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Flexible Packaging Solutions Blog

Advantages of Protective Slip Sheets

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 4:10 pm

Our protective slip sheets are used for heavy-duty applications, and is specifically formulated to provide maximum durability in harsh environments.

The key advantages of protective slip sheets:

  • Long durability
  • light weight
  • High strength, tear, and puncture resistance
  • Non-slipper surface
  • Can be stored and used in all humid environments
  • Space saving, waterproof, environmentally friendly
  • Cost effective
  • Couls be cut from a roll to fit desired size
  • Reusable, sustainable 100% recycled content

A protective slip sheets deliver packagers value thanks to these features:

  • Skid and pallet proection sheet cover
  • Divider sheets for packaged sku
  • Top and bottom cover sheet
protective-slip-sheet

Types of Compostable and Biodegradable Plastic Bags

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 4:06 pm
  • Cornstarch Bags: Almost half of the biodegradable poly bags use cornstarch incorporated into the plastic. The cornstarch component will begin to decay when exposed to a microbe rich environment. This breaks the plastic into tiny pieces.
  • Photo Sensitive Bags: These bags are designed to decay with prolonged exposure to the ultra violet rays in sunlight.
  • Oxo-Biodegradable Bags: These bags are among the most economical to manufacture and the most effective to use. They are completely biodegradable. This happens in a two-step process. First, the bag is oxidized by prolonged exposure to the oxygen in the air. After that, the oxidized fragments convert into carbon dioxide, a harmless biomass and water.
  • Bags Using Aliphatic Technology: Somewhat similar to using starch to encourage nature to deconstruct poly bags, Ailphatic poly bags also rely on microbes to breakdown the bag into its constituent molecules.

Stand-up Pouches, Bags, Printed Pallet Covers all on Pinterest!

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 3:27 pm

If you follow us on twitter you know we jumped on the band wagon and joined pinterest! I’ve had a personal pinterest account for a while now, and I am borderline obsessed with it. I’ve planned my friends weddings, redecorated my house, and made the most amazing meals all on this virtual pin board. What has been most beneficial for me though has been the ability to learn and be exposed to really interesting, and innovative products. I thought it would it be a great tool to display some of my favorite packages, pouches, bags, printed pallet cover advertising, and innovative packaging solutions. Each day I am “pinning” a new product, called our packaging of the day, something that caught my eye. Every Friday I will recap my favorites on the blog. So make sure to check us out on twitter and pinterest.

Can the packaging of a product matter more than what is inside?

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Can the packaging of a product matter more than what is inside?

I gravitate towards the candy bag with the mouth watering picture of chocolate on the front, the decedent truffles that seem to pop off the packaging right at me. My daughter, she isn’t as interested in how this guilty pleasure is calling my name, she is reaching for the bright colored skittles rainbow on the second shelf.

Of course the demographics of a truffle and a skittle are different, and these companies knew just how to catch the right person’s attention. Interestingly enough I like skittles more than I like chocolate, so can the packaging of a product matter more than what is inside?

Why do we spend so much time wrapping Christmas presents, only to rip it off? Does the presentation of your present make the surprise inside better? In reality no, a piece of coal, is a piece of coal, is a piece of coal, but waking up on Christmas morning and seeing all those beautiful packages makes the experience more enjoyable. Does this theory work with our shopping experience, I believe it does.

The fact that a packages simplistic purpose is to hold a product, very well may be its secondary goal. The way I see it, a package is created to sell a product. Now don’t get me wrong the consumer is smart, while the fancy product may catch their eye first that doesn’t mean it will keep it. The consumer wants to know what they are buying, they want to know the features and benefits, and this all needs to be incorporated into the packaging.

When we choose one product over another the design and packaging influence our decision a lot more than we realize. For a products packaging to be an effective marketing tool it may need to break away from the standard rules we are used to, and give the product a unique edge above the competition. Your packaging needs to appeal to your target market, while still giving the pertinent information about the product and its benefits.

