Sustainability in Global Flexible Packaging: What the Future Holds

Sustainable packaging is starting to mature, both in the industry and in the minds of end users. According to Smithers Pira, the packaging market is expected to grow 3.5 percent annually through 2020.

Environmental concerns, corporate responsibility, and end-user expectations are beginning to align. That is good news for the planet and good news for the packaging industry well into the future.

Sustainable Packaging is the New Normal

Sustainable packaging once was a useful, umbrella phrase that differentiated ecologically sound packaging from all of the other choices. Packaging that was not considered sustainable had some immunity from the same level of scrutiny.

The packaging industry has outgrown it as a catchall term in much the same way as most of the world has outgrown specifying between leaded and unleaded gasoline. If you say gas, chances are you mean unleaded. If you say packaging, you probably mean sustainable packaging or you will in the very near future.

According to a report by PWC, sustainability is simply too broad a term to effectively describe the direction that the packaging industry is going. So-called bad packaging is heading the way of the dinosaur, but even that might not mean what you think. The goal is not necessarily to erase but to improve packaging on all fronts.

Sustainability now is about drilling down, learning more, and improving efficiencies, regardless of the packaging in question. Plastics, for example, have taken an ecological beating over the years, but consider how plastics have driven flexible packaging to the front of the sustainability herd.

Authentic Sustainability Considers the Whole Packaging Life-Cycle

Twenty years ago, you might have laughed at the idea that plastic could become a leader in ecological or sustainable packaging. It does not decompose, many said. It clogs landfills for centuries or longer, many said. But a funny thing happened along the way. Packaging manufacturers, environmentalists, retailers, and end-users started to think about the whole life-cycle of packaging as well as the goal of packaging in general.

Flexible packaging uses plastics for liners. However, those plastics contain fewer raw materials than many of their rigid or semi-rigid counterparts. Flexible packaging also weighs less and takes less space, whether it is filled or empty and waiting to be filled. That translates to lower transportation costs, fewer carbon emissions for transport, and even less storage space from end to end.

Plastics in flexible sustainable packaging also offer cutting-edge protection. They can contain chemicals safely with fewer materials. They also improve product safety, protecting spoilables from external contaminants for a longer shelf life.

Sustainable packaging

Sustainable packaging is packaging, improved in inventive ways.

Cost is another benefit. Flexible packaging helps reduce costs across every link in the chain. Who would have thought that plastic, not glass, metal, or paper, would be the golden child of the new era in sustainable packaging?

Manufacturers Can Help the Whole Industry Forge Ahead

One of the most important steps manufacturers can take toward sustainability is performing life-cycle analysis, says Pack World.   Depending on how deep an analysis you perform, you will find some influential factors that deal directly with the global impact of packaging materials, but that is only part of the whole. Here are just a few considerations for your analysis:

  • Brand image and alignment with customer/consumer packaging expectations
  • Availability, cost, and environmental impact of raw materials
  • Recyclability (New research is improving the recyclable outlook of flexible packaging.)
  • Equipment and machinery required for production and filling
  • Product waste through filling, breakage potential, dispensing, and shelf life
  • Carbon emissions during packaging manufacture, product filling, transportation, recycling, etc.
  • Energy consumption at all stages of manufacture, use, and disposal

The key now is not embracing any single trend, but finding packaging materials that meet your sustainability goals and refining them for better performance over the long term.

What makes packaging sustainable or environmentally friendly is much more than the volume or source of raw materials or whether or not those materials are recyclable. Now, sustainability considers every stage of the value chain.

How can packaging improve the planet, the lives of workers, the lifestyle of consumers, and the bottom line of corporations? Those are the questions drive sustainable packaging today.  Contact us for a free sample and download our corporate brochure to learn more about what flexible packaging can do for your sustainability goals.

Plastic Economy Report Highlights Continuing Push toward Sustainable Packaging Materials

By 2050, the world’s oceans could have more plastic, by weight, than fish—if something is not done about it.

