PACKAGING AWARDS RECOGNIZE INNOVATION

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WASHINGTON — The Flexible Packaging Association gave Rexam Medical Packaging its 1997 Green Globe Award for environmental achievement.

Eleven other packages received honors for innovations in technology, printing, closures and product protection.

Rexam Medical Packaging, a Vernon Hills, Ill.-based unit of London's Rexam plc, won top honors for a pouch it manufactured for Ethicon Endo-Surgery Inc., a division of Johnson & Johnson. The pouch replaces thermoformed trays, reducing cost and material. When compressed, the pouch takes up about one-tenth the volume of the rigid package.

``At a time when medical waste and medical costs are under such scrutiny, flexible packaging is one way to shave costs for medical providers,'' said Glenn Braswell, president of Washington-based FPA.

The pouches, which use spun-bonded polyolefin and film, also allow for increased packaging-line speeds and reduced shelf space in hospitals.

The other winning packages are:

An oxygen-absorbent pouch for bread by Cadillac Products Inc. of Troy, Mich., developed for the U.S. Army's meals ready-to-eat program. The pouch is made of a four-ply lamination of polyester, polyethylene, foil and a proprietary sealant film.

Dippin' Dot EZ Open Standup Pouches made by the Cryovac Division of W.R. Grace & Co., based in Duncan, S.C. The laminate package withstands the temperature extremes necessary for the product, a frozen novelty snack.

The Lid 1050/Barrier Packaging System for Moran's Ground Beef, also developed by Cryovac. It combines a foam tray with a shrinkable oxygen-barrier lid stock that is hermetically sealed to the tray.

Cryovac's M312 sterilizable medical film. The multilayer coextrusion is used for packaging intravenous drugs, nutritional products and dialysis and irrigation solutions.

Printpack Inc.'s Healthy Choice Hearty Handfuls MW Wrap. It eliminated a paperboard sleeve and allows the pastry to be cooked in two steps instead of the previous eight. The pouch consists of an uncoated cellophane, adhesive, and aluminum susceptor and a heat-sealable polyester. Printpack is in Atlanta.

Printpack's SaladTime SaladBowls. They combine breathability, sealability and printability in one package. The thermoformed bowls' lids are made of a coextrusion of polystyrene and ethylene vinyl acetate.

Printpack's Terra Chips flexible package. It offers shelf-appeal with its design and printing. The package is made of heat-sealable polypropylene, low density PE, high-barrier uncoated metallized PP and Surlyn sealant.

Rollprint Packaging Products Inc.'s MiniCap Foil Package, used to hold a povidone-iodine solution. Rollprint is in Addison, Ill.

Hueck Foils LLC's Celebration Cup, a package for administering Holy Communion. Manasquan, N.J.-based Hueck developed the package, in which the grape juice and bread are packaged in one cup with film layers separating them. The cup is a high-clarity, food-grade PVC.

The FastBond 2000 Adhesive Standup Pouch, developed for 3M Co. by Kapak Corp., based in Minneapolis. The package, an alternative to bulk pails and drums for adhesive, is made of PET, biaxially oriented nylon and linear low density PE.

CRREO, Child Resistant Recloseable Easy Open Bag, manufactured by Pactech, a division of HAL Baggin Inc., located in Rochester, N.Y. The unique system, made of foil laminated to Valeron cross-laminated high density PE, meets requirements for child resistance and ``senior friendliness.''