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5 vital warehouse/DC trends that could upend product packaging

5 vital warehouse/DC trends that could upend product packaging
Packagers are seeing significant shifts in their shipping operations.

Today’s warehousing industry is changing significantly compared to 10 years ago. These shifts have the potential to impact the entire supply chain, including the packaging operations of product manufacturers.

1. Increased number of SKUs

The growth of e-commerce and m-commerce, expected to represent 10% of the retail sales by 2017, has changed the daily operations of warehouses and distribution centers (DCs) by generating an important increase of stock-keeping units (SKUs) as customers demand more and more personalization. Also, many DCs have now multiple shipment sizes, from one small case to a complete mixed pallet.

This multiplication of SKUs is modifying the regular operations of warehouses and the entire supply chain. With this new reality, the picking and filling activities are more complex to perform, therefore more expensive. If we add the trend of “mass personalization,” like offering gift wrapping, the complexity of these operations will continue to increase.

2. Expansion and new construction

From 2009 to 2014, the material handling industry has grown by 75% while the gross domestic product (GDP) only changed by 10%. It seems that the warehouse and distribution center industry will continue to outperform the global U.S. economy for the coming years. Based on the 2013 Motorola Warehouse Vision Survey , 35% of the respondents plan to increase the number of warehouses and distribution centers while 38% plan to expand their sizes.

3. Automation (inbound and outbound)

From the same Motorola survey, 70% logistics operations plan on investing more in automation. The inbound and outbound areas are both part of the top priorities for automation because there is still a significant percentage of manual labor involved there. Knowing the difficulty to find the proper personnel, automation is definitively an option companies will seriously consider.

4. Bar coding

With bar codes found almost everywhere, you might think that all goods handled in a warehouse or a distribution center have theirs. Well, this is not the case. In 2013, roughly two-thirds of items handled were bar coded. It is expected that this should grow up to 83% by 2018. This will, of course, help all automation endeavour in the warehouse, facilitating tracking and traceability.

5. Costs of pick-and-fill activities

With the increase of SKUs as stated above, there is no surprise that the pick-and-fill activities represent an important cost for warehouses. According to the Motorola survey mentioned earlier, it corresponds to 70% of the operating costs. This is quite significant. Years ago, mainly full pallets were handled. Today—and in the coming years—more mixed pallets and individual cases will be prepared for shipping. Automation will help, but we can also wonder if there is a way to simplify things with the packaging of those goods.

One approach is to have the secondary packaging dimensions customized with the actual size of the goods to be shipped. This will not only reduce the shipping costs, but it will also help with the sustainability effort demanded by customers. Some companies offer the equipment that prepares the shipping box to the proper dimension. This will reduce the cost of filling materials, corrugated cases used and so on, but this still needs some manual labor to prepare the order.

Another approach suggested in is to use standard, modular and designed-for-logistics packaging that could accommodate finished goods and raw materials. Ideally, this new type of container should be reusable and reconfigurable, so it could be able to transport a multitude of sizes and shapes while enabling automated handling. We can see this concept adapting the world standard and widely adopted 20- and 40-foot containers to small parcels. This idea is not yet fully developed, but many players in the industry are thinking about it. Of course, it will be some time before it will by widely adopted and used by all actors of the supply chain.

Not only should those new parcels aim to be modular, but they should have embedded sensors—radio frequency identification (RFID) or similar technology—to facilitate the tracking and traceability of those containers.

As we can see, the future years will be quite dynamic and challenging for the industry. We outlined here some changes that should occur in the next four to five years, even beyond. But who knows what kind of surprises that might appear in the meantime? What do you think we’ll see?

Luc Vanden-Abeele, marketing research advisor at Axium inc., is an automation and robotics expert with more than 20 years of field experience. He is also a part-time lecturer at École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS), Montreal engineering university.

How 3D printing empowers packaging operations: Gallery

This porous tray mold made by CIDEAS allows manufacturers to create thermoformed trays for design verification and tweaking.

