Recyclable stand-up pouch is circular-economy ready

By Rick Lingle in Pouches on May 16, 2019

With How2Recycle label acceptance and expected to be on-shelf next month, the grocery-store-bin recyclable #2 packaging available in pouch and roll form will be shown during PackEx Toronto June 4-6.


Providing flexible packaging for nearly 50 years, Tempo Plastics Limited, Innisfil, ON, Canada, has added a sustainable twist to its portfolio: a recyclable structure available as either a multilayer pouch or rollstock material derived from a single polymer, high-density polyethylene, that can be recycled in the #2 high-density polyethylene stream. 

The packaging, which the company claims provides excellent barrier protection with premium, high-definition printed graphics for exceptional shelf appeal, will be on display during PackEx Toronto June 4-6.

Promoted as “Guilt-Free packaging,” HARMONYPack was created for a circular economy while exceeding market criteria for cost, durability and other key performance measures of desirable packaging. “Our philosophy behind HarmonyPack is to build the circular economy by designing packaging to be easier to recycle,” says Leonardo Giglio, vp marketing & product development, who believes the timing is perfect for this type of packaging.

“More than ever, the push to eliminate waste is at the forefront of mainstream media and the consumer’s mind,” he points out. “Major companies are making commitments to reduce their packaging waste to landfill. We see this as an opportunity to help our customers achieve these goals. In fact, sustainability seems to be a daily conversation among customers. We want to both educate and help our customers find these solutions.”

Tempo Plastics recommends that customers can use the #2 recycling designation for identification purposes. 

In-store recyclable is currently the most accepted solution, explains Giglio, because different municipalities have different acceptance criteria so while the packaging is technically curbside recyclable, it’s not universally available. “Innovation on the collection side and reuse markets will follow,” he says.

How2Recycle labeling adherence

Notably, the development allows the use of clear-to-understand How2Recycle labeling.

“How2Recycle has prequalified HarmonyPack and will be issuing a How2recycle label specifically for this package,” explains Giglio. “However, brand owners that wish to use the How2recycle logo on the HarmonyPack will have to enter into a membership agreement. We can help facilitate that process at the start of the design process.”

HarmonyPack is applicable for products for “everything that our traditional packages are capable of, ranging from small snack food to large-format dog food bags,” says Giglio. Specific markets include pet treats, confections, lawn and garden, nuts and seeds, coffee, frozen foods, bakery and snack foods.

Released in February 2019, HarmonyPack is already gaining diverse customer interest.

“Many companies are in the testing phase for non-barrier, barrier, shelf stable and freezer applications,” Giglio discloses. “Most of the opportunities we’ve received are from the food industry.”

The first brand customer is expected to have pouches on-shelf by the end of June, Packaging Digest learned.

Value-added options are the same for the recyclable packaging as with the company’s standard packaging, including durable flange-style press-to-close zippers and other handle variations.

Details on the substrate’s thickness and layers are variable depending on the product and application.

The packaging’s official launch into Canada will commence with HarmonyPack’s appearance during PackEx Toronto June 4-6 in Tempo Plastics booth #1168. That will be followed by the official United States launch during the Private Label Manufacturers Assn. (PLMA) show in the fall.

For more information, visit

For more on How2Recycle labeling, see How2Recycle label is growing—here’s who, why and how, published February 2019.


Rick Lingle

Rick Lingle is senior technical editor of Packaging Digest. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

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It's still plastic. How is that "guilt free?" Assuming it actually goes into the recycle bin, does it actually go full circle? In-store recycling? Aside from Whole Foods, who else offers this? Is it made from recycled material or just introducing more material into circulation? Again, it's still plastic. Can this end up breaking down on a beach or in a floating garbage patch? Where's the real innovation and solution to the problem? Smells more like a marketing ploy.
I think your bias on plastic being a problem is clouding your ability to see the positive direction HarmonyPack is offering our packaging supply chain. There are many retailers that take back Polyethylene bags, not just Whole Foods. Feel free to put in your postal/zip code into this link to find the nearest location to you. Making packaging that is easier to recycle will promote a circular economy and divert it from ending up in places it does not belong.
Your comment about introducing more material into circulation is fair. Our goal is to help build a circular economy for flexible plastics. We have had some success with up to 20% Post Consumer waste plastic going back into the package. We will continue to work towards increasing that percentage while maintaining the packages integrity and food safety regulations. Thanks for your passion. Your feedback is helpful as we continue to try and solve issues in our waste collection system.
It's still plastic. How is this "guilt-free?" Is it new material entering the cycle or recycled to start with? Who actually recycles it? How does this not end up breaking down on a beach or in a floating garbage patch for decades? Again, its still plastic. How is this a solution to the problem? How many and what stores offer in-store recycling? is this like recycling single use grocery bags? Smells more like marketing than a solution. There's more "spin" than answers here.
One more thing... Oh boy! A new seal to clutter up the package design that means nothing to the average consumer. Inverted pouches are just another spin, er, work around to avoiding any real innovation. It's still plastic. Disappointing at best. Ugh. I'm still really bothered that there's no mention this product is actually made with recycled material.
I don't know if you read my reply above about we are actually having some success getting recycled material back into new packaging. These are real innovations that take a lot of time and resources. Its rather rude of you to dismiss the hard work of many people as simply a marketing ploy. Ocean plastics is an issues but throwing glass, paper and aluminum into the ocean is not the solution. Make recycling more efficient and convenient and less will end up where it doesnt belong.