Las Vegas - Clear Lam Packaging is on a mission. The flexible and rigid manufacturer hopes to help eliminate 500 million tons of plastic in the next 10 years.
"Plastics will always be the material of choice," Roman Forowycz, chief marketing officer for Clear Lam, told PlasticsToday. "We're just using technology so there is less plastic but still make it efficient – even more so."
At Pack Expo (Sept. 23-25; Las Vegas), Clear Lam had several items on its agenda, including the introduction of its new freezer grade rollstock made from rPET. The proprietary product line is designed to perform in frozen applications and exhibit high tolerances to processing techniques, such as blast freezing. New product offerings include Form PET 512TM and Form PET 513TM and are available in clear, black, and custom color pigments.
Forowycz said that many Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies are encouraging the use of recycled plastic in packaging. However, when it comes to frozen food products, many times the packaging material has lost strength and become brittle, which produces a cracking issue.
Clear Lam's new rPET freezer grade rollstock incorporates compounded additives produced by Clear Lam's subsidiary, CL Polymers. The rollstock is designed for industrial thermoforming lines and for packaging produced on form fill seal (FFS) equipment. Blending the compounded additives with the virgin PET resin and RPET flake, which is made primarily from recycled PET bottles, improves the overall impact strength of the finished containers, according to the company.
The rollstock is lightweight, strong and performs in temperatures ranging from -40 to 165°F without compromising quality. Clear Lam touts that the material's improved performance in sub-zero temperatures resists cracking, "providing a more attractive package that maintains its integrity."
Last year at Pack Expo, Clear Lam introduced its the PrimaPak product line, which is designed as a flexible, stackable replacement for rigid containers, bottles and jars. The PrimaPak package is a flexible package produced from PrimaPak rollstock on a PrimaPak Vertical Form-Fill-Seal (VFFS) machine with a proprietary secondary operation. The PrimaPak package is lightweight, stackable, and merchandises on six sides.
"Sustainability certainly plays a role as well as numerous operational benefits," he said. "The package delivers improved cube utilization and weight reduction compared to traditional rigid packaging."
Forowycz said that one of the first applications of PrimaPak is for a pretzels line and the company anticipates further rollout of this packaging in more applications in 2014.
The company updated the PrimaPak product line and it now features two different lidding styles: the reclosable lidding systems the peel and reseal lid, which opens and reseals itself to the package with a light touch and the formed semi-rigid snap lip, a hinged lid that snaps down tight when resealed.
Clear Lam recently launched its new peel and reseal lidding film products with Ready Pac Foods and Pure Pacific Organics. Ready Pac Foods developed a new peel and reseal retail lettuce tray that received the Walmart Excellence in Sustainability award in 2013. Pure Pacific Organics, one of the largest organic farming companies in California, launched a new peel and reseal club store lettuce tray.
Clear Lam says that the new lidding technology helps Ready Pac and Pure Pacific reduce package weight by up to 32%.
The printable peel and reseal lidding films eliminated a rigid thermoformed lid and shrink band in both applications. The films are designed to seal to existing polyester containers used to package fresh produce, deli items and baked goods.