CDF’s Flexible Packaging Division Passes Food Safety Audit

CDF Corporation, a leading manufacturer of drum, pail, intermediate bulk container and bag in box liners and flexible packaging, has passed a food safety audit for one of North America’s largest consumer packaged food and beverage companies.

An auditor from Quality Assured Solutions was contracted to perform a food safety audit on CDF’s Flexible Packaging division. The food safety audit evaluates many aspects of compliance with respect to food safety, sanitary working conditions, employee training and the proper handling of food products and packaging. CDF’s Flexible Packaging division passed the food safety audit with a score of 88.1 out of 100. With this score, CDF has been approved to supply IBC liners to this highly regarded global food processor.

During the 16 hour audit the Flexible Packaging division showed that many food safety items were already in place, there is an active GMP program in place and there is a working copy of a HACCP plan. The audit was based on the customer’s supplier expectation manual. The manual is the standard and the supplier is assessed against the standard.

“We have been working on many of the GSFI requirements as we get closer to our ultimate goal of SQF Level 2 Certification in 2016. It was reassuring to have a well-respected third party auditor verify we are on the right track,” said Tom McCarthy, Flexible Packaging General Manager.

The auditing company, Quality Assured Solutions, offers world class consulting to the food, beverage and confectionary industries on a domestic and international

CDF improves the IBC Form-Fit Liner

The CDF engineering team has created a customer benefit by modifying the IBC form-fit liner to include holes in the perforated flaps. These holes were strategically added to help hold the liner in place during filling; by keeping the liner squared, these flaps make fills easier. Once the IBC form-fit liner is filled, the flaps can be detached and used with a winder for dispensing. CDF was the first flexible packaging manufacturer to add holes to the perforated flaps to a number of customized applications. This feature is now part of all of CDF’s stock IBC form-fit liners.

Form-fit IBC liners provide high performance in critical applications, such as top-fill applications using a bridge or automated filler; containers with no access doors for placing a liner at the bottom; high speed fills and viscous products that would get caught in the folds of pillow-shaped liners.

Typical form-fit liner markets include chemicals (adhesives, automotive lubricants, automotive oils, chemicals, coatings, concrete drilling additives, detergents, inks, paints, polymer emulsions); cosmetics (conditioner, cream, lipstick, liquid makeup, lotion, mascara, shampoo); food and beverage (concentrated fruit, edible oils, fish oil, fructose, jams, liquid egg, malts, molasses, pastes, sweeteners, syrups, vinegar, juice, wine); and pharmaceutical.

To learn more about CDF’s IBC Form-Fit Liner contact us at 800.443.1920

Growing in Plymouth and around the World

CDF makes about twenty different types of flexible packaging, anything from two ounces to 300 gallons for the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food and beverage industries. A growing product for CDF is the flexible pouch that has wide mouth straw, currently this product is popular baby food and children’s snacks as well as yogurt and some smoothies. The product is great for travel and “the family on the move,” because the pouches are reclosable and child safe.

Also very popular is the Cheertainer bag-in-box systems, a plastic liner that fits into a corrugated cardboard box, unlike solid steel the Cheertainer design is environmentally friendly and less expensive than other packaging systems.

Getting its start from making liners for steel drums, CDF has stuck to its roots, creating plastic liners ranging from 12 gallons to 55 gallons and an assortment of caps, lids, covers and strainer inserts. The idea behind the liner is to save the drum for reuse.

As a leader in intermediate bulk containers, CDF has led the way in single cube-shaped, form-fit plastic holding up to 330 gallons inside either a reinforced corrugated box that is placed on a wooden pallet or an easily collapsible plastic tote, which saves space. “We definitely go after products that are relatively difficult to manufacture,” explains CDF President Joe Sullivan, “We go after niche markets that are a little too small for big companies to go after, and too small for offshore companies to gear up for.”

CDF is going after the European market; it has launched CDF Europe based in Lugano, Switzerland which is headed by Sullivan’s sister Laura Beechwood and also acquired the majority share of Quadpak which is based in Varnamo, Sweden.

Laura Beechwood, Managing Director of CDF Europe states, “we had been preparing for this European launch for several months, CDF is the leader in the industry in the U.S., and we intend to carry over the quality and expertise into our European division.”