3D printers have been used for years to make packaging prototypes. But the new frontier for 3D printing is a bit more industrious, as packaging engineers figure out how to use it to help their manufacturing operations. This is one of the hottest areas in 3D printing, according to Mike Littrell, president of CIDEAS, a successful 3D printing and finishing firm. “3D printing won’t replace manufacturing 100%, but it can certainly aid it,” Littrell says.

How to successfully integrate an auger filler with your bagger

How to successfully integrate an auger filler with your bagger
By discussing auger filler integration projects up front with the machinery manufacturers, packaging engineers can better ensure that the systems will install smoothly and work well together.

A vertical form/fill/seal machine is a major purchase that can take months to accurately specify, quote, build and deliver. Improving communication between the vendors and customer early in the design stages will make that process a much quicker and smoother experience for everyone involved—and deliver a form/fill/seal machine that’s ready for action the first day it’s installed.

One of the main components of the design process is the integration of the vf/f/s machine to an auger filler. These two pieces of equipment need to be in-sync with one another to properly deliver the desired performance for the customer’s application. 

To get started, the vendors and customer need to share basic information with each other, including:

• What is the product being filled?

• What is the density?

• What are the flow characteristics?

• What is the bag size?

• What is the bag style?

• What is the desired fill rate per minute?

• What is the target product weight?

• What is the inside diameter (ID) of the forming tube?

Knowing this information upfront helps vendors determine the scope of the project, and allows the auger filler supplier to determine if the customer’s desired performance specifications for the application can be achieved and, if so, how.

The reason to have answers to the questions in the early stages is that each one influences the others; if one of the answers to a question is unknown, it can change the scope of the project.

The size and shape of the forming tube is one of the most important pieces of information a filler vendor needs in designing a system to integrate with a form/fill/seal machine. The amount and speed of which the product can be filled depends largely on the diameter of the auger, and that is dictated by the diameter and shape of the forming tube.

Simple physics comes into play in determining the fill rate. Obviously, the larger the forming tube, the more product that can be dispensed in a single auger revolution. For example, an auger that is 2.5 inches in diameter delivers 12.27 cubic inches of product per revolution, whereas an auger that’s just a half inch larger in diameter delivers 24.74 cubic inches of product per revolution—that’s twice as much.

The size of the forming tube is of great interest to the filling machine vendor because they want to know how much space they have to work with inside that tube. Knowing this up front allows the supplier to determine if the specified speed can be met for the designed pouch size. If it does not, either the bag needs to be redesigned to a larger size or speed requirements must be reduced.

It is also important to review the flow characteristics for each product to be filled. In general, products are free flowing or non-free flowing, and each requires a different tooling set up. In some cases, products can be a little of both, and the result is anything from an occasional drip to a steady stream of product flowing after the auger has completed its cycle. This may require a tooling set up that calls for a clam shell cut off, a cone cut off or possibly the latest technology: vacuum cut off. All three of these special tooling set ups take up additional room in the forming tube, causing the size of the auger, and therefore the output speed, to be reduced.

Dust removal is an area that also needs to be factored into the integration of the vf/f/s machine with the auger filler. Since the foil pouch is sealed on three sides, any dust from the fill will escape going up. If the application calls for dust collection, then dust collection is required to capture it, and it needs to be located within the forming tube—and that takes up valuable space.

Electrical specifications of each system are another area to consider. Often the end user will have an electrical specification that must be met. The equipment suppliers need to know this upfront when quoting the project. The VFFS supplier and the auger filler supplier might be able to share components. A good example of this would be to integrate control screens on a common HMI, thus giving the end user a single point of control for the complete system. To do that effectively, it’s best to approach this objective early on.