A coalition of industry players intends to do something about it.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation, in conjunction with the World Economic Forum and McKinsey & Co., has developed the concept of the New Plastics Economy. It is part of a wider, multi-industry, global initiative called MainStream,  which aims to accelerate business-driven innovations and help further the circular economy. Partners in the New Plastics Economy concept include major producers and users of plastic packaging such as Coca-Cola, Danone, Mars Inc., Amcor and Veolia.

Sustainable packaging materials

The MacArthur Foundation debuted the New Plastics Economy in a 2016 report. An updated version, released this year, includes a concrete, comprehensive plan of action that encompasses the complete plastics supply and use chain, in all parts of the world.

“We urgently need to transform global plastic packaging material flows if we are to continue to reap the benefits of this versatile material,” says Paul Polman, CEO of Unilever. “This report marks a major milestone, calling out specific actions to capture opportunities for redesign and innovation, reuse, and recycling. It’s now up to us all to get it done.”

The Challenges of a Circular Plastics Economy

The report begins by acknowledging the challenges of establishing a true circular economy in plastics. Only 14 percent of plastic packaging is collected for recycling globally, and the cost of collecting, sorting, and recycling packaging usually outweighs the revenues it generates directly.

Sustainable packaging materials

The three ambitions of the New Plastics Economy are Recycling, Reuse and Redesign. SOURCE: The New Plastics Economy – Rethinking the future of plastics

The report identifies several strategies to meet these challenges. Broadly speaking, they are:

Redesign: By redesigning the materials, formats, and delivery models of problematic packaging like small-format packages, one of the greatest obstacles to the New Plastics Economy could be eliminated. Without this, the report estimates, some 30 percent of plastic packaging will be never be reused or recycled.

Reuse: Replacing one-use packaging with reusable packaging could affect up to 20 percent of the total plastics market, the report estimates. Business-to-business packaging has the potential to increase reusable items such as pallets and crates.

Recycling:  Improving the global recycling rate, currently at 14 percent, has the potential to affect fully 50 percent of the plastics market. Doing so will require a number of comprehensive actions, including the initiation of a Global Plastics Protocol among developed nations to “reinforce recycling as an attractive, cost-competitive alternative.” Means to that end include choosing materials, pigments, and additives for maximum recyclability; improving collection and sorting of recyclable materials; and improving the technical capability of recycling facilities.

Food companies are in a unique position to initiate these strategies with regard to ingredients that they buy in bulk.

When they use flexible bulk containers, like bag-in-box or intermediate bulk containers, they can insist that the flexible carriers be designed, or redesigned, as monolayer. This gives them the advantage of using more easily recyclable materials while leaving the challenge of specifying those materials up to their suppliers.

As a business-to-business market, the food industry is especially well-positioned to execute reusability. Rigid reusable packaging for bulk shipments fits well into the closed-loop concept. The problem is that, with many liquid bulk ingredients, reusable bulk containers present issues of contamination. Even when this can be avoided, the energy used to clean and sanitize liquid bulk containers between shipments vitiates the ecological benefits of reuse. Using flexible containers inside rigid, reusable shells confers the best of both worlds: the closed-loop benefits of reuse with the sanitation of single-use food-contact materials.

As for recycling, the food industry can again reap the advantage of the business-to-business market. The biggest challenge in consumer recycling is segregating and sorting loads to ensure that each kind of polymer is processed separately. Because food companies have total control over the loads of used flexible bulk packaging they deliver to be recycled, load contamination is not an issue, and recyclers can process the loads  more efficiently.

Sustainable packaging material

These three distinct transition strategies have the potential to accelerate the shift towards the new plastics economy.  (The percentages are share of plastic packaging market by weight.) SOURCE: The New Plastics Economy – Rethinking the future of plastics

“A new circular plastic paradigm will create great value for business and society,” says Andrew Aulisi, senior director, global environmental policy at Pepsico. “Many actions can be taken individually, but we need collaborative effort to make a meaningful shift.”

