The Benefits of Blister Packaging

A fishing equipment transitions from the traditional clamshell package to a blister due to foreseen added benefits. Pure Fishing will present 35 products in a new line of fishing equipment that will be easier for consumers and better for the environment. To debut this fall, the tackle, lures, rods, and reels will be packaged in sustainable and secure Natralock packaging. Graphics will be enhanced and the material will be glare-free, improving the visibility of the product on the shelf. To adhere to the concern of consumers, opening the package will simply require scissors for easy opening as opposed to the hard to open clamshell packaging. This package will also use paperboard that contains up to 30% recycled materials along with a thermoform blister packaging. Pure Fishing projects that the new package will reduce their plastic usage by 67%. In turn, the cost for shipping and the products themselves will be reduced because the weight of the plastic is 29% lighter than the previous package. This change yields nothing but benefits for this company. The package will sustain the presentation benefits of plastic thermoforming while being eco-friendly and easy to open.

Source: PackWorld

AT&T Uses Eco-Friendly Clamshell Packaging

In late 2011, a new material surfaced that was beneficial to companies that utilize clamshell packaging for their products. Thermoformed by Display Pack for AT&T’s wireless accessories, the material TerraPET is composed of 30% renewable resource content. The material is sourced from ethanol harvested from natural sugar cane and makes it possible to replace fossil fuel based material. This provides a more natural alternative without sacrificing any of its desired qualities of high performance, including clarity. While AT&T was already using a fairly eco-friendly material to package their products, their distributor put out the demand for an even greener packaging material.

Source: Packworld

Biodegradable Plastics Made from Natural Resources

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a new plastic capable of being thermoformed. The material is biodegradable and because of this, is best for disposable food packaging. To accomplish this development, the Agricultural Research Service incorporated biodegradable sugar beet pulp- the leftover residue from sugar extraction. They took this substance and incorporated it with a biodegradable polymer. The combination resulted in thermoplastic composites that retain mechanical properties similar to polystyrene and polypropylene which are extremely common plastics for thermoforming products. Processors of the sugar beet pulp produce tons of the substance annually, making it a viable, long-term product of agricultural business.

Source: Packaging Digest

28th Annual MSU Packaging Jamboree

2013 Packaging JamboreeMichigan State University’s Schoolof Packagingwill be hosting the 28th annual Student Packaging Jamboree this March 21 through 23. The school was established in 1952 and is on of the premier programs in its field. This event gives students the opportunity for packaging students nationwide to network and learn more about their prospective field. The University anticipates 250 students to attend this 3 day event. Throughout the conference, industry experts will be available to interact and speak with students in a panel format, showcase display, and a design competition of the products presented. The theme for this year’s Jamboree is Innovation in Design and Sustainability.

Source: PackagingDigest

How2Recycle Label to Increase Recycling Awareness

The How2Recycle label you see on many products was developed to reduce consumer confusion around recycling in the U.S. To achieve this goal, The Sustainable Packaging Coalition created a clear and consistent recycling label that provided a corresponding informational website ( This provided companies with an easy solution to conform to the Federal Trade Commission’s “Green Guides”. There are many other recycling labels and symbols that exist, but the How2Recycle label is the only one that communicates effectively across all material types giving explicit directions to consumers to influence their recycling behavior. If consumers are uncertain, the label also specifies when a component of the packaging in not recyclable. Watch out, because this label will be appearing on more and more brands. The How2Recycle Label will be appearing on products like Minute Maid, Clorox, and products from Best Buy. The soft launch of this label will run the first quarter of 2013 followed by full implementation taking into consideration feedback form the soft launch. It is expected that 20 additional participants will be added after the soft launch and the label will appear on the majority of consumer product packaging in the next three years.

Read more at Packaging Digest

Fully Compostable Coffee Packaging

A Canadian Coffee roasting company, Pistol & Burnes has released a new fully compostable packaging solution for its product. The package incorporates cellulose-based NatureFlex from Innovia Films. Most coffees are packaged in foils or paper bags with plastic liners that usually just end up in the land fill. The bag for the Farmer First brand by Pistol & Burnes is fully compostable in a home composting system. As a packaging solution, NatureFlex was the most eco-friendly choice as it is made from natural wood. Not only does this type of packaging withstand the wear and tear of manufacturing and transport, it also lives up to the brand identity of Fair Trade and their Farmer First organic brand name.


Source: Packaging Digest

Non-Biodegradable Bioplastics Take the Lead

Positive developments in bioplastics production have increased success predictions for the use and manufacturing of non-biodegradble bioplastics. A market of around 1.2 million tonnes is predicted to see an increase in production volumes fivefold by 2016. The result of this market forecast is published by the industry association European Bioplastics. The strongest growth in this market will be in the biobased, non-biodegradable bioplastics group. These “drop-in” solutions are building up large capacities because of their differentiation from conventional solutions based on theri renewable raw material base. In the lead is partially biobased PET accounting for about 40% of the global bioplastics production capacity. The pattern of growth in this market will consistently allow for the development of sustainable solutions because there will always be an increasing demand.  Read more at Packaging Digest

Packaging Lawsuit Settled

Frito Lay of North America recently resolved their legal issue over patent rights. The company was working to attain the patent rights for the bio-based multi-layer films used in packaging their products.

The collaborative agreement was made between the Frito-Lay company and Innovia Films Ltd. The end result was a strong patent position for Frito Lay while allowing Innovia to practice under said patents which include use or resale of Innovia products by global customers for bio-based products. According to the CEO of Innovia Films, the agreement is beneficial to the company and will allow them to further product development and supply of these eco-friendly, renewable and compostable films.



Polystyrene Bans Occurring in California

Californiais currently expanding their polystyrene bans. The Hermosa Beach City Council recently signed off on the ban on polystyrene food packaging. This ban is projected to affect roughly 30 companies, which include restaurants and grocery stores.

Beach and ocean pollution are the affects of polystyrene. Polystyrene is a material used for serving or transporting prepared foods. They containers come in the form of plates, bowls, clams shells and cups. It is a petroleum-based plastic.

Preventing litter is the main target of this ban. People will be allowed to bring polystyrene products into the city, the city just cannot supply them. This ban however does not apply for the Hermosa Beach City School District. The ban is supposed to be formally approved on Sept. 11th and will become effective 180 days from that date.



General Mill’s Mission for Packaging

General Mills plans to improve their company by improving their packaging. The main goal being to reduce their environmental footprint. A few goals have already been established in effort to make General Mill’s goals come true.

By 2015, General Mills plans to sell 40% of their products in packaging that has been improved over the base year of fiscal 2009. This will be working towards reducing their environmental footprint by using less packaging. To assess their improvement, four key indicators will be used: recycled content, renewable content, packaging weight and truck loading efficiency.

There are a few ways General Mills is already making progress. They have shrunk theNatureValleycartons by half an inch and the depth by a quarter of an inch. With this small adjustment to the packaging, an estimated 6.2 million pounds of paperboard per year are saved. Which equals out to be 13% less material used per package. Another simple improvement that has been made is the use of lighter plastic in the icing cups for Pillsbury Grands sweet rolls. This minor adjustment saves an estimated 600,000 pounds of plastic per year.

The small improvements General Mills has made and their plans for the future is a step forward in helping the environment. As more companies recognize the important difference they can make by implementing small adjustments, the world of packaging will become more eco-friendly.