Flexible packaging is a valuable commodity, but one that could still do with some improvement, according to an engineer with packaging giant Printpack Inc.
"There's a lot of interest in sustainability from our customers," Product Stewardship Engineer Daniel Clusky said Oct. 22 during the 2020 Global Plastics Summit. "Changing needs drive changing design criteria."
Packaging goods companies are making commitments to sustainability and are asking Printpack and its suppliers for sustainable packaging, he added. The firm's customers are asking for products made from nonpetroleum feedstocks, whether they're recycled or bio-based. Customers "want a responsible end-of-life story," Clusky said.
Improvements also can be made to the performance of polyethylene-based films in the areas of heat resistance, barrier performance and appearance, Clusky said. "There currently are gaps in the polyethylene film toolbox," he explained.
"It's a big challenge, but we need to see what that next generation of flexible packaging is going to be," he said.
Atlanta-based Printpack employs 3,200 at 19 plants in the U.S. and Mexico and has annual sales of $1.3 billion. The firm makes flexible and rigid packaging for a wide variety of food and nonfood markets. Printpack ranked as North America's eighth-largest film and sheet producer in the most recent Plastics News ranking.