In summary, flexible bulk business-to-business packaging, such as CDF’s bag-in-box, Air-Assist products, and flexible intermediate bulk containers, has the potential to incorporate several of the strategies of the New Plastics Economy. They combine the safety and sanitation of one-time use together with the ecological soundness of reusability, and the recycling custody chain is tightly controlled. Contact us for a free sample and download our corporate brochure.

Sustainability Checklist Highlights Ways to Reduce Packaging Waste In Processing

The packaging industry, product processing companies, and retailers have a shared duty to protect goods, consumers, and the environment with safe, convenient, and affordable solutions. It is a balancing act because improvement in one aspect of packaging can reduce or improve the effectiveness of another.

Examining the whole life cycle of sustainable packaging materials gives a clearer picture of the choices made and how they interact with each other.

The 2017 Food and Drink Federation Packaging Checklist for Food and Drink Business addresses three high-level categories of packaging and sustainability: functionality, the Three Rs, and transportation. With flexible packaging, everyone in the chain—even the end user—has the opportunity to effect positive change.

Category 1: Packaging Functionality

Functionality applies across the lifecycle of product packaging. At its most basic level, it should be strong; protective against leaks and external contaminants; free from or protective against contaminants within the packaging material that could harm the product or the environment; and easy for every link of the chain to handle, use, and recycle or discard with minimal environmental impact.

Flexible packaging encompasses those fundamental requirements of proactive and ecologically sound packaging as well as broader ones, such as brand appeal and cost effectiveness.

Some of the many benefits include:

  • Testing for ongoing lower materials waste and performance improvement
  • Reduced product waste from breakage and filling errors
  • Scalability
  • Ease of package filling and dispensing
  • Fewer materials
  • Packaging design flexibility
  • Lower transportation costs
  • Lower carbon emissions
Sustainable packaging materials

Every link in the chain can be a sustainability hero.

Category 2: Reuse, Recovery, and Recycling

Reduce, reuse, recycle: those are the basic tenets or Three Rs of waste reduction. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, food waste and food packaging account for nearly half of materials that end in American landfills.

The FDF checklist addresses the Three Rs in two main points:

  1. If the packaging is intended for reuse, is it strong enough and is there a system in place to facilitate it?
  2. After use, can the package be recycled, recovered, or composted?

Not all flexible packaging is recyclable. In some cases, the product it contains prohibits recycling. With multi-layered flexible packaging, recycling may not be possible. However, Packaging Digest says there are several ways to improve.

  • Innovative design
  • Ongoing technology improvements
  • Improved recyclables collection
  • Better materials sorting
  • Expanding the use of flexible packaging to improve recycling value
  • Flexible food packaging might not contain food again, due to FDA purity requirements. But it may be recycled into packaging for another product.

Category 3: Transportation

Transportation by freight truck adds between 60 and 150g of CO2 for every metric ton of goods shipped. That’s according to Time for a Change. Air freight accounts for 500g and trains produce 30 to 100g per metric ton. Smaller, lighter packaging materials reduce transportation needs and costs, which benefits both the environment and the manufacturer.

The FDF checklist asks three important questions:

  1. Does current transportation use efficient routes?
  2. Can vehicles be loaded more efficiently?
  3. Is there a load-share opportunity to make the most use of cargo space?

Flexible packaging cannot improve on routes, but it has the potential to improve load maximization as well as load sharing to reduce waste emissions when incorporated into an overall sustainability plan. With markedly smaller materials that are strong enough to withstand stacking and transport hazards, such as load shifting and bumpy roads, flexible packaging helps meet this part of the checklist. Because it is collapsible, it also reduces transport emissions and costs when it is collected after use.

Through continued innovation and a keen eye trained on the whole life cycle of packaging, sustainability can peacefully coexist with product safety, convenience, and affordability. The FDF says, “A whole chain effort is needed to truly succeed, and we must all make the best use of our resources.” Shared responsibility, from responsible packaging to improved recyclability and low-impact waste, help reduce environmental hazards without compromise.

To learn more about flexible packaging and how it serves as an important component of a total sustainability plan, contact us for a free sample and download our corporate brochure.