One final point on machine integration: Discuss the factory acceptance test up front during the quoting process. Will there be a test at the auger filler company, the vf/f/s bagger company or both? What are the criteria for these tests? Will the VFFS company require technical assistance from the auger filler supplier for the test?  What are the criteria for the start, installation and training at the customer’s plant? Technical assistance requirements should be defined and planned for in advance.

Bringing in all vendors together with the customer to discuss performance goals and share information early on in the design process will help streamline the integration of the form/fill/seal machine and auger filler. Vendors have expertise in their specific areas, and sharing information ensures all aspects of the integration move along in a smooth and efficient manner.  

Timm Johnson is vp sales/marketing at Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery. Johnson also serves as chairman of the PMMI Education and Work Force Development committee. He can be reached at 262-321-6103 or tjohnson@spee-dee.com.Free via Skype

How to successfully integrate an auger filler with your bagger

How to successfully integrate an auger filler with your bagger
By discussing auger filler integration projects up front with the machinery manufacturers, packaging engineers can better ensure that the systems will install smoothly and work well together.

A vertical form/fill/seal machine is a major purchase that can take months to accurately specify, quote, build and deliver. Improving communication between the vendors and customer early in the design stages will make that process a much quicker and smoother experience for everyone involved—and deliver a form/fill/seal machine that’s ready for action the first day it’s installed.

One of the main components of the design process is the integration of the vf/f/s machine to an auger filler. These two pieces of equipment need to be in-sync with one another to properly deliver the desired performance for the customer’s application. 

To get started, the vendors and customer need to share basic information with each other, including:

• What is the product being filled?

• What is the density?

• What are the flow characteristics?

• What is the bag size?

• What is the bag style?

• What is the desired fill rate per minute?

• What is the target product weight?

• What is the inside diameter (ID) of the forming tube?

Knowing this information upfront helps vendors determine the scope of the project, and allows the auger filler supplier to determine if the customer’s desired performance specifications for the application can be achieved and, if so, how.

The reason to have answers to the questions in the early stages is that each one influences the others; if one of the answers to a question is unknown, it can change the scope of the project.

The size and shape of the forming tube is one of the most important pieces of information a filler vendor needs in designing a system to integrate with a form/fill/seal machine. The amount and speed of which the product can be filled depends largely on the diameter of the auger, and that is dictated by the diameter and shape of the forming tube.

Simple physics comes into play in determining the fill rate. Obviously, the larger the forming tube, the more product that can be dispensed in a single auger revolution. For example, an auger that is 2.5 inches in diameter delivers 12.27 cubic inches of product per revolution, whereas an auger that’s just a half inch larger in diameter delivers 24.74 cubic inches of product per revolution—that’s twice as much.

The size of the forming tube is of great interest to the filling machine vendor because they want to know how much space they have to work with inside that tube. Knowing this up front allows the supplier to determine if the specified speed can be met for the designed pouch size. If it does not, either the bag needs to be redesigned to a larger size or speed requirements must be reduced.

It is also important to review the flow characteristics for each product to be filled. In general, products are free flowing or non-free flowing, and each requires a different tooling set up. In some cases, products can be a little of both, and the result is anything from an occasional drip to a steady stream of product flowing after the auger has completed its cycle. This may require a tooling set up that calls for a clam shell cut off, a cone cut off or possibly the latest technology: vacuum cut off. All three of these special tooling set ups take up additional room in the forming tube, causing the size of the auger, and therefore the output speed, to be reduced.

Dust removal is an area that also needs to be factored into the integration of the vf/f/s machine with the auger filler. Since the foil pouch is sealed on three sides, any dust from the fill will escape going up. If the application calls for dust collection, then dust collection is required to capture it, and it needs to be located within the forming tube—and that takes up valuable space.

Electrical specifications of each system are another area to consider. Often the end user will have an electrical specification that must be met. The equipment suppliers need to know this upfront when quoting the project. The VFFS supplier and the auger filler supplier might be able to share components. A good example of this would be to integrate control screens on a common HMI, thus giving the end user a single point of control for the complete system. To do that effectively, it’s best to approach this objective early on.

