With sustainability at the forefront for brand owners, Cheer Pack North America knew the time had come for changes in the design of the company's plastic cap commonly used on baby food and applesauce pouches.
The new version, called the Vizi Cap, provides several "deliverables" to customers compared to the previous version, said Al Madonna, vice president of marketing for the West Bridgewater, Mass.-based company.
The Vizi Cap also delivered as this year's winner of the Innovation Award given out annually at the Plastics Caps & Closures 2021 conference organized by Plastics News. Other finalists for the award included a new closure system for colorant containers and an emerging cap and straw designed to fit on threaded bottles to eliminate spillage.
"We looked at it and said we know that sustainability is at the top of mind with our customers. How can we take weight out and really meet that preferred hierarchy of sustainability?" Madonna said, referring to the reduce portion of the reduce, reuse, recycle approach.
Now, in the grand scheme of things, pouch caps do not use a lot of plastic. But Cheer Pack literally has made billions of pouches and caps over time, so any reduction in weight can have a significant impact over time.
"The primary goal was reducing weight. Brand owners, in the market research that we conducted, that's No. 1," Madonna said.
"From an engineering standpoint, we did a lot of prototyping work and what we actually achieved with the Vizi is that for every 10 million units we are saving 5.3 tons [of plastic] vs. our current cap," he explained.