Plastics News' West Coast correspondent, Roger Renstrom, gathered the following items from companies that exhibited at the Produce Marketing Association exposition, held Oct. 19-21 in Anaheim, Calif.
Crown Poly offers PE bag dispenser
Film extruder Crown Poly Inc. of Los Angeles exhibited a Dispensa-Bag system that dispenses high density polyethylene bags from 0.23-0.28 mil.
Consumers can attach the unit inside a drawer or cabinet at home. The system is an adaptation of Crown Poly's Pull-N-Pak system that shoppers use to bag produce in grocery stores.
Crown Poly is marketing Dispensa-Bag through grocery produce departments. One retail unit has a polycarbonate dispenser and a roll of bags, and another item contains two refill bags. Each 15-by-20-inch bag has a reinforced bottom.
Tenneco boosts line of OPS clamshells
Tenneco Packaging has extended its line of hinged oriented-polystyrene clamshells to package other kinds of produce and, to meet an industry trend for fresh-cut items.
The company began developing the thermoformed hinged baskets in 1987 with a 6-ounce raspberry package. Subsequently, it has introduced new locking styles and designs for other commodity applications, according to Dan Curtis, market manager for the agriculture packaging group.
The products' names are descriptive. Rely-A-Blue holds a pint of blueberries. Raz-Ma-Taz for raspberries and De Vine Delivery for cherry tomatoes hold 12 ounces. And Savor Suite containers can hold 16-18 ounces of grapes or 8 ounces of strawberries.
Tenneco Packaging also offers the fresh-cut industry its Cut-A-Bove packaging, designed with fragile membranes for micro-atmosphere control. A micro-perforated Mylar polyester film lid allows for positive venting in a stacked display and free air access to the membrane. Lids and bases can be pre-labeled.
The Cut-A-Bove ancillary product line can contain prepared lettuce or ready-to-eat salad mix and dressing packets, or cut fruit in individual, large and family serving sizes. The standard, 16-by-20-inch modular boxes are pallet-compatible, and designed for display in grocery stores.
Tenneco Packaging, which thermoforms the new OPS products at its City of Industry, Calif., plant, exhibited them at the PMA exposition.
Tenneco Packaging, based in Evanston, Ill., is a unit of Tenneco Inc. in Greenwich, Conn.
Koller-Craft bowl ripens green fruit
Injection molder Koller-Craft Plastic Products exhibited a two-piece polystyrene bowl that can ripen all types of green fruit within 72 hours.
The clear plastic product combines the fruit's natural ethylene gas and carbon dioxide with fresh air to hasten the ripening process and maintain the freshness of tomatoes, bananas, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines, kiwi, avocados and melons for as long as two weeks. Consumers can use the ripener as a table centerpiece, according to the company.
The University of California developed the concept.
Koller-Craft employs about 100 at its Fenton, Mo., facility and is a division of Koller Enterprises Inc., also in Fenton.
Macro bins store bulk commodities
Fairfield, Calif.-based Macro Plastics Inc. exhibited a new family of shipping and storage products molded with ultraviolet-stabilized high density polyethylene on a press with 6,000 tons of clamping force.
The high-pressure injection molder showed its 43-pound nestable ShuttlePallet, which can hold small trays and reusable plastic containers. A foldable, triwall, corrugated sleeve, called ShuttlePak, can be placed on the pallet to create a closed container for bulk commodities, like fruits and vegetables, or even plastic resin.
Two other foldable items are the ultralarge DoubleShuttle container for bulk storage in high stacks, and the ShuttleBin, which can hold 1,000 pounds or more and be stacked six bins high in a supermarket warehouse. Together, the line is known as the family of MacroShuttle products.
Macro Plastics, a leading bin supplier to fruit and vegetable packers, expanded in early 1997, opening a 30,000-square-foot manufacturing facility on 23 acres in Union Gap, Wash.