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Innovative and Sustainable Flexible Packaging: August Spotlights

Our series of award-winning innovative packaging from FPA’s 2020 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Competition continues! Check out our August spotlights listed below to learn about the benefits of each package, the manufacturers behind the creation, and brands that are using these packages for their products!

Cracker Barrel Black Ribbon Natural Cheese Slices

The Cracker Barrel Black Ribbon Natural Cheese Slices graphics and new packaging material were carefully designed to breakthrough on the shelf and emphasize that it is a premium line! Consumer testing was done to ensure that the new graphics were easy to find on the shelf and would be clear to consumers what brand and flavor variant they were buying. The combination of matte black, gloss black, opulent metallic gold and metallic color bands, and a packaging window that showcases the high-quality cheese are the key elements that help the package design stand out on the shelf! TC Transcontinental Packaging earned two Silver Achievement Awards for Packaging Excellence and for Technical Innovation. To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here!

Premade STANDCAP Inverted Pouches

The premade STANDCAP inverted pouches were manufactured by Glenroy, Inc. and have an array of benefits! The pouches extend product freshness, stand out on the shelf, and provide timesaving and utensil-free convenience for consumers. Best of all, they make an eco-friendly impact by reducing fossil fuel usage, water usage, and greenhouse gas emissions when compared to alternative package formats. Glenroy, Inc. earned two Gold Achievement Awards for Packaging Excellence and for Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging, and a Silver Achievement Award for Sustainability. To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here!

Hershey’s Stand-up Pouches 

Printpack manufactured the new Hershey’s packaging and earned a Silver Achievement Award for printing! This stand-up pouch is made on a vertical form fill seal bagger versus a conventional horizontal form fill seal stand-up pouch machine. The sturdy 2-ply and 3-ply laminations enable the pouch to stand-up nicely for a superior impact on the shelf! Best of all, the package is easy to open with precise laser scoring, allowing for a clean directional tear. To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here!

Cargill Grab N’ Go Deli Meat Package

The Cargill Grab N’ Go high barrier deli meat package uses a new proprietary, dual-purpose, minimal depth forming, and non-forming film from Amcor with high oxygen barrier and strength properties. The film is very thin and exhibits attributes of a non-barrier thin PE zipper bag commonly found at delis. The final modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) allows longer shelf life for deli meat compared to the traditional low barrier PE film package commonly found at meat department delis. Amcor Flexibles earned two Silver Achievement Awards for Packaging Excellence and for Technical Innovation. To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here!

Innovative and Sustainable Flexible Packaging: July Spotlights

Our series of award-winning innovative packaging from FPA’s 2020 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Competition continues! Check out our July spotlights listed below to learn about the benefits of each package, the manufacturers behind the creation, and brands that are using these packages for their products!

4-D Bags with Handle

Uflex Limited manufactured this brick-shaped, all panel registered bag/pouch with a handle and reclosable option that can either stand-up or lie down. Similar to flexi-cartons, it is an excellent replacement for rigid cartons!  The packaging design creates an excellent shelf appeal that immediately grabs the attention of shoppers. 4-D bags are also a convenient option for consumers! You can carry it from a top handle, and its re-closable options allow the product to be dispensed through the zipper! Uflex Limited earned a Gold Achievement Award for Shelf Impact. To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here!

Predilecta Sacciali Jar Shaped Pouch

Amcor manufactured the Sacciali brand jar shaped pouch that combines the best of flexible packaging technology for lightweight and long shelf life! The “mason jar” shape nods to the traditional glass packaging common in the sauce category. However, flexible packaging offers the significant benefits of a 97% weight reduction over glass, leading to a wide range of sustainable benefits! Amcor earned a Gold Achievement Award for Shelf Impact and two Silver Achievement Awards for Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging and Packaging Excellence.  Learn more about the manufacturer by visiting their website here!

JUSTIN’S® Nut Butter Covered Nuts Pouch

JUSTIN’S® Nut Butter Covered Nuts Pouch was manufactured by ProAmpac and earned a Silver Achievement Award for Sustainability. This package is the pioneer in the application of Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) materials for high barrier food packaging! The pouch promotes high moisture and oxygen barrier that uses PCR content to help provide end markets for recyclable materials. Its high opacity white flexographic inks, surface matte coating, and lamination processes work together to mask the appearance of high volumes of PCR, providing a “new material” look and feel. To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here!

