Pack Expo 2018: 5 breakthrough plastic packaging innovations

Pack Expo 2018 Top 5 collage

Pack Expo Intl. 2018 held October 14-17 presented a wide-angle view of packaging boasting 2,500 exhibitors across 1.25 million net square feet of Chicago’s McCormick Place and drew nearly 45,000 attendees.

It was an extravaganza of all things packaging including an impressively high level of plastics packaging innovation and product introductions. We’ve distilled an impressive and diverse number of notable developments in retail, ecommerce, beverage, food packaging and other markets down to this listing of five exemplary new products and will be reporting on others just as remarkable in the days ahead.

The list starts with the industry’s first look at the ecommerce-optimized Dromo PET packaging system from PTI (Holland, OH) that launched at the show. Pack Expo 2018 Dromo Thierry F

Dromo, which in Greek means road (insider information: the company’s agency person, who’s a long-timer in packaging editorial and marketing, is Greek), is a PET bottle designed specifically for liquid or semi-viscous products sold through e-commerce channels and is suitable for personal care, household chemicals and a wide range of other products.

“Consumers have never been more vocal about reducing plastic packaging consumption,” explains Thierry Fabozzi, PTI president. “Along with this has come the significant shift in buying habits, moving away from retail stores toward ecommerce. Different times, call for different packaging solutions and that’s what this innovation represents.”

The cylindrical Dromo bottle is a cartridge with opposing flat-side panels that provide sidewall strength and facilitate stacking prior to shrink wrapping into optional double packs. Those flat areas prevent the bottle from rolling and offer a landing place for a label. The bottles can be made from virgin PET or up to 100% recycled PET (rPET).

PackEx Montréal 2018 (November 14-15) co-located with Exoplast both offer everything from design to manufacturing—concept to market—with valuable free presentations throughout the event at Center Stage. Come explore the latest innovations, processes and new products. For details, visit PackEx Montréal .

Up to 75% lighter weight than traditional personal-care PET bottles—currently Dromo is 9.6 grams vs. an industry standard 39 grams—the 16-ounce PET refill has been designed to be inserted into an attractive, rigid, reusable dispenser. Several dispenser types have been engineered, each with specific features to address brand preferences.

Bottles can also be sealed with a traditional threaded closure or accommodate a foil seal.Pack Expo 2018 Dromo close

The bottle, which will initially be available in a 16oz size, can be embossed.

The reusable dispenser that PTI displayed in several prototype designs replaces the single-use dispensing bottle used for soaps and other household products.

PTI claims the bottle is a less messy refill system compared to pouches and offers better evacuation of the product than traditional hand-soap dispenser bottles because Dromo is oriented in an inverted opening-down position.

Notably, the expectation is that the secondary packaging requirements for Dromo will also be reduced versus traditional packaging.

The development of Dromo was initiated internally by PTI, which represents a new approach for the company in proactively developing new concepts not tied directly to customer partnerships. Dromo had been in development about a year, according to Fabozzi.

Essentially arriving warm off the blowmolder, the first Dromo bottles that were shown were produced the week before the show. Fabozzi planned to use the show to make connections that would lead to partnerships for Dromo.


Next: Patented FFS resealable packaging for liquids—a first for a familiar name

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