packaging cater to environmentally conscious consumers.
should save more than it costs. Tetra Pak founder Dr. Ruben Rausing
believed in this idea back in the 1950s, and today’s packagers are
following the wishes of environmentally conscious consumers.
companies interested in sustainability believe a good package must not
only meet the requirements of preservation, protection, convenience and
communication. It should also use minimum resources to produce, store
and transport the package and its contents.
packages not only protect the product they contain, they also protect
the resources invested in producing and handling them. A good package
saves food, raw materials, energy and the environment.
that end, several companies are finding success with innovative ways to
use traditional materials as well as new materials seen as lessening the
impact of waste on the environment.
Tetra Brik Square Mini is the smallest package to be produced by the
Tetra Pak C3/Flex filling machine. Available in 200- and 250-milliliter
sizes, the Square Mini joins the Tetra Brik Family as a low-cost,
logistic-friendly and unique package that promises access into new
product segments, according to the company.
Pak also has introduced a new standard of packaging material for all
ambient and roll-fed chilled-liquid product packages. Even though the
material is stronger, it’s 30 percent thinner and requires fewer
polymers to produce. As a result, Tetra Pak will be reducing its global
consumption of polymers by 50,000 tons per year, which equates to about
2,500 shipping containers annually, according to the company. Not only
does this reduce the use of non-renewable resources, it also has a
direct and positive impact on the environment in terms of shipping,
distribution and energy usage.
Tetra Wedge Aseptic Clear 200 S is the world’s first aseptic
transparent stand-up pouch, says Giovanna Prestes Lemos, marketing and
communication manager, Tetra Pak Inc., Vernon Hills, Ill. “Designed
especially for kids’ on-the-go drinks, it has a unique soft and
squishy feeling and see-through look, which 6- to 12-year-olds find fun
and cool, according to market research in North America and Europe.”
Pak recently launched composting programs in schools throughout the
nation, continuing to embody its role as a community steward while
setting the standards in innovative and sustainable packaging.
sustainability is a very important part of Tetra Pak’s way of doing
business, and we’re proud to be the leader in the packaging community
when it comes to closing the life cycle of the package for school milk
— from trees in sustainable managed forests, to cartons, back to mulch
for growing new plants,” says Jeff Kellar, vice president of strategic
processors want a packaging supplier that can help them beyond the
technical aspects of providing a solution, Prestes Lemos says. “Make
no doubt about it, technical excellence is mandatory; this is the ante
to be in the game. However, today’s processors tend to think of their
suppliers as an allied network to help them innovate, reduce costs, and
help them in other areas, like to build an environmental program,” she
Pak routinely monitors our customer satisfaction across many functional
areas to ensure we are addressing our customers’ expectations and to
show continuous improvement.”
TDO Shrink Film is one of the films of the future, with no dependency on
oil,” says Sharon Lobel, president and chief executive officer of
Seal-It, Farmingdale, N.Y.
is a great addition to our family of films. Each film has its own
special characteristics, which lends itself to specific projects.
EarthFirst has many of the same properties as other films including
excellent machineability, clarity, printability – meaning can be
printed to 10 colors in rotogravure or modified flexographic — and
shrinkage up to 75 percent,” Lobel says. “EarthFirst film is
different in that it is made from an annually renewable resource, corn.
With the addition of EarthFirst our customers, with our help can make
the decision as to what film is best suited for their needs.”
says Seal-It developed a label that looks like a stalk of corn that can
be put over the container. The story is told on both sides of the label.
“I think it’s a strong selling point,” she says. “Consumers feel
comfortable with that. It’s a big buzz right now.”
Ohio-based Plastic Suppliers’ addition to the EarthFirst family of
sustainable films provides the converter and brand owner an
environmentally friendly alternative to currently available
petroleum-based shrink films. EarthFirst TDO shrink film is specifically
designed for shaped containers that require high shrink percentages. The
film is manufactured in 50 and 60 micron thicknesses and offers a
superior surface for ink adhesion with excellent shrink characteristics,
superb gloss, low haze levels, excellent scratch resistance and may be
stored in temperatures up to 104 degrees with no natural aging.
TDO shrink film utilizes NatureWorks PLA resin from NatureWorks LLC.
Introduced three years ago, PLA is polylactide acid, a polymer made from
corn dextrose. Clarinda, Iowa-based Naturally Iowa was the first dairy
processor to offer organic milk in corn-based containers.
Minnetonka, Minn., recently introduced a Smart Care program to help
companies that handle the nature-based plastics through proper care and
handling from converting lines to store shelves.
introduction of a new polymer, such as NatureWorks PLA, requires
different thinking when managing through the supply chain,” says Jim
Hobbs, product director for NatureWorks. “It is our goal to
assist all our customers, brandowners and retailers in successfully
using our nature-based plastic in their daily operations.”
Fla.-based Polypack Inc. recently introduced a shrink wrapper designed
for biodegradable film. The Bio-Wrapper was created to multipack
different size and shape products with PLA film. Polypack has worked in
collaboration with PLA film suppliers, to develop a biodegradable and
compostable shrink film capable to be used on its automatic Bio-Wrapper
Park, N.Y.-based Overnight Labels Inc. recently rolled out its
environmentally friendly packaging and print options. Overnight Labels
uses a flexographic printing process for shrink sleeves and neck bands
that uses water-based inks instead of solvent-based inks that are still
used in other processes, such as gravure printing.
means that there is no problem with solvent retention. In addition, the
smell that is unavoidable with solvent-based inks is non-existent in
their water-based counterparts. Water-based inks do not pose the threat
of migrating into the contents of a product and contain no volatile
organic compounds, so they are safe for consumers and for the
environment, according to the company.
water-based inks are used exclusively in Overnight Labels’
shrink-sleeve production and in all colored printing on other available
substrates. The company offers a choice of water-based inks in
combination with an aqueous coating instead of ultraviolet coating. A
variety of PLA substrates including PLA label film, PLA shrink film, PLA
lamination film, PLA packaging film and tree-free face stock made from
bamboo pulp, bagasse or sugar cane and cotton linters, can be used in
place of traditional labels and films.
to the company, PLA, PETG and OPS are considered to be more
environmentally friendly and price stable than traditional
Talerico Dudlicek is a freelance journalist and a former managing editor
of Dairy Field.