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In-Mold Label Is Also Food Package’s Seal

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At April’s NPE2012 show in Orlando, Fla., in-mold labels (IML) showed they can fulfill new roles, such as providing barrier protection (see our March show preview). They also can provide air- and water-tight seals, eliminating the need for a foil or film sealing membrane. This was demonstrated by the winner of the Packaging award in SPI’s International Plastics Design Competition at NPE. Spartech Packaging Technologies, St. Louis, presented the 1-Seal concept for the lid of a plastic tub. A portion of the surface of the lid’s in-mold label is left exposed—not backed up by a substrate—in a ring near the outer edge of the lid. That exposed label surface can seal to the horizontal lip of the tub underneath. Advantages are not only simplified production by eliminating the foil or film membrane. IML also offers better capability to support high-quality graphics and makes possible an all-PP package solution. The snap-on lid is resealable. The first user of the 1-Seal is The Better Bean Co. of Portland, Ore. It is offering 14-oz packages of refried black beans, red beans, Cuban black beans, bean dip, and chili. The packages are manufactured by Arta Plast LLC, Wayzata, Minn.