Decowraps

In closely watching global trends to more sustainable products, and for a specific Whole Foods project, Decowraps created a compostable Non-GMO flower sleeve. The sleeve for Whole Foods has sugar cane as its material base in the EarthFirst® film. Important considerations for the package design included Origin of Life, specifically substituting a bio-based film for the previous fossil fuel-based film, and the film to have Non-GMO status to reflect Whole Foods’ branding guidelines. Decowraps and Plastic Supplies, Inc., earned a Silver Achievement Award for Sustainability. To learn more about the manufacturers, visit the Decowrap website here, and the Plastic Supplies, Inc., website here

Innovative and Sustainable Flexible Packaging: May Spotlights

Our series of award winning innovative packaging from FPA’s 2020 Achievement Awards Competition continues! Check out our May packaging spotlights to learn about the benefits and features of each package, manufacturers, and participating brands! 

FlexiTube for Bio Creative Labs – USA

Uflex Limited developed three FlexiTube variations of Super Foods Natural Hair Care for Bio Creative Labs – USA. Each tube features 360 degree printing, and gold metallic lines that are created with a holographic layer, eliminating the use of a foil stamping process. Uflex earned Gold Achievement Awards for Expanding the Use of Flexible Packaging and for Packaging Excellence. They also earned a Silver Achievement Award in Technical Innovation. To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here

Hill’s All PE “Recyclable” Pet Treat Bags

With this new packaging design by Plastic Packaging Technologies, LLC, Hill’s was able to launch into fully “recyclable” flexible packaging formats without any changes in appearance or performance! Hill’s pet treat bags were created with new materials, new equipment, and new processing methods to provide a sustainable and convenient package for both pets and their owners! They are puncture-resistant, grease-resistant, easy to open, and have varied closure options! Best of all, the EVOH barrier film incorporates the compatibilizing additive to neutralize any potential negatives to the recycling stream! Plastic Packaging Technologies earned a Gold Achievement Award in Packaging Excellence, and Silver Awards for Sustainability and Technical Innovation. To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here

Bear Naked® Premium Granola

TC Transcontinental Packaging earned a Silver Achievement award in Printing for their gorgeous Bear Naked® Premium Granola packaging. The matte look with the patterned metallic design creates a memorable package on the shelf, making it easy for shoppers to find. This convenient stand-up pouch also features a barrier to keep granola fresh, and a reclosable zipper and notch perforation for easy opening. To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here

Flex Asclepius™ PCR Based BOPET Films

Flex Films (USA) Inc. earned a Silver Achievement Award for Sustainability with their Asclepius™ PCR based BOPET films. In addressing today’s sustainability issues, these films were created to have a low carbon footprint and provide a better, sustainable solution for converters and CPGs. Virtually every category of Asclepius™ PCR based BOPET film is available in 90–100% PCR content for printing and laminating, barrier, label and liner, and virtually all other flexible packaging needs! To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here.

Happy Inside Cereal 

Featured in our innovation showcase is Happy Inside Cereal by PPC Flexible Packaging. This flexible, lightweight package saves room in your pantry and extends shelf life, so you will have healthy and delicious cereal to enjoy even longer!  To learn more about the manufacturer, visit their website here

Are plastic bag bans helping our environment?

Grocery stores are banning plastic bags in hopes of saving our environment. Since 2007, over 240 cities and counties have passed laws that ban or tax plastic bags. However, many fail to consider the negative impacts that plastic bans have on the environment. In order to fully understand the best solution, we must consider where ocean pollution comes from, and look at the environmental impact of plastic bans. 

Where does ocean pollution come from? 

Before supporting the ban of plastic bags to protect our oceans, consider where the majority of ocean pollution comes from and research the amounts and types of plastic that result in trash. Which countries are most responsible? Countries in Asia and South America that have not developed proper solid waste and recovery systems contribute most to plastic waste into oceans. Lack of proper waste systems often result in plastic that flows from rivers into our oceans. 

A September 2015 study by the Ocean Conservancy found that 60% of global marine debris originates from China, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) New Plastics Economy Report, the United States and Europe combined only contribute approximately 2% of plastic leakage into oceans. In fact, a recent study in the North Pacific Ocean looked at an estimated 42,000 tons of mega plastics, and found that fishing nets accounted for 86%. 

