Injection molded food trays containing up to 40 percent recycled material are part of new packaging called Green Line, unveiled Jan. 30 by American Marketing & Sales, a Leominster, Mass., company that does business as Innovative Designs.
``A lot of schools and government agencies promote recycled products and those products that are biodegradable. They really go after them in a big way and really want to support companies that use them,'' President Leonard Tocci said in a Jan. 31 telephone interview.
``We're one of the first to do it as a plastic injection molder,'' he added.
The company is turning out 25 trademarked Green Line food-service products that range from trays to party platters to serving bowls with lids.
So far, Tocci said, Innovative Designs has received commitments from the House of Representatives' purchasing office in Washington; Whole Foods Market Inc. of Austin, Texas; and several schools and universities, including the University of Massachusetts.
What makes the new packages unusual is that they are made from a polypropylene and polystyrene mix that has received a letter of nonobjection from the Food & Drug Administration. He said the company had tried various resins, including corn-based materials, to find something that could be injection molded.
Tocci found a supplier that reprocesses post-consumer and scrap waste with virgin resin, but he would not disclose the firm.
The new line can carry a recycled-content logo and, according to Tocci, is being well-received in the marketplace by companies and consumers looking to be green. He said the products compare favorably in pricing to conventional offerings.
Tocci is well-known in the housewares circle. He's been in the plastics industry for 45 years, including more than 20 years at Tucker Housewares. Later, he was president and chief executive officer at Tamor Plastics Corp., where sales grew to more than $100 million in 1998.
He sold Tamor to Home Products International Inc. in 1997 and said he was planning to retire. Instead, in 1999 he founded Innovative Designs, which supplies supermarkets and food retailers.
Innovative Designs was bought in December by publicly held Datameg Corp. of Salt Lake City.
Datameg, traded over the counter, is a holding company for two communication technology companies - Net Symphony and QoVox Corp.