CDF Europe is ready to manufacture and market this line, which is a huge accomplishment for a company that got its start about forty years ago. Joseph Sullivan Sr. made his start selling additives to paint companies in the New England area. The name CDF came from colors, dispersions and finishes. Marcia Sullivan, his wife, handled the books.

The elder Sullivan saw that many of the companies having a difficult time getting rid of 55 gallon drums with paint residue in them, and he had heard of a company in California that made molded drum liners. The liner is easily removed and the drum is recovered. After selling these liners he eventually bought the company. CDF expanded into different sizes and shapes and now occupies three buildings in the Plymouth Industrial Park.

From the beginning, CDF has filled the void in customer’s needs, a practice that has continued to this day. “It’s definitely a hands on business,” explains Joe Sullivan, the second generation company president. “Because we know the business, we see a lot of opportunities. We see when existing products are not meeting customers’ needs. To fill the voids, we buy new equipment, and a lot of time we have to tailor it to our needs.”

The CDF liner carries a wide array of product, from chemical products adhesives, automobile lubricants, beverages, dairy, edible oils, ice cream, juices as well as syrups and sauces. With such a range of product it is of importance to prevent leaks. CDF1 Smart Seal Technology heats the seam to a specific temperature, time and pressure. If these specifications are not met, the machine will shut down.

“The degree of difficulty in the manufacturing is quite high,” Sullivan adds. “And it’s been a team effort. Besides equipment, you have to have really good people. And we have good people. Without good people, you’ve got nothing.” –  January 2012

Demand for active & intelligent packaging to reach 2 billion

According to a new repot developed by Active & Intelligent Packaging Market – distributed by, the demand for active and intelligent packaging is projected to reach $2.2 billion by 2015. In the report, researchers studied past demand figures dating back to 2000, 2005 and 2010, the report discovered development of new generations of products, performance improvements and the availability of lower cost products is perpetuating growth in the market.

Furthermore, researchers also noted that growth for intelligent packaging will be significantly faster and more efficient. This is propelled by rapid growth for Quick Response and other mobile marketing codes of packaging, which gained a mainstream presence in 2010. Such codes have the ability to be read by smartphones and have the ability to transform traditional packaging into an interactive medium. Demand for time-temperature indicator labels will be aided by the availability of less costly product types, the increased presence of temperature sensitive drugs and ongoing food safety issues.

Gas scavenger segment to see above-average growth
Gas scavengers were the leading active packaging product type in 2010. The study forecasts above average growth for gas scavengers based on heightened demand for barrier PET bottles — especially those using less costly monolayer oxygen scavenging systems — in faster-growing beverage segments such as tea and flavored waters. Oxygen scavenger demand also is predicted to be helped by rising demand for packaged organic and other minimally processed foods and the removal of trans fats from many types of processed foods. These factors, the researchers say, will necessitate the use of oxygen absorbers as an alternative to direct food additives in extending shelf life. Moisture control, corrosion control and susceptor packaging demand will post slower advances based on the presence of more mature product types and applications, according to the study. Though an improved outlook in the manufacturing sector will benefit demand for corrosion control packaging, advances will be restrained by continued outsourcing of manufacturing to offshore regions with lower labor costs and competition from alternative materials, e.g., plastics, in the primary metal products market.

Food, beverage markets to benefit from safety concerns
Food and beverages were noted as the two largest markets for active and intelligent packaging in 2010, together accounting for nearly 60 percent of demand. Advances in food uses will be based on heightened requirements for longer shelf life for processed foods and packaged fresh foods. Gains will also be propelled by the growing importance of food safety issues among consumers and retailer interest in reducing losses from unsaleable products caused by oxidation and temperature abuse in the supply chain. The popularity of smartphones among consumers will drive broadening usage of QR and other similar codes on food and beverage packaging to provide an element of differentiation.

Pharmaceutical market to be aided by biotech drugs
The pharmaceutical market is expected to experience above-average growth, aided by the commercialization of sophisticated biotechnology-based drugs, which tend to be costly and have high stability requirements. In addition, the need to raise compliance and adherence levels will support interest in compliance monitoring devices and active reminder products, though relatively high costs and health care industry cost control issues will prevent widespread usage. The increased prevalence of drugs with high moisture sensitivity will boost demand for moisture control packaging.

