Placon Corp. recently launched a new line of tamper-evident deli containers made with up to 100 percent post-consumer recycled PET.
Placon's Evolutions high-clarity deli containers — for use with cold, ready-to-eat foods — range in size from 8-32 ounces.
The thermoformed containers are made with Placon's EcoStar resin and contain between 70 and 100 percent post-consumer recycled content, said Laura Stewart, vice president of sales and marketing.
The Madison, Wis.-based company uses plastic bottles collected in curbside recycling programs to make RPET flake that carries a letter of non-objection from the Food and Drug Administration. The flake is extruded into sheets and thermoformed into food packaging, like delicatessen and bakery containers.
Placon opened its EcoStar recycling facility last year in Fitchburg, Wis., but the company has been working with recycled material for about 20 years, Stewart said in a recent phone interview.
The EcoStar containers appeal to businesses looking to meet sustainability requirements and mandates, but customers have also responded to the containers' tamper-evident lids, Stewart said.
To open a container, consumers must lift a tab on the corner of the lid. Once the tab is opened, it will remain upright.
“It just helps consumers, or really the retailer know, that something's been tampered with,” she said.
The lids have a recessed fit, so containers can be easily stacked, and are interchangeable between all container sizes.
The lids also have a tight seal and are leak-resistant, a feature Placon is known for, according to Stewart.
“If you [offer] coleslaw or salsa in a container, [consumers] don't want that all over the back seat of their car,” she said. “We want it to arrive fresh, at home, in good condition.”
According to Plastics News rankings, Placon had 2011 sales of $114 million, making it the 17th largest thermoformer in North America.