“In a conveyance store, if a theater-style package is next to a peg bag, the peg bags will outsell”-Jessica Miller, purchaser with MarKan Sales, “A hanging bag is much more visual. You can see how much product you’ll get for the price you’re paying”

The stand-up pouch is giving iconic American snack foods an entirely new shelf presence. Traditional packages lay flat, and are easily lost in a sea of flat packages, by simply standing the package up you instantly display your name and logo at eye level, and show the amount of product in your package. The convenience to the consumer is often the re-closeable top as well, this allows the consumer to save the product and keep it fresh longer.

If I am going on a long car ride, to me the ideal solution would be to bring snacks that can be closed and my daughter won’t be able to make a mess with in my car, after the initial decision based on the packaging I read over the ingredients and nutrional information and make my choice. So my purchasing decision is not only based on the product, but also the packaging. Innovative packaging solutions will give you a step up from the competition.

Olympic Packaging and Branding

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Who doesn’t love a fairytale; just over a year ago millions of Americans watched as Kate Middleton became a Princess. Now the year of the Royal Wedding has officially been taken over by The Queen’s Jubilee and The World Olympics transforming England yet again into this magical place where fairytales do come true. It is the year of England 2.0!

Companies are taking advantage of American’s interest, by using the Olympic and Jubilee themes throughout their packaging. It’s almost impossible to make your way through the supermarket without seeing some type of Olympic packaging.

“There are two key opportunities that the 2012 Olympics bring to the packaging industry. First, sustainable packaging; London presented sustainability as part of its successful bid. What better opportunity than this to demonstrate the green credentials of so many of our modern packaging products and materials? Second is an increased sale through brand association using the Olympic motif. Clearly defined packaging using the Olympic motif will appeal to a mix of cultures and nationalities.”

– Nick Kirby, managing director, Swanline Print

The London Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, has stated that all non-recyclable Olympic packages must be either combustible or incinerated for energy generation, as part of an effort to send no waste to landfills during the games. 8,250 tons of food and packaging waste is estimated to be generated by the 2012 Olympic Games. Coca Cola has committed to recycle their used plastic bottles from the games into new packaging.

coca cola box-resized-600

McDonald’s is making all of their cups, cutlery, straws, lids and containers used at its Olympic park restaurant made from biopolymer containing vegetable starches and oils which is biodegradable through composting They are also putting QR codes on all food packaging sold at its Olympics Park venue during the Games to give customers access to nutritional information about its products.

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Coca Cola and McDonald’s arn’t the only supporters of the 2012 Olympic Games. Here are a few more of my favorite Olympic packages. You may notice a trend, very regal and very patriotic!

vintage
pampers
kleenex
harbio gummy bears
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The latest in top quality flexographic printing, Kodak Flexcel NX

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Kodak Flexcel NX has taken flexographic printing to a whole new level! The new technology delivers results that surpass the quality of gravure printing. They are able to deliver print quality and performance that is a significant step ahead of traditional digital flexo.

The Flexcel NX system enables printing with high line screens in excess of 200 lpi, the product photography appear to jump off the packaging.

How do they do it? Below are the major benefits and advances in this technology.

Flat top dots:

In traditional digital flexo plate making, during UV exposure oxygen inhibition causes the dot profile to become rounded, particularly in highlight areas. With the Flexcel NX System all oxygen during UV exposure is eliminated. By eliminating the oxygen during UV exposure you are able to produce full amplitude flat-top dots with sturdy bases and strong shoulders. The dot structure is the key to delivering an unfailing, repeatable print.

One-to-one image Reproduction:

By using squarespot imaging technology, the fidelity of the thermal imaging layer, and the process of exposure in the absence of oxygen mean that the image in the digital filer is reproduced pixel for pixel on the printing plate.