How Continuing FDA Scrutiny of Food Additives Affects Food Packaging Choices

Additives have always been a tricky part of commercial food formulating, processing, and packaging.

Additives preserve food, enhance its flavor, and improve its color. Without them, many processed foods would not exist in their current form, or at all. But many consumers are leery of artificial additives with hard-to-pronounce chemical names.

Consumer wariness about additives has extended to packaging.

Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations, material from packaging that finds its way into food, even in minute amounts, can be considered an “indirect food additive.” As with direct food additives, the packaging manufacturer must show the FDA that “there is a reasonable certainty of no harm” from all food-contact packaging materials.

Addictive Regs a Constantly Moving Target

Unfortunately, this has proven to be something of a moving target, for several reasons. New studies come along showing (or purporting to show) that a packaging component is more harmful, or that it migrates into food in greater amounts, than previously thought. Non-governmental organizations mount media campaigns and petition the FDA to ban packaging components, even in cases where its migration into food is minimal—or even nonexistent.

“The view that the mere presence of, or exposure to, a chemical substance is considered harmful [is] being applied to packaging,” George Misko, a partner with the law firm Keller and Heckman, wrote in Food Safety magazine.

Recent examples of this include:

Bisphenol A (BPA). This monomer is a component in polycarbonates used for beverage containers and in the epoxy resins often used to coat the insides of food cans. In the late 2000s, it was the target of a lot of negative media coverage, sparked by studies from the National Toxicology Program, the Endocrine Society, and others. These identified BPA as an endocrine disruptor that could interfere with the body’s hormones. Some local authorities banned packaging with BPA, and many plastic packaging end users began advertising that their packages were BPA-free.

Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)These are used to make paper, paperboard, and corrugated resist grease and moisture. Fast-food boxes, trays, and beverage cups are among the most common end uses. Food packagingAfter studies found that the most commonly used PFC,  perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), was especially pervasive and toxic, the FDA banned its use from most food-contact packaging. A more recent study showed the widespread presence of fluorine, the base chemical of PFCs, in a sample of several hundred pieces of fast-food packaging. The study got major media exposure and led to pressure on major fast-food chains to phase out the use of all PFCs.

“We just don’t know enough about the safety of these new chemicals,” David Andrews of the Environmental Working Group, a co-author of the study, told the Chicago Tribune. “Since there are other options out there, this should be a wake-up call for these [fast-food] companies.”

Infant formula and breast milk packaging. Under a change made in 2013, packagers who want to use a new food contact substance in packaging for infant formula or containers for breast milk must prove its safety to the FDA—a standard stricter than the “reasonable certainty of no harm” for Food packagingcomponents of other packaging. The agency instituted the rule change on the theory that because formula or milk is an infant’s sole source of nutrition, and because of their low body weight, the risk of exposure is up to 70 times greater than for an adult.

Packaging suppliers and end users will have to pay careful attention to such issues. These concerns could constitute a significant advantage for single-use bulk packaging, especially for applications where polycarbonate containers have been the norm.

“As questions continue to arise about the safety of food packaging materials, the food packaging industry will need to have solid science to show that their products are safe, and they will need to effectively communicate this information with government regulators and consumers,” Misko wrote.

Safety in food manufacturing and processing is a priority for CDF. Download our Bag-In-Box brochure to learn more about our safe bag-in-box solutions for food and beverage manufacturers today!

Bag-in-Box Containers: 5 Things You Need to Know

Sustainability in packaging cuts across the entire supply and manufacturing chains. This means that every step in the process must contribute to the sustainability of the finished product, while providing the benefits brand owners want.

Why Flexible Packaging Matters

One of the primary goals of brand owners and food packaging suppliers is zero food waste. To attain that goal requires the use of advanced flexible packaging technology. Bag-in-Box technology is becoming increasingly popular  for liquids such as wine, juices, and other liquid consumer products, as well as for food products such as ice cream and other dairy items.