One final point on machine integration: Discuss the factory acceptance test up front during the quoting process. Will there be a test at the auger filler company, the vf/f/s bagger company or both? What are the criteria for these tests? Will the VFFS company require technical assistance from the auger filler supplier for the test?  What are the criteria for the start, installation and training at the customer’s plant? Technical assistance requirements should be defined and planned for in advance.

Bringing in all vendors together with the customer to discuss performance goals and share information early on in the design process will help streamline the integration of the form/fill/seal machine and auger filler. Vendors have expertise in their specific areas, and sharing information ensures all aspects of the integration move along in a smooth and efficient manner.  

Timm Johnson is vp sales/marketing at Spee-Dee Packaging Machinery. Johnson also serves as chairman of the PMMI Education and Work Force Development committee. He can be reached at 262-321-6103 or tjohnson@spee-dee.com.Free via Skype

Praline packaging reinvents gifting experience

Praline packaging reinvents gifting experience

The premier gifting brand Cadbury Glow from Mondelēz Intl. is making its debut in India with its innovative packaging— a treasure chest of luxurious pralines with chocolaty filling; features that will make every moment glow.

Packaging Digest caught up with Gil Horsky, senior innovation mgr. and Julian Sellers, senior group leader, global chocolate packaging to discuss the packaging structure and design for Cadbury Glow.

What is the motivation behind Cadbury’s recent activity in introducing new products/packaging?

Mondelēz Team: The company has a strong innovation pipeline and is committed to launch new innovative products and packaging for its power brands, including Cadbury. With the recent launch of Cadbury Glow, being introduced first in India, Mondelēz Intl. combined its deep consumer insights, global expertise in chocolate and breakthrough innovation capabilities to develop  luxurious chocolate pralines with an indulgent chocolatey filling that are superior in terms of taste and packaging. Cadbury Glow represents the ideal expression of love and emotions for the special people in one’s life.

What design trends does your packaging set in the confectionary market?

Horsky: Cadbury Glow competes within the Chocolate Gifting segment, in which historically most brands and pack designs were trying to convey premium cues by being exclusive, distant and at times even pretentious. With a brand like Cadbury, that has an emotional, approachable and warm relationship to consumers, we saw a clear opportunity to re-frame the category by developing a new proposition and pack design for thoughtful givers who want to gift their nearest and dearest an emotional and expressive gift.

Staying true to this philosophy, Cadbury Glow is filled with little details that are symbolic of the care that went into creating it. The chocolate pralines are crafted in Europe, and special attention has been taken post production in designing the packaging, making it more than just a chocolate and something truly worthy of gifting to a loved one.

Describe packaging components of carton board by vendor(s) and specification (or structure/polymer, size, style). To what degree is each custom?

Sellers: Developing Cadbury Glow created several technical challenges that became a priority focus after the consumer research. The individual fitment designs are particularly notable because they are not only made from cartonboard instead of the traditional thermoformed plastic but they hold the praline securely in a horizontal, vertical and upside down position. We are delighted to deliver a pack that stays true to the original concept.

Using laser scribing technology, the film is flow wrapped around the individual pralines to accentuate the curved shape of the praline. When the consumer initiates the opening of the film, the tear carefully follows the pre-scored laser line revealing the praline beneath. Opening the packaging this way is satisfying and allows consumers to take their time and enjoy the moment to reveal the chocolate.

The elegant pack design is made from metallized cartonboard with a number of premium finishes and effects including shimmer varnish, spot gloss and embossed and debossed details. The long, shimmering sleeve with ribbon detail evokes premium cues with no raw edges and neat, strong creases that further promote the quality of this new brand.

Once the sleeve is removed, a gold treasure chest is revealed with the signature ‘Cadbury Glow’ emblem stamped onto the right door. When opening the two hinged doors, the consumer reveals four columns of individually placed pralines that glow like jewels in the treasure box. The pralines are placed in individual cartonboard fitments that are designed to hold the praline at the waist, showing the consumer the beautiful bow-like shape of the primary packaging.