Source Packaging Digest:

Biopolymers potential future

The material of choice in the modern world has become non-biodegradable plastics and polymers, and there is evidence of vigorous R&D activities to discover, develop, and commercially produce degradable biopolymers to replace them. The fact of the matter is biopolymers are still in the early stages of development and considering them as an alternative for the current commercial products is too improbable. Biopolymers originate from plants; they can be utilized in sectors where they come in contact with the human body, for example hygiene/grooming, cosmetics, medical implants/devices, textile and food markets.

Due to the low cost of production and versatility the use of plastics in our everyday life is virtually boundless and no alternative emerging product is likely to replace the nearly ubiquitous presence of plastics. The current global production level is about 250 million tons and its growth will continue to be strong globally. The plastics are preferable over other materials, plastics are light, durable, resist deterioration, and the markets they cater to are extensive, spanning from food to textiles, to furniture, electronics, vehicle parts, photography/videography, coatings, constructions, enclosures, bottles and containers.

The most commonly used types of plastics are PO, PP, PS, PVC, PET, PU, polyacrylates, polyvinyl acetates, and polyamides.  These synthetic polymers are typically made from the naphtha fraction of petroleum or natural gas and are heavy pollutants and are not biodegradable. As a result of living in a “throw away” society, millions of tons of plastics end up in landfills, oceans and as a result, the shores. If the practice of “throwing away” was to cease, plastic waste would continue to wash upon our shores for hundreds of years.  A glimpse into the results of all this waste, the significant erosions of marine life, as millions of marine animals die each year; and there is clear evidence that these numbers will escalate because the global demand for these materials is on the rise.

Burning plastics has not been an option either, as toxic gases such as hydrogen cyanide and hydrogen chloride are emitted. Any attempts to accelerate biodegradation via additives such as chemicals, oxygen, and UV additives have not resulted in significant measurable reductions.

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Packaging brands are liable for packaging waste

A perfect storm is brewing for extended producer responsibly in the United States specifically EPR for packaging.

The combination of retailer and consumer demand for sustainable packaging, metropolitan tighter-than-ever waste management budgets and anxieties concerning future resource scarcity is fueling U.S. policies to hold producers liable for the costs of managing their packaging at the end of life. Furthermore, it’s also stimulating smaller scale efforts from individual brand owners.

“Extended producers responsibility is a policy instrument to shift the economic burden of managing post-consumer products or materials to the manufacturers,” explains Anne Johnson, director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition in Charlottesville, Va.

EPR includes end-of-life activities such as collection, recycling and responsible disposal of products and packaging. “At its heart, it’s a financial mechanism to shift the burden toward industry,” Johnson says, she continues, “the extended view is that while you shift it to industry, they in turn roll it back to consumers.”

Proponents of the strategy say manufacturers have the greatest responsibility to curb and dispose of waste. That accountability also transfers, to some degree, to consumers who, as Johnson points out, will likely face higher prices as manufacturers pass along their EPR costs.

EPR packaging programs have existed in Europe since the early 1990s and are now operating in many countries worldwide. The Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba, for instance, all have EPR packaging programs. Manitoba’s is the newest, just launching in April.

In Ontario’s Blue Box recycling program and Quebec’s curbside recycling system, producers currently pay 50 percent of the net operating cost of municipal recycling. Manitoba’s program requires producers to pay 80 percent, and Ontario’s government is pushing to increase producer responsibility to 100 percent in that province.

Despite the global drive toward EPR for packaging, however, producer responsibility in the United States historically has focused on products and their components—electronics, rechargeable batteries, mercury and paint, for example—rather than packaging.

But that is changing. “America has had two quite breathtaking events in the last few months from an EPR perspective,” says Derek Stephenson, president of Toronto-based consultancy StewardEdge Inc., which has worked closely with provincial governments in Canada to develop and/or manage their EPR programs.

“One is that Vermont has introduced EPR legislation specifically identifying packaging…and secondly, Maine passed the first framework EPR legislation. That essentially gives the state power to designate any product [as part of] an EPR program,” including packaging, Stephenson explains.