Flexible plastic packaging for Bag-in-Box applications comes in a variety of thicknesses depending on the requirements of the brand owner, the food producers’ fill lines, and polymer materials to meet specifications. To help food to be more shelf-stable and to last longer when refrigerated after opening, barrier packaging is one of the newest technologies used for flexible packaging applications for food.

Barrier film is a multi-layer film consisting of co-extruded polymer materials such as high-barrier Nylon (Nylon 6 or Nylon 66)/EVOH and PET (polyethylene)/oriented Nylon. Nylon offers excellent clarity and stiffness, and provides a good oxygen and aroma barrier.

Bag-in-Box Makes the Grade

CDF’s Bag-in-Box, a combination of a fiberboard box encasing a polymer inner bag, has proven to be an ideal solution for many food packaging applications. Here are five things you need to know about this packaging:

1. Protection and Lightweight Properties:  Bag-in-Box offers high levels of protection for the contents, both food and beverage, during transportation, while the lighter weight of the packaging combination reduces overall weight of the shipment, saving on fuel costs and lowering the carbon footprint.

2. Food Waste Reduction:  The multi-material barrier layers keep food fresher longer, thus helping to reduce food waste, and are FDA-approved for food contact.

3. Certified as Safe: Bag-in-box flexible packaging offers additional safety for food products. For instance, CDF recently passed the rigorous testing requirements for the design of its Bag-in-Box, receiving the UN Certification for its 20 Liter packaging.

4. Greater Sustainability:  The plastic bag in the Bag-in-Box packaging is sustainable in many other ways as well. Plastic file is energy-efficient to produce. At end-of-life, the Bag-in-Box can be completely recycled through both the fiberboard and the appropriate polymer recycling streams, including the injection molded dispensing nozzles found in liquid dispensing Bag-in-Box applications.

5. Security: Bag-in-box packaging can offer additional security for food contents. For example, with CDF’s Smart Seal Technology, the contents of the Bag-in-Box are secure whether a pillow or form-fit bag is used.


CDF’s Bag-in-box packaging makes the grade for sustainability.

Reaping the Rewards of Bag-in-Box Packaging

Flexible bags, which are easily accommodated by automated fill lines, help manufacturers reduce food waste while offering sustainability through end-of-life package recycling. This makes bag-in-box packaging an ideal choice for brand owners and food and beverage producers alike.

With more than 40 years of experience in packaging design and manufacturing, using the latest state-of-the-art polymer processing/extrusion machinery, CDF is a total solutions packaging provider with the know-how to give you the latest technology combined with CDF’s innovative approach to customer challenges. Download our Bag-In-Box brochure to learn more.

Exploring the Role of Flexible Packaging in a Circular Economy

What kind of spin can flexible packaging put on the “circular economy”?

For years, sustainability has become an increasingly important aspect of packaging. The latest significant development in sustainability has been the concept of the circular economy. As applied to packaging, simply put, this involves planning every aspect of packaging—materials, design, conversion techniques, distribution, use and recovery—with an eye toward minimizing consumption of materials and energy, and maximizing reuse. To be truly effective, a circular economy requires participation by everyone in the supply chain, including: packaging materials suppliers, converters, product manufacturers, retailers, consumers, and recyclers.

Challenges for Flexible Packaging

With flexible packaging, especially for food, users face a unique set of challenges in participating in the circular economy.

One of the biggest such challenges is that in most cases, truly closed-loop recycling—i.e., making food packaging into more food packaging—is not an option. With few exceptions, Food and Drug Administration regulations prohibit recycled material from being used in food-contact packaging.

Even if recycled material could be used for food, flexible packaging has some inherent disadvantages. Many flexible films used for food consist of multiple layers of different polymers, such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH). Recycling different polymers together is impossible when, as often happens, they have incompatible molecular structures. Also, most recycling centers are not set up to process flexible packaging; their machinery can only handle rigid plastics.

IBC and Bag-in-Box Contribute to Circular Economy

However, bulk flexible packaging, such as intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and bag-in-box, has a big advantage when it comes to the circular economy—and its manufacturers and users are in a position to minimize or overcome its disadvantages.

