Trend setters in stretch film, biopolymer processing, and source reduction were among the winners last month of the 23rd Annual DuPont Packaging Awards, sponsored by DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, Wilmington, Del. Here are three examples from among the 16 winners:
•Microlayer stretch film: Apeldoorn Flexible Packaging in The Netherlands and Cloeren Inc. of Orange, Texas, were honored for Apeldoorn’s Katan-Ex microlayer stretch film. Cloeren’s microlayer feedblock and die technology allowed design of a stretch film with optimal properties for the beverage industry. The film offers increased pallet stability at elevated temperatures, uses 30% less material per pallet, and reduces damage to products during transportation by 80%. “Instead of having the nanolayers at the core, I wanted them to be closer to the surfaces of the film so they would provide maximum toughness and extensibility,” states Eddy Hilbrink, AFP R&D manager. “No one could have imagined just a few short years ago that 27-layer stretch films would prove practical, feasible, and unique—and here we are,” remarked Peter Cloeren, president of Cloeren Inc.
•Compounded PLA yogurt cups: Stonyfield Farm and Clear Lam Packaging, Elk Grove Village, Ill., accomplished a breakthrough use of PLA in a high-volume dairy application. The new form/fill/seal multipack yogurt cups are made of 93% PLA, switched from HIPS, believed to be the first for this market. Compression strength increased 15-20%, resulting in less product damage in transit.
•Lightweight hot-fill PET bottle: The ThermoShape from Plastipak Packaging, Plymouth, Mich., is an innovation in manufacturing and design of lightweight PET containers for hot-fill beverages. Where hot fill normally requires thick-walled containers, ThermoShape cuts material usage by 20% without using vacuum panels or sacrificing performance. Use of a ThermoShape machine to reshape the container just before labeling allows freedom for a wide array of container designs.