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Flexible Packaging Solutions Blog

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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

How to Measure a Stand-Up Pouch

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

To measure stand up pouches you begin with the width followed by the height and bottom gusset.

The bottom fold is called the bottom gusset; this is measured when the bag is lying flat and unfilled. You take the measurement from the bottom gusset up to the top fold. 2 to 3 inches is a typical bottom gusset in a small stand up pouch, which will open up to 4 to 6 inches respectively when you fill with product.

Many stand up pouches have a re-closable closure at the opening. You need to take this lip into consideration when measuring because it is above the seal or closure and is not part of the fill-able area; you do this by measuring the distance from the opening to the closure.

A good optional feature on pouches is a tear notch at the top of the pouch; this is used for an easy open of the standup pouch.

Any questions give us a call; we will be glad to help with your sizing and design.

How-to-Measure-Standupnew

Why pellet fuel companies should use pallet covers

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 1:59 pm

Storage of Pellet Fuel is very important.

Once wet, the compressed wood will swell, soak up the water and become unusable in your pellet stove. You’ll have a bag of very heavy sawdust. Wet pellets are attractive to insects, they tend to make homes in the pellets which can ruin the pellets and reduce the effectiveness.

Wet pellets are also favorable breeding ground for mold and other similar species.

It is very important to keep wood pellets protected from the environment. It is beneficial to keep wood pellets off the ground and on pallets. Pallet covers can be designed to fit every possible load size, they can also have UVI (ultraviolet inhibitors) prolong the life of pallet covers when exposed to lengthy periods of sunlight. Additional protective barriers can be stretch hood film, which provides weather resistance, load retention, puncture resistance, and stretch ability. Stretch Wrap also provides outstanding coverage and enhanced protection with each wrap making it stronger and stronger. Stretch Wraps also can also have UVI protection.

Not only will pallet covers keep your product protected they also act as instant advertising. Printed pallet covers are a great way to advertise your company information while in transportation or storage areas.

Please contact for additional information on how to keep your pellets safe from harsh weather.

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Let’s Stick Together with Velcro® Brand Packaging Closures

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 1:57 pm

Tri-Cor’s newest introduction to the flexible packaging world: stand-up pouches with the VELCRO® Brand Packaging Closure.

Close Them Safely. Open Them Fast.

Hook and loop fasteners can be used in a wide range of packaging applications. The easy aligning hooks engage without precise line up, the absolute in user-friendly touch closure. The PRESS-LOK closures is secure with excellent burst strength, a great alternative to zipper and slider fasteners.

Benefits for end-user:

  • Closes with a touch
  • Does not trap moisture
  • Works in hot, cold and even frozen environments (unlike pressure sensitive closures)
  • No precise alignment needed to close
  • FDA compliant
  • Seals through debris
  • Ships flat
  • Designed and engineered for all ages and motor skill levels

This revolutionary new closure system is available now for your next consumer friendly package.

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Fade Resistant Ink and Polyethylene Bags

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 1:52 pm

Many printing jobs require inks that are formulated to be fade resistant. Unfortunately, most printed materials exposed to light eventually fade.

There are specific factors that affect the resistance of an ink particle to fade. The two main factors include the size of the particle and the chemicals that go into the particle. Without getting too scientific on you, it all has to do with electrons and the particles ability to hold onto electrons. Light has the ability to change the make up of a particle, releasing electrons from ink particles, thus resulting in fading of the ink and a not so appealing package.

If you use polyethylene bags, sheeting, and pouches that are displayed under indoor florescent lighting or in direct sunlight in store windows or outdoors, you may be interested in fade resistant inks. Fade resistant inks will yield images that resist fading when exposed to UV rays. When ordering your product, explain the nature of the job and its intended end use to your sales representative. Also be sure to make your sales representative aware if the printed job will be displayed outdoors and exposed to weather. This information can help your sales representative determine the amount of lightfastness required to be built into the formation. Fade resistant pigments are quite costly, so you want a sales representative who can help keep your ink costs down by adding the proper fade resistant pigments to ensure the required degree of lightfastness.

The key is to talk to a knowledgeable sales representative and ask for light fast inks to provide top-notch performance with UV ink applications. After all, color is key for many packages and helps your product catch the eye and be recognized. For excellent visual impact a team effort is required among ink manufactures, sales representatives, product manufacturers, and the client.

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Lumber cover, pallet cover

Introducing a New Protective Slip Sheet

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 1:42 pm

Tri-Cor is proud to introduce a new protective slip sheet, which decreases stretch wrap and increases load stability. Plastic anti-slip sheets offer a clean, durable, space saving solution for your transport packaging needs, making them an excellent alternative to fiber slip sheets. With protective slip sheets you can decrease stretch wrap cost, increase load stability, interweave your pallets with anti-slip, water-resistant, slip sheets, and receive excellent pallet stabilization for bags or cartons.

Our new protective slip sheets are a lightweight, cost-efficient, waterproof, hygienic alternative to cardboard slip sheets. These slip sheets are reusable and 100% recyclable, deliver superior performance, provide durability, improve hygiene, and are environmentally friendly. They can be used between tiers as a separator sheet. These space saving, impervious to moisture and durable, plastic slip sheets provide simple cost effective solution for keeping the bottom of your products clean.

Details on the new protective slip sheets include:

  • Skid protection sheet
  • Separator (divider) sheets
  • Load/pallet top and bottom cover

Standard Size: 40″ x 48″
Rolls: 75 sheets per roll
Color: Gray
Made from: 100% recycled polyethylene material

Designed to

  • Protect from exposure to the elements as you prevent slippage
  • Protect stacked products our rugged slip sheets are manufactured from 100% recycled plastics
  • Be cut to fit and protect products of all sizes during transport and storage, preventing: scuffing and scratching, discoloration, mold formation, and moisture damage
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Tri-Cor protective anti slip sheets

Pet food industry moving to stand up pouches

Posted by on Mon, Apr 6th, 2015 at 1:36 pm

As we all know, our family pets are a big part of our lives.

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More and more pet food packaging companies are moving to stand up pouches. They want a fresher product and a package that sells. Pouches offer both.

This is what they’re saying:

Consumers are buying more and more of their pet products in stand up pouches than ever before.

Retail chains see pouches as more customer friendly package with resealable zippers. Pouches improve in store shelf presentation. Extending the shelf life of pet foods and treats by sealing in the freshness with impermeable materials.

What’s great about a pouch is you can have a clear window to display the product along with picture perfect graphics to close the sale. Many other features are available, tear notches, zippers, hang holes.