Once opened, the treasure chest becomes a unique center piece for sharing with loved ones or savoring these precious chocolates as a special treat.

What were the key goals and requirements from a marketing view? From a packaging view?

Mondelēz Team: Our mission was to create an expressive chocolate brand that is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Cadbury Glow has been inspired by the warm glow of happiness that comes from seeing dear ones light up with happiness when they receive a special gift. In a busy world where emotions are forgotten and people have less time for their near and dear ones, Cadbury Glow aims to empower people with a thoughtful gift to show how much they care. 

The beautiful gold and purple packaging of Cadbury Glow is reminiscent of a treasure chest that glows from the inside out, filled with delicious chocolate pralines that would leave a precious feeling to the special people in one’s life.

To make the gifting experience truly personalized Cadbury Glow also launched a unique gifting website that allows givers to add a personal touch to their gift of Cadbury Glow by writing a personal note, sending a lovely song or experiencing again fond memories by videos and photos.

 

 

 

New bioplastic material for 3D printing creates parts, packages at high speeds

The new Biome3D biodegradable material was designed specifically for use with 3D printers. Developed in partnership between Biome Bioplastics and 3Dom Filaments, the material is made from plant starches and reportedly combines the best characteristics of bio-based and oil-based materials.

Plant-based plastics for 3D printing are easier to process than oil-based plastics, according to Biome Bioplastics. They are also food safe and odor free, but run slower than their oil-based counterparts on 3D printing systems. Oil-based plastics, on the other hand, have a higher softening point than bio-based plastics and create flexible parts that bend before they break. And, as mentioned, these filaments also run at higher speeds.

Sally Morley, sales director at Biome Bioplastics, says, "The future of bioplastics lies in demonstrating that plant-based materials can outperform their traditional, oil-based counterparts. Our new material for the 3D printing market exemplifies that philosophy. Biome3D combines the best processing qualities with the best product finish; it also happens to be made from natural, renewable resources."

The Biome3D material extrudes at nozzle temperatures from 356 to 437 deg F (180 to 225 deg C) at a print speed of 80 to 100mm. The company recommends a nozzle diameter of 0.4mm.

Biome3D comes in seven stock colors, with custom colors available for large orders.

Many packagers have been using 3D printing in their packaging R&D departments for testing and creating prototypes. These operations typically use oil-based plastics such as ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene). But the market is out there, and possibly growing, for bio-based materials for 3D printing—and not just for testing or prototypes. One enterprising entrepreneur is actually using 3D printers to manufacture her own biodegradable jars, albeit in small quantities. Read more about the Anita’s Balm story here.

Consumers score some beverage concentrate packages high, some low

Consumers score some beverage concentrate packages high, some low
Consumers evaluate current packages on the market for beverage concentrates during a focus group.

What’s the ideal beverage concentrate package? Something that is small, slim, portable, easy to squeeze and ergonomic, according to consumers participating in research organized by TricorBraun Design & Innovation, a business unit of TricorBraun, one of North America’s leading providers of bottles, jars and other rigid packaging components.

Current packages on the market, however, come up short in many ways, especially for powders. Participants prefer liquid concentrates instead of powders for two reasons: Powders are messy and don’t always dissolve properly. Said one participant, “We've tried the powdered versions and when you open the packet, it can be a mess, especially when my kids are making it. I like [the liquid concentrate] much better because if there's a drop or two on the counter, I can just wipe it up.” Another one added, “The problem I have with the powder is not so much opening it but that it doesn't dissolve when the water is cold. It just sits as a lump at the bottom of the glass.”

But liquid beverage concentrate packages weren’t totally immune to criticism either. Consumers involved in the research expressed concern that these bottles might leak in their purses or bags.