Stability leads to consistency in prepress, which in turn leads to efficiency and cost savings. They produce precise and vigorous halftone dots that are less susceptible to variations in plate, processor, and environmental conditions.

High Resolution Imaging:

This advanced technology creates an effective resolution of 10,000 dpi compared to your average photograph of 300-500 dpi enabling printing dots as small as 10 microns. This allows for subtle highlight detail, vignettes that fade to zero and use of all available grey levels.

Sustainability and Reduction of Waste:

The Flexcel NX System is designed to produce plates that reduce the amount of substrate waste generated on press, and reduce the total number of plates used in production. On average a 20% reduction in substrate waste and an overall decrease in the number of plates was reported as well plates are capable of run lengths two to four times greater than traditional digital flexo plates.

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10 Innovative Bag & Packaging Concepts

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 3:05 pm

What’s in that bag? I ponder this question as I’m walking through the mall and notice a women’s bright red shopping bag with the word SALE written across it. I knew that color, and I liked that word even more! Macy’s here I came!

Look how easily a simple bag got me to turn around and head to a different store. I thought it would be interesting to find 10 different types of bags and packaging that caught my eye!

1. The Red Cross always needs volunteers, what a great way to promote a blood drive! By thinking outside the box, or bag in this case you will catch people’s attention not just where you advertise (i.e. billboard, internet) but where your consumer takes your packaging with them.

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2. LuLulemon offers a reusable tote bag, with inspirational messages on it. I use these bags all the time, as an overnight bag, a grocery bag, a beach tote! And no this isn’t a .99 cent add-on this really is their shopping bags.

lulubag

3. More and more companies are packaging their products in resealable stand-up pouches. It keeps your product fresh longer, and looks great on display cases. How easy the bag is to use is part of M&M’s advertising! I took this picture at my local grocery store, you can see the brand names on these packages are easily viewable where as the traditional packaging is not.

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4. Nostalgic packaging make us long for the past, we associate the packaging with a period or place with a joyful personal recollection. Not only do these vintage designs have novelty-appeal, they also promote the brands as timeless, which is a powerful statement.

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5. Yes I am guilty of using the internet and text acronyms lol and omg. If you are not a wine connoisseur, which I am not, you may find yourself shopping based on the creativity of the bottle. Why not try txtwine!

txtwine-resized-600

6. I’m drawn to packages with a matte finish. I had to think about this one for a while, because I really didn’t know why. It seemed more natural, even healthier, I’m associating how a product is made, its ingredients, how good it is for me based on whether it packaging is glossy or matte? It seems silly when I say it, but this is exactly what I was doing.

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7. Dailys Margaritas. Could it get any easier than this! It’s the grown up version of the spout pouch. Stock your freezer with tasty Daily’s Frozen Margaritas and you will always be ready for an impromptu fiesta, all I need now is some chips and salsa!

dailys-resized-600

8. Plum Organics baby food pouch and dispensing spoon by Boon. Spout pouches are not just ideal for moms feeding newborns they are great for the kids too. Juice, yogurt, oatmeal, apple sauce, all of these kid favs that tend to make a big mess are now packaged with recloseable spouts on top. So it’s a bottle you can squeeze, basically yes, except the spout pouch is easier to store, and easier for transport. So let’s see if the spout pouch replaces the bottle.

spout

9. Puma’s sustainable alternative to cardboard boxes. Puma’s clever little bag will replace their retail bags and shoes boxes. New shoes and a new bag what more could a woman ask for!

puma-resized-600

10. I’ve seen the resealable stickers on baby wipes and my makeup remover clothes but It wasn’t often I saw it on my food. It’s definitely a great way to keep foods that are packaged in trays fresh longer.

oreos-resized-600

Let us know your favorite innovative packaging!

Benefits of stretch wrap or stretch film

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 2:58 pm

Stretch wrap or stretch film is a highly stretchable plastic film that is wrapped around items. The elastic recovery keeps the items tightly bound. In contrast, shrink wrap is applied loosely around an item and shrinks tightly with heat.