A major aspect of the circular economy is energy consumption. A big part of that is minimizing fuel used for transportation, by cutting down on distances—and weight. The latter is an ongoing, inherent advantage of bulk flexible packaging. It is lighter and takes up less space than almost all rigid bulk packaging alternatives, meaning that more product can be delivered per tankload of fuel. And because it is almost always one-way packaging, there are no transportation return costs.

IBCs are used almost exclusively for industrial applications. In the food sector, this means delivering bulk loads of liquid, semi-viscous, or powdered ingredients to food processing plants. (Bag-in-box often is also used this way, to deliver smaller loads.) This means the supply and return chains can be more tightly controlled than with consumer products. It is therefore easier for suppliers and their industrial customers to make sure that used flexible packaging gets collected and delivered to a recycling facility that is equipped to handle it.

Environmentally friendly food packaging

When the flexible material is monolayer, or consists of multiple layers that are chemically compatible, recycling is relatively straightforward. Even some film structures that comprise incompatible materials can be processed with a “compatibilizer” chemical such as DuPont’s Fusabond.

Because of FDA regulations, most resin recycled from flexible material cannot be processed into material intended for food contact. However, it will be available for non-food end uses such as shipping bags, sacks of fertilizer and other farming/gardening materials, newspaper bags, etc. This does not quite close the circle perfectly, but it comes much closer to the “circular economy” model than simply landfilling the discarded material.

For more information about smart flexible packaging choices, download our Bag-In-Box brochure today.

Exploring the Role of Robust HACCP Plans in Flexible Packaging

Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points or HACCP was born of the need to actively manage and control the risk factors that cause foodborne illnesses. According to the FDA, food safety is everyone’s responsibility, from food preparation and packaging to transportation and retail handling.

At its best, HACCP principles benefit every gear in the food processing, preparation, retail, and end-user machine. It does not just protect the consumer; it supports the well being of the businesses involved.

HACCP Consists of Seven Guiding Principles

The FDA explains that HACCP is made of seven primary principles. They include:

  1. Performing hazard analysis
  2. Deciding on Critical Control Points (CCPs)
  3. Determining critical limits
  4. Establishing CCP monitoring procedures
  5. Establishing Corrective Measures
  6. Establishing verification procedures
  7. Establishing a documentation and record keeping system

Because each food product and food-related industry is different, no single HACCP program can cover each hazard. Food safety hazard mitigation needs a custom approach which involves careful evaluation, development, implementation, training, and monitoring.

A Sound HACCP Plan Addresses Several Key Issues

The best HACCP plan fits the unique hazards and needs of the facility. According to Food Safety Magazine,   examining these multifaceted issues can help create the best program framework.

  • Industry- and process-specific training
  • Content register creation directed at the facility’s unique characteristics
  • Risk assessment of nontraditional operations under the “New HACCP Applications”
  • Assessment of food ingredients, pathogens, and pathogen introduction avenues unique to the ingredients
  • Service provider risks, including airflow during handling and transport, uniform laundry chemicals, cleaning water temperatures, and driver food safety training

Monitoring, Verification, and Validation Keep a Robust HACCP Program on Track

The development and implementation stage of an HACCP plan is only the beginning. As a customized program that addresses the specific needs of the facility, your HACCP plan should also be a dynamic one which includes continual monitoring with data collection, verification of practices, and growth as needed.

The FDA points out that monitoring and verification are two separate operations. In fact, monitoring should also be verified. To ensure accuracy, verification should be left in the hands of an unrelated HACCP team member or an unbiased outside source.

Validation helps the HACCP program stay relevant. New products, processes, and suppliers introduce new food safety issues. Periodic reevaluation helps prevent hazards from slipping through the cracks.

Flexible packaging

Partners with Active HACCP Plans Support Improved Food Safety

Your operation’s HACCP plan deals with known issues that affect the safety of food in your care. Unfortunately, each vendor, supplier, or handler has its own vast array of potential issues and hazards.