Further discussion around closures revealed a couple insights:

• Participants liked closures on liquid concentrate packages that seal with an audible click so they know it is securely closed and won’t leak.

• They liked valve-style dispensing closures for their easy dispensing- and portion-control properties. The latter is something that packages of fixed-portion powdered concentrates don’t deliver, noted some participants. When asked “Do you like having the dispensing valve?”, one participant answered, “Absolutely. Then you're not worrying about spilling all over the place. And you want some control to be able to use as much or as little as you want.”

Convenient packaging reigns for consumers who are on the go—and who isn’t these days. Participants shared a preference for packages that enable one-handed use, as well as for closures that are easy to open and securely close.

Package size and shape also plays an important role in purchase decisions of beverage concentrates. Participants expressed a desire for one package that is convenient and comfortable for everyone to use: children, adults and seniors. Some existing bottles, they noted, are too large and won’t do. As this one participant said about one of the better sample packages being evaluated, “It's got the shape to fit right in your hand and it’s perfect for the kids' hands too.”

Before being sold on a package’s functionality, though, these consumers need beverage concentrate packages to have good looks, with bright, bold graphics that appeal to them and their kids.

Two focus groups, each lasting more than an hour, were held at TricorBraun Design & Innovation offices in Oak Brook, IL, on June 16, 2014, and conducted by NSM Research Inc., a market research group that has assessed consumer preferences for packaging since 1996.

4 leading label solutions to enhance brand recognition

4 leading label solutions to enhance brand recognition
Shrink-sleeve labels made with innovative variable sleeve offset printing (VSOP) technology produce a seam that is narrower than the industry average. The new process eliminates edge-lift for a smoother finish, and avoids print gaps at the seam line when the sleeve shrinks. Other VSOP benefits includes no plate costs, allowing for frequent graphic changes; plates made in minutes, allowing for last minute changes; and combination printing that provides greater flexibility in controlling label inventories.

According to industry research by the Freedonia Group, label demand in the U.S. will reach a projected $19.1 billion by 2017, representing an annual growth of 4.2%. Now more than ever it's important to enhance brand recognition in the marketplace. This year a number of new labeling technologies will be on display at Pack Expo International 2014 show (Nov. 2-5, McCormick Place, Chicago).

Check out these 4 labeling innovations.

1. Shrink-sleeve labels from Hammer Packaging, Pack Expo Booth #E-6641

2. C-FiT Sleeve from MRI Flexible Packaging, Pack Expo Booth #N-5142

3. In-mold labels from Yupo Corp., Pack Expo Booth N-#6267

4. Automated vertical sleeve labeler from Sleeve Seal, Pack Expo Booth #N-4730 

Breaking the recyclability myth: Part 2

Breaking the recyclability myth: Part 2
Progressive Waste Solutions is showing that there are alternatives to be found that can make recycling not only cheaper and more practical, but more eco-friendly.

In my last post, I discussed the pervasive myth that certain materials are beyond recycling, noting that the only limitations to recycling something are economic in scope; if the recycling process costs more than its output, we consider it garbage. While that’s a sad fact to contend with, there are some surprising ways that some costs and environmental burdens can be reduced to make packaging more recyclable.

One of the easier and more common methods is reducing the amount of packaging used altogether, using lighter designs that require less material to produce. Target has felt the pressure, reducing its own packaging by removing plastic lids from Archer Farms yogurts and opting for rubber bands instead of plastic bags to hold pairs of socks.

Besides Target, a wide variety of companies are changing the packaging norms. Laundry detergent is commonly found in concentrated formulas sold in smaller containers. Water bottles, previously weighing up to 25.94 grams, use thinner plastic and are lighter than ever before. Nestle Waters produced a slimmed-down water bottle in 2007, requiring an average 37% less plastic than the original half-liter bottle design they began with. Pepsi has followed suit, replacing their own non-soda drink packaging with a design using 20% less plastic.

