In 2011 the European flexible packaging industry grew 5.1%

According to PCI Films Consulting’s new report, Europe’s flexible packaging market grew 5.1% in 2011. The European flexible packaging market is currently valued at $15 billion. According to the report higher selling prices were the main factors in the growth.  The rising inks, adhesives and energy costs were passed onto to customers resulting in higher prices.  Eastern Europe has exhibited the most growth at twice the average for Europe as a whole; large growth also came from Western Europe (4-6%). The Spanish and Portuguese markets were static.

Industry consolidation was another important factor in the growth of flexible packaging in Europe.

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Flexible Packaging Options

The flexible packaging industry has recently encapsulated two of the largest concerns for consumers, to ensure the secure and safe environment and satisfying the need for a greener footprint. In the adhesive and sealant world, transporting product in drums and pail is a necessity although these containers carry many benefits, sustainability efforts remain on the forefront of consumers’ minds. Flexible packaging options add the sustainability wanted while maintaining the value needed in order to keep this high demand industry moving.

One of the challenges faced by adhesive and sealant manufacturers and transporters is the contamination issues that exist when using the steel drum and pail, such contamination makes it difficult to reuse, recondition, or even recycle. The flexible packaging option keeps the drums/pails clean, this eliminates cleaning and refurbishing costs as well as time constraints, the drum/pail is ready for immediate reuse. Flexible packaging option brings ensures product integrity, it preserves the product purity while presenting stronger sustainability advantages.

The flexible packaging materials weigh significantly less than other packaging formats, this reduces costs in resources for transportation, as well as warehouse space being maximized this formulates into less carbon dioxide emissions.

Flexible packaging offers great value and sustainability benefits to consumers, retailers, and manufacturers by reducing waste, energy used, and greenhouse gas emissions. It presents excellent sustainable choice that satisfies the adhesive and sealant industry while providing a greener footprint.

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Keeping your Fluids Cleaner

The EZ-Strainer for 55 gallon drums and 5 gallon pails are the more efficient way to produce, dispense and mix fluids, while reducing the cost by improving the way in which it filters and ensures that products that are meant to be debris free stay that way. The patented lip design allows for a simple hang from the top of the drum or pail, this ensures that the strainer does not get pulled inside even when it comes to the heaviest of products. CDF’s EZ-Strainer is designed from HDPE with four grades of mesh available, from course to ultra-fine.


Renewable Additives Now Shipping in Bulk

U.S. Argonite Enterprises is now presenting commercial quantities of renewable performance minerals to the plastic industry. Mined in the Bahaman Bank, Oshenite can be used as a n additive in many type of packaging plastics as a replacement for petroleum based resin. Testing by manufacturers and processers has confirmed the performance of Oshenite, as well as its economic and environmental benefits. U.S. Argonite, partners with Bayshore industries will process in La Porte, Texas where they have the capacity to process 100 million pounds annually.

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All things equal, green is preferred

Green Street Up, a network of suppliers who specialize in cartons and boxes made from agricultural byproducts, collected some insight into how consumers view agricultural byproduct packaging. The study was conducted using a well-known cereal brand, the study presented test subjects with the company’s current box and a box made with sugarcane bagasse with on package markings. The only information given was the artwork on the front of the box, information on the cereal, and the in store shelf price. The results were eco-packaging can significantly influence the consumers; the purchase preference came back 6-1, favoring the bagasse box.

On product description is critical to influencing the purchaser’s decision. Avoiding generic terms like, “eco-friendly,” “green,” and “sustainable,” in favor of using more specific yet easily understood phrases was highly influential. Lastly, green is preferred as long as it doesn’t cost more. The last part of the test, if the products were exactly the same but the cost of the bagasse box was 10% higher; unmistakably the vote was the stock box over the bagasse box.

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California Voters in Control of GMO Labeling Initiative

The demand for “transparency” when it comes to the origin and ingredients in food has come to the forefront. The use of genetically modified organisms (GMO) has been set to the California legislature, Californians will vote on the issue November 6th, 2012. If it is passed, it could result in dramatic changes and rigorous requirements for food packaging industry.

