumer interest in our research.”

Kuecker also noted the steady growth in pet food sold via e-commerce, where SIOC (Ships In Own Container) is all the rage. The FlexiBag in Box meets this requirement. Plus it enables brands to promote their products on both their product packages and the shipping containers in which they are delivered to end user customers.

“FlexiBag in Box is designed for the growing online and omnichannel petfood market,” says Kuecker. “The SIOC-compatible box combination is based on insights gleaned from extensive consumer research. The packaging equips pet food manufacturers with a powerful branding-through-use tool that supports retailers’ online marketing efforts and strengthens brand preference among end users. At the same time, it helps retailers to satisfy sustainability goals, while assuring environmentally aware customers that the products they purchase conform to high sustainability standards.”

Kuecker adds that FlexiBags are compatible with existing filling equipment currently handling large pet food side-gussetted bags, including machinery from Cetec, Thiele, General Packer, and others. As for the flexible film material, Kuecker describes it as a PE/PE mono-material lamination developed by Mondi to be suitable for holding dry pet food in quantities up to 30 lb.

The recycle FlexiBag in Box arrangement consists of flat, rolled-glue, or pinch-bottom bags and ready-to-ship boxes. Both the bags and boxes can be custom printed with a brand’s graphics, logo, and promotional and sustainability messages, as well as nutrition content information.

Moving on to Mondi’s new PE FlexiBag Recyclable bags, these are available with reclosability features, including press-to-close and pocket zip. The entire package, including the zipper, is recyclable, says Kuecker. The packages are designed specifically to meet the shelf appeal and production efficiencies required by the pet food industry. The bags come in flat, rolled-glue, or pinch-bottom configurations. They incorporate high fat, aroma, and moisture barriers, offer good shelf stability, are 100% airtight, and are suitable for filling weights up to 44 lb. (20 kg).

As part of Mondi’s EcoSolutions approach that helps customers meet their sustainability goals with new packaging solutions, the FlexiBag Recyclable is approved for the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s How2Recycle Store Drop-off Program. The How2Recycle Store Drop-off approval is product-specific, so even though this package is approved a brand will need to obtain separate approval for each product.

Last but not least, the new Flexible Recycle Handle is available in rolled-glue and pinch-bottom configurations. The handle makes FlexiBag easier to carry and pour products.

Watch video   

Watch a video of FlexiBag in Box.

Evanesce, a relatively new player in the compostable packaging space, used PACK EXPO Las Vegas to unveil what it calls “groundbreaking Image #7 in the article text.Image #7 in the article text.sustainable packaging technology.” The firm’s scientists have engineered a patented molded starch technology (7) that produces cost-competitive compostable packaging that is 100% plant-based. The firm expects its meal trays, meat trays, containers, and cups to be commercially available in 2022.

Essential to the production of these packages is standard food processing equipment from Buhler that’s been adapted to make containers. “Our packaging is baked in molds much as you would bake cookies,” says Evanesce CEO Doug Horne. “But what really makes us stand out is that 65% of the composition of the ‘dough’ being baked is starch. About a third is fiber, and the remaining ingredients we consider proprietary. Starch is significantly less expensive than fiber, so we expect the cost of our packaging to be about half of what other compostable packaging is. Yet it has outstanding performance characteristics, like being oven safe and suitable for the microwave oven.”

Horne says the material looks and feels like expanded polystyrene (EPS), except that it’s made completely from organic matter. Both the starch (tapioca or potato, for example) and the fiber (rice husks or bagasse, for example) are byproducts from the food manufacturing industry. “The idea is to use waste fiber or starch byproducts that are plentiful in whatever region the package is being made,” adds Horne.

Horne says that now underway is the process of getting ASTM certification for both home and industrial compostability. In the meantime, the firm is building a 114,000-sq-ft plant in North Las Vegas that will include not only manufacturing lines for the molded starch items but also lines that will produce PLA straws, another Evanesce specialty.

In addition to launching its own commercial production facility in North Las Vegas, the firm plans to license its patented technology to other interested parties, says Horne.

Ring carriers

Image #8 in the article text.Image #8 in the article text.At PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2019, Tecma Aries won a Technology Excellence Award for an applicator machine it developed specifically for the E6PR beverage can ring carrier. At the 2021 Vegas show, the machine was again a highlight, and this time the news was that Elevation Brewing (8) has begun using the machine at its Poncha Springs, Colo., facility.