It is frequently used to unitize pallet loads but also may be used for bundling smaller items.

Types of stretch film include bundling stretch film, hand stretch film, extended core stretch film, machine stretch film and static dissipative film.[1]

Benefits of Stretch Wrap:

  • Stretch wrap loads are more secure which minimize shipping damages
  • UVI stretch films can protect products stored outdoors from UV Rays
  • Strong opaque films conceal load contents and reduce instances of theft
  • Opaque stretch films are great for color coding products
  • Stretch films keeps products free of dust, moisture and dirt
  • Increased packaging operation efficiency
  • Improved Inventory control, by allowing for visual inspections
  • Increases worker productivity
  • Scan-through optics
  • Stretch wrap film is recyclable
  • Stretch wrap film is versatile
  • Cost Effective, Stretch wrap is less expensive than strapping and other types of pallet wrapping.
  • Adaptable, there is a wide variety of stretch films available for different applications.
  • Stretch wrap can be applied to flat surfaces as well as pointed surfaces.

How Do I know what size of film to use? Different sized thicknesses and widths of film are needed for different applications. Use the chart below to find which thickness and width would be ideal for your application.

To determine which thickness and width would be ideal for your application:

Determine Size of Shrink Wrap_Page_2
Determine Size of Shrink Wrap_Page_1_Page_1

What factors into our shopping decisions?

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 2:54 pm

There are many types of research on what guides our decision to buy one product over another, the price, the packaging and the brand name are all factors in our decision. Women tend to shop, meandering through aisles at the grocery store, possibly looking for the best deal or maybe the healthiest food option. Men on the other hand typically are on a mission, they walk in, buy what they want and leave. That’s not to say when I have my five year old with me I’m not on a mission myself to get in and out as quickly as possible. I decided to do a little experiment, remove one of the elements I use to make purchasing decisions, the price! Today’s purchase is laundry detergent and the visual of the product was all I had to base my decision on.

So going off visual alone, my eyes immediately veered away from the shelves of plastic containers and straight towards a bright orange bag, a pouch, industry terminology a stand-up pouch. Why did I veer towards the orange, maybe because it was a borderline florescent, but more than likely it was because of the Arm & Hammers branding which was familiar to me. I picked it up, it isn’t a 3000lb bottle of laundry detergent, its light and compact and it doesn’t take up a large portion of my shopping cart. Inside the stand-up pouch were 20 individual “power paks”, toss them into your washer, no more spilling detergent at home. I was almost sold, until I noticed other brands, ones I wasn’t as familiar with, ones that weren’t so orange. My next “eye catcher” was a company called Laundry Dropps; the packaging had a cleaner design, a “greener” design. Surprisingly enough those words were actually part of their advertising. Laundry Dropps were aiming towards the environmentally friendly aspect. They both had 20 tablets but if I didn’t have a dollar amount to factor in what would make me choose one over the other? Well I didn’t need a price to see Arm & Hammer was advertising I would save money, “Fraction of the Cost” was printed right along the top of the bag! Laundry Dropps on the other hand were advertising “smarter laundry” – doing my part for the environment. Well I couldn’t choose just one, since I didn’t know the price I told myself they were a $1.00 and bought both. With all of my other chooses in the laundry detergent aisle, why did I choose these two?

What did I learn from my experiment & why I did I choose these two products?

  1. The packaging of the product is pretty important; I noticed the new stand-up pouch packaging right away. I didn’t even bat an eye as I turned away from my typical purchase of a giant container of laundry detergent.
  2. Branding and consistency. Arm & Hammer is a very popular brand and having their orange color consistent throughout their products caught my attention.
  3. Going Green, today’s consumer wants to decrease their carbon footprint.
  4. Convenience, size and weight of the product, who wants to carry around a giant container of laundry detergent when they can throw a small pouch right into their cart.

