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Recyclable Wet-Wipes Pack Earns 2020 AIMCAL Sustainability Award For Flex Flims (USA)

Recyclable Wet-Wipes Pack Earns 2020 AIMCAL Sustainability Award For Flex Flims (USA)The Primark wipes package from Flex Films (USA) Inc. (Elizabethtown, KY), the US subsidiary of Uflex Limited, Films Business (Noida, India), earned the 2020 AIMCAL Sustainability Award. The Assn. of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators presented the honor today during a special Virtual Awards presentation via Webinar, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Gently Does It facial-cleansing wipes, flexible end-sealed pouch was recognized for sustainability with its completely recyclable asymmetric nylon-polyethylene (5-micron nylon in 20-micron PE)/ reverse-printed/adhesive/60-micron special PE structure. This innovation also earned a Technology Excellence Award. The nylon/PE layers reportedly ensure good label adherence through repeated peel/reseal usage and eliminate leaks while the inner sealant layer minimizes evaporation and bonds strongly at lower sealing temperatures. Designed as a replacement for a polyester/PE structure, the nylon/PE/PE film runs on existing equipment.

The judging panel, moderated by AIMCAL Executive Director Chris Kerscher, included the same panel members as the Product of the Year competition. Judges liked the asymmetric structure because the nylon enhances the barrier properties and stiffness of the film but is present at levels so low the material is recyclable in the PE stream. “Wipes are a rapidly growing market,” noted one judge. “This will enhance the sustainability of the category,” he explained.

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Two Honorable Mentions also were bestowed in the AIMCAL Sustainability Award competition. One went to ProAmpac (Cincinnati, OH), the other to Rolvac, LP (Dayville, CT)/Plastic Suppliers, Inc. (Columbus, OH). 

ProAmpac has developed a high-barrier pouch with 25% post-consumer-recycled (PCR) content. It’s used for JUSTIN’S® line of nut-butter-covered nuts. A zipper provides easy access and reclosability to minimize food waste. High-opacity white inks and surface matte coating and lamination processes work together to mask the haziness and inconsistencies inherent with PCR content.

The level of recycled content and overall appearance of the package appealed to the judges. “If the circular economy is going to work, it’s vital to provide markets for recycled materials,” noted one panel member.

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Rolvac, LP/Plastic Suppliers, Inc., took the second Honorable Mention for EarthFirst® metallized, ultralight polylactic acid (PLA) sealant film, which combines enhanced barrier and sealability with compostability in industrial systems. The metallized-PLA can replace a layer of foil, other metallized film, or sealant film and thereby convert three-layer structures to two layers, a gauge reduction of almost 50% and a weight reduction of 40%. Efficiency also improves due to fewer roll changes. Designed for dry products, the plant-based material provides excellent flavor-, aroma-, and grease-barrier properties. It also reportedly offers superior sealing properties with a low seal-initiation temperature, the ability to seal through contamination, a wide hot-tack temperature range, and high seal strength.

Judges liked the combination of barrier and sealant functions in the metallized PLA. “The potential for converting three-layer films to two-layer structures not only shrinks the carbon footprint of the packaging but also reduces its cost,” noted one judge. “Even though most US consumers don’t have access to industrial composting facilities, consumers view compostability favorably,” added another ?panel member.

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» Publication Date: 16/04/2020

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The development of this project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union
[LIFE16 ENV/ES/000305]

This publication reflects only the author's view and that the Agency/Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains



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