The E6PR (Eco Six Pack Ring) is compostable in municipal composting facilities, and home compostability certification is underway. The carrier is made of by-product waste from the food and beverage manufacturing industry. Like molded pulp products, the process involves a slurry that is poured into heated molds. But no paper or cellulose is in the mix, and considerable development work and customization lies behind the molds and the process in general, says E6PR.

“We started talking to the E6PR guys two years ago,” says Christian Koch, co-founder of the Colorado brewery. “At the time we were applying plastic ring carriers with an automated system, and as appealing as the fiber-based carrier was, it could only be applied manually. And once you have that kind of thing automated, you don’t really want to go back to manual. When we learned that E6PR had formed a relationship with Tecma Aries and that an automated applicator was available, we became the first to install one.”

The Model DC180 running at Elevation Brewing is capable of about 180 cans/min. Tecma Aries now offers five other versions, including a DC2400 that handles 2,400 cans/min.

Koch confirms that the fiber-based carrier is more expensive than the plastic carriers it had been using. But consumers and retailers alike had made it clear that this was a move that had to be made. Koch adds that one other option the firm had considered is going to paperboard instead of ring carriers. But that would have been even more expensive than the E6PR option.Image #9 in the article text.Image #9 in the article text.

Currently Elevation Brewing is doing primarily six-packs, but soon four-packs will be added. The tooling change required takes only a few minutes, says Koch.

Just because some in the ring carrier business are enthusiastic about paper-based solutions doesn’t mean everyone has to be. Take a look at what PakTech showed at PACK EXPO Las Vegas: unique handles (9) that were just recognized by the Business Intelligence Group for its Sustainability Product of the Year in the 2021 Sustainability Awards program.

Throughout all aspects of development, PakTech embraces a sustainable and circular approach by embracing the waste hierarchy, embodying the reduce, reuse, and recycle principles in their product designs. In addition to being 100% recycled and 100% recyclable, PakTech’s handles reduce unnecessary plastic with their minimalist design. And in addition to the sustainability accolades, PakTech handles excel in form and function. They are durable, water resistant, comfortable to carry, and easy to remove. The handles are reusable and recyclable infinitely.

“We are proud to reward and recognize PakTech for their sustainability efforts,” says Maria Jimenez, Chief Nominations Officer of Business Intelligence Group. “It was clear to our judges that their vision and strategy will continue to deliver results toward a cleaner, more sustainable world.”

In all aspects of its business operations, PakTech is committed to creating a more circular and sustainable economy and society, to reducing waste, and to helping brands achieve their sustainability goals. The company aims to provide circular packaging solutions manufactured from 100 percent recycled resin and its own recycled handles because it believes this practice can help achieve a circular economy, one where no plastic becomes waste and the demand for virgin plastic is greatly reduced.

When PakTech handles are recycled, they are transformed back into recycled resin and used to make new handles, composite lumber, flower pots, pipes, park benches, and more, completing the circular loop. Their unique handles have provided leading brands and retailers globally with fully circular and sustainable packaging solutions for 30 years.

A trend in multipacks

Packaging World has been tracking a recent trend among some food and beverage companies that has them switching their multipack material from plastic shrink film to fiber-based paperboard wraps. There are a lot of variables at play as brands choose between the two substrates for their multipacks. Cost, weight, mechanical strength (or requirement for adhesive), ability to withstand moisture, and ability to receive print are all part of the cost/benefit analysis. The recent shift toward fiber-based offerings is, at least in part, born out of consumer perceptions around plastic and the sustainability story that can be told around the pack. And it’s not just the consumer perception. Retailers’ shifting attitudes toward the different substrates also factor into brand decisions.

WestRock isn’t just surfing this plastic-to-paperboard wave, the company is also helping to drive it. A commercialized example that PW covered earlier this year (read more here) is of a Heinz canned food multipack rollout in the U.K. (coincidentally or not, where Tesco is the major retail player). This Heinz application represents what John Perkins, VP, Global Packaging Systems, says is WestRock’s ability to link together three different pillars of company focus—paperboard material, package design, and automation with machinery that wraps multipacks. Image #10 in the article text.Image #10 in the article text.

“The Cluster-Wing™ (10) is a patent-applied innovation that links to the actual design of the consumer pack, as well as the machinery,” Perkins says. “What we were able to do is take out what normally would’ve been scrap, these black areas (indicated in image 10 with “A” ), and we’re able to turn them into a performance element of the pack. If it was a simple wrap, there’d be nothing that would mechanically hold the cans together in the multi-pack. We are able to design the pack, along with our machinery, to fold these tabs [gussets] up inside the pack, both on the top and the bottom, and lock the cans in without any glue. It’s a glue-free pack that passes all the performance tests. It’s the most fiber-reduced pack of its kind, so it delivers on multiple fronts. And it ties back to the materials, because coated natural kraft [paperboard] does a great job. The long pine fibers have a lot of tear strength—that’s where it really excels versus recycled board. And that way, you can pick this pack up, and handle it fairly aggressively, and it’s not going to tear.”