What happens when we ban plastic bags? 

Plastic bag bans result in people using more paper bags and cotton totes, which are not better for the environment. Did you know the carbon footprint of a paper bag is 4x higher than a plastic bag? Research shows that plastic bags have more sustainable benefits than paper bags from a manufacturing, reusability, solid waste, and generation standpoint. Visit our recent blog post to learn more about the environmental impact of plastic versus paper.

Rebecca Taylor’s study, Bag Leakage: The Effect of Disposable Carryout Bag Regulations on Unregulated Bags, found that after California’s 2016 ban on plastic shopping bags, the sale of large trash bags that contain more plastic skyrocketed, so approximately 30% of plastic eliminated by the ban came back in the form of garbage bags. In addition, cities that participated in the ban saw a surge in the use of paper bags, which resulted in an estimated 80 million pounds of extra trash per year.        

Striving for a circular economy

People often fail to consider the full lifecycle of plastic products, and fail to research the negative impacts that plastic bans have on the environment. According to the U.S. EPA Waste Management Hierarchy, the most environmentally preferred strategy for waste management is source reduction and reuse. This means using less resources to produce and the ability to be reused. Thin, lightweight plastic bags that use less resources and materials are often referred to as single use products. However, plastic bags are in fact reused everyday by many people, which is why California saw a large increase in the purchase of trash bags after they initiated a ban on plastic shopping bags. Visit here to learn more about a circular economy for plastic in which it never becomes waste. 

    


7 Benefits of Flexible Packaging

Do you consider the benefits of packaging when shopping for products? Research by the Flexible Packaging Association reveals that shoppers seek packaging that provides convenience, product safety, and longer shelf life. Flexible packaging provides all of this and more! Check out these 7 key benefits below!

Protects your products

Flexible packaging features a multi-layer construction that keeps food safe, keeps oxygen out, and keeps aroma in. Each layer works to prevent and reduce spoilage by keeping products together, ensuring fresh food for you to enjoy. Flexible packaging is resistant to denting and breakage, so it protects products throughout the shipping process!

Reduces food waste

Flexible packaging simultaneously protects and extends the shelf life of products without the use of preservatives. As shelf life increases, food waste decreases. This is a key benefit, as food waste is a major challenge in the United States, where approximately 1.3 billion tons of food is thrown away annually. Visit this link to see how dramatic the impact is for a number of everyday foods stored in flexible packaging!

Material and resource efficiency

Compared to traditional forms of packaging, flexible packaging can be made with less material, so it conserves resources and contributes to sustainability. It also requires fewer trucks for shipping and uses less energy to transport. This means conservation begins before you even purchase it!  

Sends less materials to landfills

Although some materials such as glass and steel are recycled at higher rates than flexible packaging, they are bulky and send more package material to landfills than flexibles. Because flexible packaging is lightweight, made with fewer raw materials than traditional forms of packaging, and has recycling capabilities, less plastic ends up in landfills!

Convenience is KING

Flexible packaging can go places that other packaging cannot. It is easy to open, carry, reseal, and store! You can easily throw it in your bag and take it with you on the go. Since it is lightweight and easy to store, it also saves space in your kitchen and throughout other areas of your home. 

Reusable

Along with reducing food waste and being environmentally friendly, flexible packaging is also reusable!  According to the U.S. EPA Waste Hierarchy, the most preferred method for waste management is using fewer resources to produce and reusing the packaging. There are many ways to reuse flexible packaging. Get started today by checking out our blog post for 16 ways to reuse flexible packaging.

Recyclable

In the U.S., approximately half of all flexible packaging can be recycled into new packaging or be recycled through in-store drop-off programs. Single layer polyethylene (PE) films can be recycled through the Wrap Recycling Action Program (WRAP) by leaving items at your local flexible packaging recycling location. Research is progressing on many fronts to develop additional recycling solutions that we can expect to see in the near future. Use the TerraCycle database to quickly find the best local recycling options and drop-off locations near you! 

The features of flexible packaging make life more convenient. It’s easy to store, open, reseal, and carry. Best of all, it extends product shelf life and provides positive benefits to the environment! To learn more about flexible packaging, visit our resources page for more information.


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