I did like one brand over the other, but I will let you enjoy your own experiment. Let me know your results!

laundry detergent

Recycling Plastic Bags & Types of Plastic

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 2:50 pm
RecylcingPlastic bags are recycled into many different products. They can be reprocessed into post consumer resin, which can become pallet covers, and trash bags. They can also be reprocessed into products ranging from fleece pullovers, railroad ties, and tooth brushes.

Plastics are divided into seven general categories:

Plastic #1: Polyethylene terephtalate, also known as PETE or PET. Usually clear in color, the vast majority of disposable soda and water bottles are made of #1 plastic. This plastic is considered generally safe and is picked up by most curbside recycling programs. However, the porous nature of its surface allows bacteria and flavor to accumulate, so avoid reusing these bottles as makeshift containers.

Plastic #2: High-density polyethylene, or HDPE. Most milk jugs, detergent bottles, juice bottles, butter tubs, and toiletries bottles are made of HDPE. Usually opaque in color and picked up by most recycling programs. This plastic is considered safe and has low risk of leaching.

Plastic #3: Polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. It is used to make food wrap, bottles for cooking oil, and the highly common plumbing pipes. PVC, although tough in terms of strength, it is not considered safe to cook food near it. PVC contains softening chemicals called phthalates that interfere with hormonal development. Never cook using food wrap, especially in a microwave oven. This plastic is rarely accepted by recycling programs.

Plastic #4: Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) is used to make grocery bags, some food wraps, squeezable bottles, and bread bags. While considered safe it is unfortunately not often accepted by curbside recycling programs.

Plastic #5: This is polypropylene. Common items produced with it include yogurt cups, medicine bottles, ketchup, syrup bottles, straws and similar wide-necked containers, as well as water bottles with a cloudy finish. This plastic is also considered safe, and is increasingly being accepted by curbside recycling programs.

Plastic #6: Polystyrene, or Styrofoam, from which disposable containers and packaging are made. Also found in disposable plates and cups. Overwhelming evidence suggests that this type of plastic leaches potentially toxic chemicals, especially when heated. Try to avoid the use of #6 plastic as much as possible. It is difficult to recycle and most recycling programs won’t accept it.

Plastic #7: This category basically means “everything else” and is composed of plastics that were invented after 1987 – the use of plastic in this category is at your own risk since you don’t know what could be in it. Polycarbonate falls into this category, including the highly toxic BPA. Products produced include baby and water bottles, sports equipment, medical and dental devices, CD’s, DVD’s, and even iPods. It is wise to dispose of any food or drink related product that is known to contain BPA. It is difficult to recycle #7 plastic and most curbside recycling programs won’t accept it.

*information gathered from ggn.com.

The Process

1. Bailing

Plastic is baled with other similar types of material.

Plastic is then hauled off to a recycling facility where it begins its transformation and crushed into bales with other plastics of its type.

2. Shipping

The bales are sold and shipped to be processed.

The bales are sold and shipped to reclaimers, which are companies that process the recycled plastic. Material Recovery Facilities can sell the bales at a higher price if the material is clean. The cleaner the material, the better the market value and the more cost-effective it may be to recycle and repurpose plastic. Make sure you remove any excess food/waste scrap and rinse out your recyclables. Keep bags and film clean and dry.

3. Flaking and Melting

The bags and film packaging are shredded in flakes and melted.

The bales are torn up and the pieces are shred into tiny flakes. After a quick wash, rinse and dry, the flakes are melted together.

4. Extruding

Melted plastic is extruded into pellets, small oval pieces of plastic which is then pushed through an extruder. To visualize an extruder, think back on your childhood Play-Doh set where you pushed the dough through the machine to make spaghetti. This is extruding. Plastic may be extruded into various shapes; most often into pellets that can be sold to companies that use recycled plastic.

5. Reuse

The new plastic is sold for secondary use.