The Heinz application used multiple formats of the cluster wing, from three- to eight-packs. The three-pack runs at 400 packs/min, equating to 1,200 cans/min.

“All that backs up to the fact that they’re running their lines at faster than 1,000 cans a minute, they want surge capacity on top of that, and they can’t back up,” Perkins says. “We have to guarantee 98 percent efficiency. We have high-end visual cameras that are making sure all these tabs are locked properly. And if they’re not, it rejects without stopping the line. That’s for the inline three-pack, but it’s also a four-, six-, and eight-pack. Part of what we bring to our customers is flexibility, because they’re selling to different channels. We want to make sure if they’re selling in club store, for example, that they can sell a multi-count that’s higher, versus if they’re selling in a traditional grocery store like a Tesco.”

The material itself, coated natural kraft, comes mostly from sustainably managed virgin pine paperboard. Perkins adds that it’s important to use virgin to continue to feed the overall recycling chain since, “you can only recycle the fiber material so many times.” The longer pine fibers (compared to recycled fiber) are robust enough to function in a much thinner gauge than would be required of paperboard using a higher percentage of recycled fiber, so there’s a lightweighting benefit as well.

Another solution for food manufacturers that WestRock demonstrated at PACK EXPO Las Vegas was the Cluster-Pak® (CP) eMerge™ Combo, the company’s latest fully integrated system that enables a wide range of fiber bowl and tray formats. Using WestRock’s optimized fiber-based primary, secondary, and tertiary packaging through integrated end-of-line automation, the CP eMerge Combo increases line efficiency and lowers total cost through material and labor savings.

This integrated solution starts with a new, fiber-based, freezer- and microwave-safe food bowl that is wrapped in a Cluster-Pak® wrap style sleeve carton. The combined product then gets packed into easy-to-open, corrugated shelf-ready packaging. The CP eMerge Combo system consists of a delta robot pick and place, Cluster-Pak style machine and a wraparound case packer and offers a Connected Automation platform that securely communicates performance data and support to help optimize production lines.

Made from recyclable paperboard in this case, the wraparound carton uses 30 to 40% less board than a fully enclosed box, resulting in cost savings. This is important to make the economics work since the fiber-based molded bowls are more expensive than the CPET bowls they intend to replace.

“This particular package is significantly reduced in the amount of fiber there is in the wraparound pack,” Perkins says. “What that does is it enables brand owners to showcase the fiber-based bowl that they’ve invested in, and it also gives significant savings in this type of design, which offsets the cost of going from a CPET bowl to a fiber bowl. In this approach, a CPG can be in a cost-neutral situation while making a great sustainability change.”

The final station, a wraparound case packer, uses a shopper-ready corrugated shipper (retail-ready packaging, or RRP) that has labor reduction qualities for retailers while being more attractive for consumers, the company says.

Watch video   

Watch video of a Cluster-Pak demonstration.

And finally, in the world of shrink film, Clysar, LLC introduced Clysar EVO-C opaque Confidential shrink film (11). The company says it’s the next solution in the family of recyclable shrink films that are pre-qualified for the “Store Drop-Off” label and category by the How2Recycle program, a standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public. This film boasts opaque security and shipping material offering UV-blocking properties.Image #11 in the article text.Image #11 in the article text.

When compared to corrugated, the film can significantly reduce packaging volume and weight, decrease shipping voids, lower shipping costs system-wide, and help protect contents from leaks, pilfering, and light degradation, according to the company.

Clysar EVO-C film improves reportable package recyclability, reduces shipping impacts, and can assist companies in meeting critical sustainability goals. The film provides a “drop-in” alternative to traditional non-recyclable shrink films and runs on existing shrink equipment without sacrificing performance. Clysar EVO-C film can be printed with brand graphics and recycling instructions.

All Clysar EVO shrink films have been developed in collaboration with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and verified by third-party testing, ensuring they are safe and fully acceptable for “Store Drop-Off” recycling. Offering official letters of prequalification from the How2Recycle organization, Clysar EVO films offer a fast, actionable path for improving packaging sustainability.

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