In the United States, “we really are starting to look at [producer responsibility] in a more comprehensive fashion than we have up to this point,” says Garth Hickle, product stewardship team leader with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency in St. Paul, Minn.

Until the introduction of the Vermont bill, “which specifically delineates packaging and printed material, we have not had much consideration from a holistic packaging standpoint,” Hickle says.
Coke Takes the Lead

Not all brand owners are waiting passively for the new EPR laws to take effect. Some are taking responsibility for their packaging now.

Coca-Cola, for instance, closely manages the entire life cycle of its packaging, starting at the concept stage and continuing through post-consumer package recovery. In the case of PET bottles, Coca-Cola addresses remanufacturing, as well.

“We require designers to know what the end-of-life scenario is for [each] package,” says Scott Vitters, Coca-Cola’s director of sustainable packaging. When Coca-Cola looks at the issue of recyclability, which is frequently part of that scenario, Vitters says it considers whether it’s commercially viable to recycle a particular material. “If not,” he says, “then, in our opinion, it’s not recyclable.”

The company’s recently launched PlantBottle meets the criterion of commercial recyclability; it can be recycled the same way as a traditional PET bottle. But in contrast to 100 percent petroleum-based PET containers, the PlantBottle adds renewable resources to the mix—incorporating 30 percent plant-based materials.

Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle “represents the kind of thinking we do on every package,” says Vitters, “from looking at the sustainability of the agricultural products that are used, to responsible sourcing strategies, to how it would be managed at the end of life.”

He says Coca-Cola has even developed, under laboratory conditions, a 100 percent bio-based, recyclable plastic; though the material is not yet commercially viable for beverage bottles.

End-of-life package management at Coca-Cola also extends to bottle and can collection, which, Vitters explains, is somewhat unique. “There’s traditionally been a lot of focus by brand owners around designing packages to be more environmentally sustainable,” he says, “but it gets a little more quiet when you start talking about the collection of the materials.”

Not for Coke, though. In 2007, the company’s largest bottler formed Coca-Cola Recycling LLC to collect packaging materials it commonly uses, particularly PET and aluminum. A stand-alone, for-profit company, Coca-Cola Recycling “is focused on collecting 100 percent of the bottles and cans that we put in the marketplace by 2020,” Vitters says.

To close the loop between the PET bottles Coca-Cola collects and new bottles made from that collected material, Coca-Cola and Spartanburg, S.C.-based United Resource Recovery Corp. last year opened what they characterize as the largest bottle-to-bottle PET recycling plant in the world. The plant processes bottles collected at universities, office and retail centers and large-scale events into plastic chips, which are then shipped to Coca-Cola plants to make new bottles; the chips are sold to other customers, as well.
Taking it Back

Origins invites consumers to drop off used cosmetics packaging (from any brand) in its stores for recycling.

Take-back programs are not unique to Coca-Cola. In fact, they are increasingly popular as a way for brand owners to assume responsibility for their packaging’s end of life.

A national take-back program created by New York-based Origins collects post-consumer cosmetics packaging, a type not usually addressed by municipal recycling systems because the materials in such packaging aren’t readily recognized.

The “Return to Origins” recycling program is brand agnostic, accepting primary packaging—bottles, compacts, tubes, caps and jars—from any cosmetics company;  consumers can drop off the packaging at Origins stores and department-store counters. Last year, the company collected 7,500 pounds of packaging, which it sorted and recycled or had converted into energy.

Another such program, called Gimme 5, targets polypropylene, identified by the number five recycling code. Londonderry, N.H.-based Stonyfield Farm and Kennebunk, Maine-based Tom’s of Maine both participate in Gimme 5, which encourages consumers to drop off used polypropylene packaging at Whole Foods Market stores or mail in clean containers.

The collected plastic is converted by Preserve in Waltham, Mass., into toothbrushes, tableware and other consumer products. Last year, its first year in action, Gimme 5 collected more than 45,000 pounds of polypropylene, and volume this year is expected to be three to four times greater.

Stonyfield gives its yogurt cups new life through a take-back program for  polypropylene, a material that’s not widely accepted by conventional recycling facilities.

