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President Ira Maroofian reveals the privately held thermoforming company’s plans, innovative products, market opportunities and concerns in this Molder Spotlight.

Rick Lingle, Senior Technical Editor

February 21, 2018

4 Min Read
PinnPACK focused on sustainable plastic food packaging

PinnPACK (Oxnard, CA), is a privately held thermoforming company that specializes in manufacturing food packaging using PET and recycled PET (rPET) resin and has a clear-cut mission to further leverage that proficiency.

“Our name, short for Pinnacle Packaging, comes from our goal—to be the leading food packaging company in the industry, through innovation, customer service and environmentally focused products and practices,” explains company president Ira Maroofian, who discusses the company’s plans, latest products and concerns in this Molder Spotlight Q&A.

What makes PinnPACK different?

Maroofian: Our focus is on the needs of our customers. Therefore, we strive to design and offer value-added packaging solutions via customized tooling, tailored production and stocking plans, and excellent customer service. As part of CarbonLITE (Los Angeles), the largest bottle-to-bottle PET recycling company in the world, we have access to the highest-quality, food-grade, post-consumer resin available. Utilizing CarbonLITE rPET in PinnPACK products reduces the environmental impact of our packaging. Customers that use PinnPACK products are reducing their carbon footprint by selecting our products versus those made with 100% virgin resin.

We strive to be the leader in using recycled packaging as well as pushing the recycling movement to a new level. We can create packaging that is made from 100% recycled water bottles. Imagine the possibilities!

What are PinnPACK’s key product markets?

Maroofian: Bakery, produce, deli, confectionary and fast-food industries.

What’s your latest product? 

Maroofian: One of our newest product launches is The DeLight Hybrid Foodservice Tray, a dual-ovenable paperboard tray with a film barrier and modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) properties. We are very excited about its potential. (For more information, see Dual-ovenable hybrid food tray is MAP ready, published December 2017 by Packaging Digest)

We have also launched a variety of bakery packages, designed for better visibility by utilizing wide panels, while reducing plastic content (shown below).

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Tell us about the company’s involvement with rPET and sustainable solutions.

Maroofian: rPET is a fundamental part of PinnPACK’s foundation. As part of the CarbonLITE family, we utilize post-consumer food-grade rPET resin in all of our products—in many cases PinnPACK parts are made from 100% rPET. Customer interest in green solutions continues to grow due to consumer demand for more environmentally friendly products.

We have a new Line of Products called “Pinnpack Green,” which is made from 100% recycled Sprite/7-Up bottles. This can open up a whole new market for companies that really want to go “Green.”

That being said, there are many factors that determine a customer’s ability, or desire, to move to green solutions. They include price, functionality, accessibility and the ability to substantiate that the material used is actually environmentally friendly. PinnPACK’s products satisfy all of those parameters. Our products, made with rPET, function just like those made from 100% virgin material, are typically cost neutral, documented as food contact safe, and benefit from a limitless supply of CarbonLITE rPET resin.

What’s your view of the New Plastics Economy initiative?

Maroofian: We are excited as we are already participating to a large extent through our affiliation with CarbonLITE. Working toward a future when all plastic packaging will be recycled and then reutilized into new plastic parts is a worthwhile endeavor.

What’s PinnPACK’s most recent production investment?

Maroofian: Since acquiring the company we have invested heavily in new tooling, thermoforming equipment and extrusion technology in order to maximize all efficiencies across the board.          

What pain point keeps you up at night?  

Maroofian: The increasing cost of resin as well as freight costs is something all members of the packaging industry are currently challenged by. Fortunately, our access to CarbonLITE resin quells some of these challenges.

What’s the most reasonable “wild card” that could affect your markets or operations?

Maroofian: Regulation relating to increases in post-consumer content in packaging, and anti-dumping regulation could also help domestic manufacturers against foreign suppliers who are subsidized by their governments.

What’s next? 

Maroofian: Continue to grow and help our customers achieve their goals. Open plants across the country and push the use of recycled PET (rPET) in the packaging industry. We must do our part to help improve the world’s environment. We have the perfect unique relationship with CarbonLITE to make that happen.

About the Author(s)

Rick Lingle

Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday

Rick Lingle is Senior Technical Editor, Packaging Digest and PlasticsToday. He’s been a packaging media journalist since 1985 specializing in food, beverage and plastic markets. He has a chemistry degree from Clarke College and has worked in food industry R&D for Standard Brands/Nabisco and the R.T. French Co. Reach him at [email protected] or 630-481-1426.

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