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Thermoformed packaging processor Dordan Manufacturing hopes to make a splash at the Pack Expo 2011 trade later this year when it introduces new packaging to its Bio Resin Show N Tell, a document the company has created and continues to update to help its customers make choices between the various bioplastics available.

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Thermoformer Dordan expands range of sustainable packaging

Dordan for its part has run the materials and so can offer information on output, potential issues with certain materials, and also the advantages of each. The Show N Tell booklet also offers guidance on pricing of the materials versus established thermoplastics.

Pack Expo will be held in Las Vegas September 26-28. Added to Show-N-Tell and also to the list of bioplastics, or plastics based on sustainable materials that Dordan (Woodstock, IL) can process, are the TerraPET sheet supplied by Klockner, and Microgreen Polymers' Aeris InCycle.

Klockner's TerraPET derives up to 30% of its carbon from annually renewable resources. Microgreen Polymers' Aeris InCycle is an expanded/foamed rPET; its sustainable friendliness is due to its light weight.

Dordan says it began sampling nontraditional resins in early 2010 in response to inquiries from clients and a desire to stay informed about contemporary packaging trends. "We have found a lot of interest in these environmentally friendly materials and with more and more being developed, we feel it is important to provide our clients with all the information so they can make informed decisions that may help them achieve their definition of sustainable packaging," said Dordan CEO Daniel Slavin. The processor shared its R&D on bio-based/biodegradable/compostable resins at Pack Expo 2010 in its first Bio Resin Show N Tell exhibit. By including thermoformed samples of each nontraditional resin alongside associated material properties, attendees were able to see and touch, allowing for a better understanding of the application to market.

Also at the upcoming trade show, Dordan will perform live Compass LCA demonstrations at its booth. Compass is a Life Cycle Analysis-based comparative packaging assessment software created by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, an industry working group. Compass assesses packages on resource consumption, emissions, and attributes such as material health, recycles or virgin content, sourcing, and solid waste.

Dordan also will offer Wal-Mart Packaging Modeling 3.0 tutorials at Pack Expo 2011. These tutorials involve a software R&D tool that allows companies to find potential sustainability improvements in their product packaging.  "As indirect suppliers to Wal-Mart, we think it is important to understand the goals of the retailer to better situate our clients within their supplier base," said Slavin. "That is why we license the Wal-Mart Packaging Modeling 3.0 software - we like being proactive by bringing new package designs to our clients to get them better Scores, which this Packaging Modeling software allows."

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