For example, you might know the temperature and airflow conditions inside a transport vehicle. But what happens if a driver wears the same gloves for refueling the vehicle and offloading food or packaging materials?

Every gear in the HACCP machine affects the other in direct and indirect ways, but you cannot control what you do not see. That is why a partner with a sound HACCP plan is the safest bet. If you know that your flexible packaging provider uses the same level of care with HACCP plan development, monitoring, verification, and validation as your organization does, you can focus on mitigating in-house hazards.

HACCP is not just one plan; it is almost limitless in scope. Further, your plan is always in a state of fine-tuning and evolution to maintain the highest standards possible. Mitigating food safety hazards takes a customized approach. With a conscientious flexible packaging partner that has an HACCP plan in place such as CDF Corporation, you can focus on your operations and skip unnecessary worry about introduced hazards.

Download our food packaging product and pricing brochure to learn more about our flexible packaging options and why CDF is a safe and healthy choice for your food packaging needs.

Flexible Packaging Makes Cosmetics Companies Look Beautiful

While you’re busy helping people look beautiful, flexible packaging makes you look brilliant. What could be better? It also saves space, money and reduces carbon emissions.

There’s a growing trend toward flexible packaging for cosmetics and other industries, according to Smithers Pira packaging experts. Consumer demand is one reason. But the benefits for manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers show that it’s more than just a trend or a fad; it’s the future.

Which Cosmetics Markets Need Flexible Packaging?

One of the greatest things about flexible packaging is that it’s adaptable for so many different types of products. It’s ideal for containing and dispensing liquids. But it’s also a good solution for creams, lotions, and powders.

Tanning salons love flexible packaging for products such as spray-tan liquids, oils, and tanning lotions. Here are a few other markets where flexible materials are a boon:

  • Cosmetics manufacturers
  • Contract filling and co-packing operations
  • Cosmetic processing plants
  • Wholesale suppliers
  • Cosmetic distributors
  • Salons

Why is Flexible Better Than Rigid or Semi-Rigid?

Flexible bag-in-box packaging offers variety in the bag type used as well as bag materials. For example, CDF offers pillow style and form-fit bags for bag-in-box containers. And they’re available in several different bag thicknesses and materials, such as high-barrier co-extruded nylon/EVOH and a polyethylene/oriented nylon blend.

Flexible packaging is light and portable, much more so than rigid or semi-rigid containers. It uses less shelf space in a salon, warehouse or freight vehicle. Transportation costs go down when you make the switch to flexible from rigid or semi-rigid, which also reduces your carbon footprint.

Flexible packaging

A great product is only as good as its delivery to the end user.

What are the Most Important Benefits For Cosmetics?

A beautiful product only matters if it remains beautiful until the end-user receives it. Flexible packaging gives unsurpassed product freshness, quality, and purity. That’s why CDF only uses allergen-free, FDA-approved resins in our container manufacturing process. We’re also ISO 9001:2008 compliant, which gives you peace of mind.

With some products, the dispensing methods affect product integrity. With flexible materials, you can choose from several packaging designs and taps that evacuate more product. There’s no need to scrub the containers, either.

Flexible packaging keeps lotions, creams, tanning sprays and many other cosmetic products fresh and safe from contamination. They’re smaller and lightweight, which aligns with the packaging industry’s “lightweighting” goals. And they’re easy to fill and dispense.

Whether you want small containers or large, if you’re packaging shampoo, body oil or cosmetic powders, flexible materials quickly adapt. They can take on nearly any shape and dispense cosmetic products with less waste than rigid containers.

Our customer service representatives work directly with you to design and produce a container that meets all of your needs. And that’s a beautiful thing, indeed. Download our Bag-In-Box brochure to learn why the possibilities are endless.

CDF Achieves SQF Level 2 Certification

CDF Corporation, a leading manufacturer of drum liners, pail liners, intermediate bulk container liners, bag in box liners and flexible packaging, has successfully achieved SQF (Safe Quality Food) Level 2 Certification at both manufacturing facilities. The Flexible Packaging Group facility received a score of 97, the Drum and Pail facility received a score of 95.


