Achieving a first for the snack cheese market, Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. has developed new, renewable packaging for Lactalis American Group, Inc. The new packaging is being produced for all varieties of Lactalis’ Precious® Sticksters® brands and features a revolutionary new film material made partially from plant-based plastic. This development is part of Clear Lam’s Project EarthClear™initiative.
The renewable Precious® Sticksters® package is made at Lactalis on horizontal form, fill and seal machines. The package, which holds individually sealed cheese sticks, is made from a lamination of plant-based, renewable plastic and an outer layer made from traditional petroleum-based plastic. This new material, which is 50 percent plant-based, generates up to 35.2 percent fewer greenhouse gases and uses up to 36.8 percent less energy than the conventional petroleum-based materials it replaces. Lactalis made the packaging change as part of its corporate sustainability commitment.
“We’re pleased to have partnered with Lactalis to help introduce this new, renewable package for Precious® Sticksters®,” said James Sanfilippo, president and CEO of Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. “Clear Lam and Lactalis conducted extensive internal R&D and real-world testing to ensure this material met our rigorous standards for sustainability, durability and print quality.”
The finished bags perform well under typical distribution conditions and meet all FDA requirements for food use. It was very important to Lactalis that the finished materials had a lower carbon footprint and used less energy without losing production efficiencies or impacting product performance. High-speed sealing was a critical requirement.
“We achieved that and more with this new packaging,” said Frederick Bouisset, President and CEO of Lactalis American Group, Inc. “We believe that by adopting this new packaging, we are promoting a better future by reducing our energy consumption and environmental impact — a long-term goal to which we are fully committed.”
Clear Lam produces the proprietary bio-based layer used in the film from pellets and additives, then the finished film is shipped to a Lactalis production facility where its Precious® Sticksters® products are packaged on horizontal form, fill and seal machines.
Clear Lam’s renewable packaging materials are produced from plant-based bioplastics derived from Natureworks Ingeo™ PLA (polylactic acid) along with ingredients that enhance performance. These materials are part of the company’s Project EarthClear program and replace petroleum-based plastics with biobased ingredients developed to reduce the introduction of fossil carbon into the atmosphere.
For a decade, Clear Lam has invested extensively in research and development to commercialize new packaging technologies that minimize the impact on the environment. These efforts include three product lines developed for Clear Lam’s Project EarthClear program: Flexible and Rigid Packaging made from renewable raw materials, bioplastics, cellophane and paper (not petroleum-based feedstocks); Flexible and Rigid Packaging made with recycled plastic or paper; and Lightweighting Materials to eliminate heavy cans, bottles and jars. Today Clear Lam is one of the world’s largest extruders and thermoformers of plant-based Ingeo PLA.
Source: Clear Lam, press release, 2012-02-14.