Changing the design of packaging is important and necessary, but it’s just one part of the recycling process. It doesn’t, for example, take into account the energy and fuel that is required to physically collect and deliver the packaging to a recycling center. This shipping issue has become a point of contention for many skeptics who doubt that recycling is “worth it.” Although in theory recycling is a no-brainer, the practice is stained by diesel-burning trucks that, aside from being dependent on an expensive fuel, emit huge quantities of CO2. Considering recycling trucks contribute the most to carbon emissions during the recycling process, it’s a valid point.

One waste management company, Progressive Waste Solutions, is showing that there are alternatives to be found that can make recycling not only cheaper and more practical, but more eco-friendly. In May 2013, Progressive Waste introduced 300 trucks that run not on diesel, but on cleaner compressed natural gas that can cost half the price of diesel. As one of the largest waste management companies in Canada and the United States, they have a chance to drastically change the industry. The use of Compressed Natural Gas trucks is reducing the cost and the carbon impact of recycling trucks and thus a major cog in the recycling process.

TerraCycle partnered with Progressive Waste as a way to increase the size of our recycling efforts, but without the dirty fuel and costs associated with hauling large volumes of material. People will be able to put waste collected through TerraCycle recycling programs right on their curb, like any other blue bin recyclable. And when everything finally gets collected, the trucks doing the shipping will be burning cleaner, cheaper gas.

If big structural changes like this start happening with higher frequency, the economic barriers to recycling may finally be demolished. Who knows, in ten years we may be throwing every piece of consumer packaging in the blue bin. Whether it’s natural gas today or natural gas-battery hybrids tomorrow, we can’t afford to stop chipping away at the walls standing between us and more inclusive recycling.

Author Tom Szaky, founder/CEO of TerraCycle, has won more than 50 awards for entrepreneurship, also writes blogs for Treehugger and The New York Times, recently published a book called "Revolution in a Bottle" and is the star of a National Geographic Channel special, "Garbage Moguls."

Bread company goes green with bio-based packaging

Bread company goes green with bio-based packaging

An all new innovative bread packaging has entered the green arena thanks to Eureka! Baking Co. The company recently rolled out three new bread varieties which are certified Vegan and USDA Organic, and the renewable bag demonstrates the company's commitment to sustainability.

According to supplier Braskem, they have been working with Bimbo packaging engineers to produce bio-based packaging using Braskem's Green Polyethylene, which is produced from sugarcane ethanol, a 100% renewable raw material. The sugarcane used is non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) based.

For each ton of plastic produced, green plastic sequestrates approximately 2.15 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. To help consumers recognize green plastic in stores, Braskem created a seal, which guarantees the renewable content of the plastic.

Packaging Digest interviewed Mike Jensen, assistant brand mgr., Eureka! Baking Co. to get the details.

What design trends does your packaging set in the grain market?

Jensen: Eureka! Organic Bread bags are up to 39% bio based made from Braskem’s Green Polyethylene, a renewable raw material verified using ASTM D6866. This is first packaged bread in North America to use this renewable and sustainable technology.

What is the motivation behind Eureka’s recent activity in introducing new products/packaging?

Jensen: At the Eureka! Baking Company, we believe discovery is a beautiful thing and that everyone should be given the opportunity to discover great tasting bread from coast to coast.

What were the key goals and requirements from a marketing  and packaging view?

Jensen: We were innovative with our product designs and wanted to be just as innovative with our packaging material and design. Our goal was to design a package that is different and stands out on shelf.

Did sustainability play a role in the package development?

Jensen: Eureka! Breads are committed to Sustainable Practices throughout our entire Supply Chain.  We are constantly searching for ways to save resources to ensure their availability for future generations.

Braskem has been making Green Polyethylene since 2010 at its Triunfo Petrochemical Complex, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, in the south region of Brazil. The plant's capacity is 200 kton/year and the total investment amounts to US$290 million.

Braskem, 215-841-3100

braskem.com