Tray-Pak first to market in North America with its UltraClear PP food containers

Milliken & Company (Spartanburg, SC) recently announced that Tray-Pak Corp. (Reading, PA) has created new food containers for hot-to-go and heat-at-home applications made from UltraClear polypropylene (PP) clarified with Milliken’s advanced Millad NX 8000 technology. Tray-Pak, a leader in custom thermoformed plastic packaging, selected UltraClear PP to offer its customers a distinctive combination of glass-like transparency, microwave/hot-fill capability and recyclability—and the option to enhance the containers with Milliken’s ClearTint colorants. Tray-Pak has developed a 9-inch by 9-inch dome lid container as well as a 6-inch by 6-inch container and a 7.25-inch by 5.6-inch rectangular container. They will be the first commercially available food containers in North America to feature UltraClear PP.

“Tray-Pak has always brought new material innovations to the market,” said Ashley Waszkiewicz, Marketing Manager, Tray-Pak Corp. “The partnership with Milliken combines our excellent design and engineering capabilities with advanced material technologies that provide clarity similar to polyethylene terephthalate and the heat performance and sustainability of polypropylene. UltraClear PP allows us to create products that meet growing trends, such as the move away from expanded polystyrene in favor of a more easily recycled material. Tray-Pak looks forward to launching the line later this year and plans to continue designing tailor-made products that will use this material technology to target consumer demands for clarity and microwave capability.”

“Tray-Pak’s attractive hot food containers are a great and practical example of how readily UltraClear PP can be adapted to the requirements of new applications,” said Cristina Acevedo, Global Product Line Manager, Plastics Additives, Milliken & Company. “This versatile material checks ‘must-have’ boxes that are important across many packaging sectors, including enhanced shelf appeal, improved sustainability and high performance. These attributes position it favorably against traditional resins and offer many opportunities for material upgrades.”

Tray-Pak’s 9-inch by 9-inch container is offered in several variations, including tinted clear bases that provide a splash of color to boost the appearance of the contents. The bases can be configured with a single cavity or three cavities, making them ideal for quick-serve restaurants, grocery store hot bars and other take-out food providers. The 6-inch by 6-inch containers, with a single cavity base, share a similar design to the 9-inch by 9-inch containers with a domed lid providing inherent stackability. The rectangular containers, also with a single cavity base, have a slightly domed lid. All lids and bases will be offered in UltraClear PP and all are microwaveable.

The Millad NX 8000 additive gives PP a clarity boost that overcomes the undesirable cloudy appearance of natural PP in sheet and thermoformed applications. UltraClear PP offers highly attractive transparency, similar to that of polyethylene terephthalate, for meat trays, clamshell containers and lids. UltraClear PP also offers important benefits such as mono-material packaging, easy seal and impact and heat resistance.

Milliken’s ClearTint colorants deliver the brightest, cleanest and most transparent colors in PP. They are designed to enhance the Millad NX 8000 clarifier. The deep, rich shades achievable with ClearTint are unavailable with traditional pigment colors. Milliken’s innovative colorants are Food & Drug Administration (FDA) compliant and provide freedom from color migration or extraction.

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