SQF is a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) based food safety program recognized by GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative). SQF certification is a food safety standard that is comparable to BRC (British Retail Consortium) and FSSC 22000 (Food Safety System Certification). The SQF certification program ensures that products have passed thorough international standards for food quality and safety. SQF is recognized by retailers and foodservice providers around the world who require a rigorous, credible food safety management system.


“CDF’s SQF Level 2 Certification further demonstrates our commitment to exceed the existing basic food safety and quality expectations. Each step throughout our various processes engages our employees in the food safety culture. This certification reinforces to our customers that we are committed to being a reliable packaging supplier within our various supply chains,” says Tom McCarthy, Flexible Packaging General Manager at CDF Corporation.


CDF has 30 quality and food safety programs in place, the following are some of the programs: Document Control, Management Audits/ Monthly Audits, Good Manufacturing Practices, Pest Control, Chemical Control, Storage and Handling, Training, Quality Control, Customer Quality/Complaint Management, Traceability, Hold and Release Protocol, Glass and Brittle Plastics, Sanitation and Maintenance. CDF is committed to making food safe products for all customers. With food safety as a priority, CDF customers know there is no risk in using CDF products for in-process manufacturing or as a finished consumer package.

Why Our ISO Certification Is Important for CDF Customers

Quality, reliability and customer satisfaction depend on consistency in manufacturing. That’s why the Internal Organization for Standardization developed the ISO 9001 and other standards, and why we adhere to them in every internal process and food packaging product we make.

ISO 9001 compliance represents a promise. Customers know that the procedures by which the company makes products are geared toward quality, consistency, efficiency, safety, transparency and, ultimately, a happy customer.

Here’s how our commitment benefits you.

Predictable Product Quality

Surprises are great for birthdays, but they’re bad for business. Product consistency gives you the assurance that when a food packaging order arrives, your product is right and your production schedule can stay on course.

The International Organization for Standardization has this to say about why it’s so good for customers:

“When products and services conform to International Standards consumers can have confidence that they are safe, reliable and of good quality.”

ISO compliance gives you confidence that the product you order today will have the same quality as your last order and the orders you place in the future. There’s a lot to be said for peace of mind.

ISO 9001

Dependable Delivery Schedules

Order delays have a ripple effect. They spread out to interfere with production, create unnecessary worker downtime and can cost you money. If delays interfere frequently with your schedule, they can breed ill will with your customers.

ISO compliance leaves fewer opportunities for delays because manufacturing processes are known, set in force and adhered to. We run a tight ship so that you can, too.

Efficient Internal Record Control

You might not think our internal record controls affect your business. But the more streamlined our processes, and the more people on our team who adhere to the same system, the more efficiently we can work for you.

If you call, we have answers. If there’s a production or delivery snag, we can find and resolve it quickly. That means less time spent waiting. In a broader sense, better record keeping also keeps our own processes on track across every department.

ISO Quality Services Limited explains that standardized record control creates an efficient method for document identification so anyone can find what they need when they need it. It covers filing, retrieving, storing, retaining, and even destroying company records.

Ongoing, Monitored Compliance

Certification isn’t “once and done.” First, a company must agree to ISO standards and commit to implementation throughout the company. Then an independent auditor evaluates the company’s success, requesting corrective measures if necessary.

ISO certification is only awarded if the company and all employees are on board. It begins with upper management and flows throughout every level and function of the company.

After certification, every ISO compliant company has an annual checkup or audit. If any inconsistencies emerge, they’re corrected and preventative action is implemented to avoid it in the future.

Our ISO 9001 certification is more than just a document to frame and mount on an office wall. It represents a company-wide commitment to enacting the best possible practices for every aspect of business.

For CDF customers, ISO certification means quality and dependability. Good relationships are built on trust. We invest in internationally-recognized standards to help your business succeed because, not in spite, of us.

Contact us to learn more about flexible food packaging and why our quality supports your quality.