Municipal recycling of polypropylene is not widespread, and Gimme 5 creates responsible end-of-life management for Tom’s of Maine deodorant packaging and Stonyfield yogurt cups, among other packages.

Nancy Hirshberg, Stonyfield’s vice president of natural resources, says the company chose polypropylene for its yogurt containers years ago because the resin is lightweight and allows for the use of less material, greatly reducing the company’s environmental impact. “But when we made that decision,” says Hirshberg, “we knew that number five plastic was not accepted in most recycling facilities. It was up to us to find other ways to deal with our packaging waste.”

Gimme 5 is one of the ways Stonyfield does it. “It allows us to reduce our post-consumer packaging waste by turning our used cups into high-quality, functional products,” says Hirshberg. “The Gimme 5 program acts as the last step in [our] ‘Healthy Planet’ life cycle.” BP

Source Brand Packaging:

Brand changes in 2011

As we emerge from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, consumers will remain shell shocked. Possibly the greatest advance in sustainability over the last three years has been the global decline in consumer goods. When consumers decide to purchase, they don’t only consider where it was made and how it was created but whether they, as a consumer need the product at all. This is the beginning of a shift from willy-nilly consumerism to into a more reserved attitude towards consumption.

What is the implication of this for brands?

There are two challenges to brands. First, convincing the consumer that a product or service will make a noticeable difference in consumer’s lives and they are worth being purchased. The benefits of the product should be overt and apparent; a consumer’s interest in a product goes beyond its sustainability and greenness-brands and must differentiate themselves in other ways too.  We are in the days of cautious consumerism, superior functionality must be proven or the risk a lifetime on the shelf.

The second challenge for sustainable products if to be specific about their green claims. Since 2005, we’ve seen a major increase in the consumers understanding of what sustainable means. Smart consumers are now looking for facts and figures detailing the chemicals that their cleaning products contain, the amount of energy consumed to move a piece of furniture and the carbon footprint of a pair of shoes. If brands are unable to provide such data, consumers will turn to sources like the GoodGuide and other champions of transparency to learn the truth.

Which Brand Will Stand Out?

Despite an ongoing interest in sustainability, few mainstream brands have smoothly transitioned this characteristic into their brand promise and image. Aside from Clorox Green Works, the most well-known green brands are niche players such as Toms of Maine and Seventh Generation. Landor’s annual ImagePower Green Brand Survey reflect what consumers think of corporate brands such as Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Wal-Mart, and General Electric as more sustainable than their product brands. Corporate brands must overcome the challenge of finding ways of extending the green halo onto their products and service brands.

The emergence of the electric car has made for plenty of press attention in 2011, whent here electric cars will be available in the United States: Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, and Tesla.

The Burning Questions for 2011

Is there an attainable balance between reducing consumption of resources and encouraging consumers to purchase sustainable products?

Further Reading:

Slow growth expected in 2011

According to PMMI’s Fourth Quarter 2010 Economic Outlook, the current economic recovery   is sustainable. Although the report foresees the rate of recovery to slow noticeably in the coming year, expectations are that growth in continue.

The report continues stating, that leading macroeconomic indicators all suggest continuous recovery through the remainder of 2010 and 2011. Although three are signs of slower growth next year, most notably from the United States Leading Indicator and the Purchasing Managers Index, however the report states there is no clear evidence to support a double-dip recession.

The U.S. Leading Indicator has fallen steeply since it peaked in March. The drop resulted from recent     stock market “roller coaster rides,” declines in building permits and faster supplier deliveries.

The Purchasing Managers Index is also in steep decline off a December 2009 high. The monthly index has fallen each month since April, but has maintained the growth range. New orders, production, and in particular manufacturers prices have seen the most prominent decline.

From November 2009 to July 2010, the Money Supply was flat for nine months with zero change, that sluggish growth has not yet acted as a brake on Industrial Production, but is one reason for the expectations of slower growth in 2011.

The Industrial Production Index moved in growth mode in July, and is continuing the ascending trend. This index is up by 0.8 percent over this time last year (2009), and leading indicators and internal dynamics point towards continued growth through the end of the year (2010), up until a slowdown in 2011.