Genetically engineered crop mean they have changes introduced into their DNA to give more favorable characteristics, some examples are a resistance to pests. As of 2011, 94% of soy beans and 88% of corn planted in the United States have been genetically modified. One of the proponents to the GMO labeling is cigarette like warning labels because it is believed to have potential health risks; however there is no proof that GMO products are any more generous than non-genetically modified foods. Furthermore, those who wish to avoid GMO can rely on non-GMO labels.

The law in California, known as the “California right to know genetically engineered food act” will be presented on Nov. 6 in the general election, if passed the law would impose labeling requirements on food and beverage products in California (for list of restriction see article) provisions would impose significant burdens on food producers and packaging companies.  For packaging companies, they would be responsible for figuring out where to place the new label on top of already strict guidelines.

GMO labeling in California is no accident, California’s regulations always have an impact nationwide especially for companies who produce nationwide, have to create two different packaging labels and SKUs. Lastly, if California voters approve this legislation it would be challenged in court immediately on various grounds.

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Iris Thomas receives the PPC President’s Award

The Petroleum Packaging Council President’s Award was formed to publicly recognize a person who is deemed the largest contributor to the success of the organization for the year in which they are recognized. PPC developed this recognition award as part of its commitment to encourage, nurture and celebrate exceptional volunteer and professional leadership.

Iris Thomas was awarded the 2012 PPC President’s Award for just some of the reasons listed below.

“Iris is always willing to help out and her follow-up is impeccable. She is very active on committees and provides good and sound ideas.  She has helped in bringing in speakers over the years. She has been a speaker/presenter in the past. Iris is always focused on improving PPC.”

“She provides excellent support of technical committees, guest speakers and development in the new PPC Marketing Plan.”

“Iris is always involved in meetings, committee meeting and any activity that takes place at PPC meetings.”

Emerging Trends in Sustainable Packaging

At the Utilizing Packaging and its evolving trends to Maximize Profits: Innovation and Sustainability in Packaging conference, Dr. Inka Crosswaite presented on emerging trends in sustainable packaging. Crosswaite identified sustainable packaging trends currently at stores around the world: the power of pouches, recovery labeling, downsizing packaging, new materials, cardboard, refillable packages, recyclable packaging, made from recyclable materials and biodegradable packaging.

Power of pouches

Kraft’s YES Pack packaging waste occupies 50% less landfill space. Transportation of film involves 70% fewer CO2 emissions.

Labelling for recovery

Modern Spirits uses labels made from 100% post-consumer waste.

Downsizing product packaging: formats and materials

Marks & Spencer introduced skin pack for meats which apart from using less material keeps the meat fresher for an extra 5 days and uses less material.

Downsizing product packaging: concentration

Compact toilet paper: 12 mega roles equal 48 regular rolls of toilet paper. Charmin claims that if 1 million consumers switched from Regular Charmin to Mega it would save 85 000 gallons of diesel fuel and eliminate 500 000 pounds of trash and packaging.

New packaging materials

Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion introduced a plant-based bottle that is made out of sustainable sugarcane-derived plastic. It will consume over 70% less fossil fuels and release over 170% less greenhouse gases per ton.

The return of paper

The cardboard can developed by Keienburg in Germany enables a greener and cheaper packaging process for carbonated drinks.

Reusable and refillable packs

‘Reuse. Renew. Rejoice’ is KFC pay off line for their reusable containers which are both dishwasher safe and microwaveable.

Recyclable packs

GreenBottle is recyclable, compostable and biodegradable – a ‘Planet Friendly’ alternative
to plastic bottles.

Made from recycled materials

EarthBoundFarm’s switch saved 424 224 million BTUs of energy, avoided 16 191 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, saved 68 307gallons of water, kept 1 308 623 pounds of solid waste out of the landfill.

Biodegradable or compostable packs

SunChips uses 100% compostable packaging for its Original flavour SunChips® snacks.

CDF Global Summit brings great minds together……..

Picture Caption: Left to right - Stellan Flensmo of Quadpack Sweeden, Per-Olof Petersson of Quadpack, Sweeden, Laura Beechwood, Managing Director CDF-Europe, Marco Dariol, Operations Director, CDF Europe, Michael Watson, Sales & Marketing Director, CDF Europe, Bengt-H Ellow, of Quadpack Sweeden and Louisa Watson, PR consultant CDF Europe.

CDF Europe and CDF Corporation along with other global partners has gathered together in Plymouth, Massachusetts, for their first global summit, which has been an unprecedented success.


Laura Beechwood, Managing Director of CDF Europe, comments, “We have so many great ideas in the world of liquid packaging from 1 litre up to 1000 litre and it was time we all shared those ideas and innovations.  We are fortunate within our company and our partnerships, to have a huge breadth of experience and such diverse packaging minds, last week brought regeneration and new motivation, it’s exciting!”

CDF Corporation is based in Plymouth, Massachusetts and was built around a basic principle: bring to industrial customers the best in class, liquid packaging, which provides a competitive edge in design, form and function. Over the years, CDF has built upon this, with an unwavering commitment to state of the art manufacturing and customer focus in decision making and investment strategies.

Beechwood continues, “This Global Summit is just an extension of our core beliefs and with our customers facing both economic and environmental challenges across the globe this meeting of minds and sharing of ideas has never been so important.”

CDF is a global leader in semi-rigid and flexible liquid packaging for the chemical, petrochemical, cosmetic, food and beverage and industrial markets. With production facilities in the United States, Switzerland, Sweden and Asia, CDF’s customer base now extends over six continents.

Beechwood concludes “We work collaboratively with our customers to solve systemic packaging problems. What makes CDF Europe unique is our ability to adapt solutions from one industry to meet the needs of another. It is this synergy and sharing that broadens the knowledge base across markets and global territories and so brings real value to our customers.”

CDF Europe is expected to be launching new products into the European market place as a result of this summit.

Bag-in-box caters to Ruby Tuesday

The Ruby Tuesday restaurant corporation started in Maryville, TN, “Simple, Fresh, American Dining,” was their motto upon launching nearly 30 years ago. A lot has changed in 30 years, they have more than 900 locations in 43 states and 15 countries, along with the laid back American dining, they have created a curbside take-out program that now accounts for six to seven percent of its sales. Senior VP of Ruby Tuesday, Rick Johnson states, “Making food available for guests to enjoy outside our dining rooms is part of our ongoing initiatives to better serve our guests and to make their lives a little easier.”

Rick Johnson wanted to make that outside the dining rooms more enjoyable, the ability to bring the Ruby Tuesday lemonade and iced tea beverages home was a novelty he wanted to offer his guests. Originally in the white polyethylene terephthalate jugs, the company had made the change to flexible bag; they looked no further than Cheertainer’s flexible, gusseted film bag from the CDF Corp (, the bag came housed in a custom-printed, corrugated box from Accurate Box (

When considering a container, Ruby Tuesdays not only wanted a better branding opportunity it wanted a suitable container made from high-quality material and reasonably priced. The container also needed to be able to contain both hot and cold beverages, be able to fill onsite at restaurants, and to be simple for the consumer to dispense furthermore, it needed to be eco-friendly.

Ruby Tuesday found just what they needed with Cheertainer bag-in-box and Accurate Box, the 1-gal custom box was created using s sturdy, SBS single-face E-flute corrugated material. The vision Ruby Tuesday decided on was the ruby-red background with the Ruby Tuesday logo printed in white.  Originally, they had chosen to use a pillow-style film pouch to hold the beverages, but according to Iris Thomas CDF’s Cheertainer product manager, “they found that they could not get the proper fill volume with the pillow-style bag.”

Cheertainer’s flexible bag alternative was the perfect choice for how Ruby Tuesday imagined their product being dispensed. Because of the Cheertainer design and the location of its fitment once in the box, it is able to dispense nearly 99.9 percent of its content without any residue. Iris Thomas explains that with a pillow pouch, the fitment is higher on the bag and liquid is able to get trapped in the corner below the fitment. Furthermore, the bag fits comfortable in the box which is to eliminate any splashing and foaming while in transport. Once the product is in the bag, the bag does not shift in the box, which means there is no chance of product integrity lost in transport.

Cheertainer’s superior strength derives from its construction; the bags are made with oriented nylon layer on the outside and a linear lower density polyethylene layer on the inside.  CDF also offers other film choices for the Cheertainer, such as a coextruded nylon/ethylene vinyl alcohol construction, used for products that call for a higher barrier, and a metallized construction.

Lastly, the Cheertainer has environmental advantages, Cheertainer uses less plastic than a rigid container, and because of its shape it lessens dead space which allows more products to fit on a pallet, and reduces the need for excessive layers of plastic.