Clip could offer snack makers sustainability boost

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Flexible packaging, Unit load

A new slider system for resealable snack and dry goods pouches can boost a manufacturer’s eco profile due to its lighter weight, claims Zip Pak.

The zipper manufacturer said that the development of its new Slider Advantage was informed by requests from food processors and meets sustainability demands in the fact that it uses less plastic for the clip and the flange.

A spokesperson for the manufacturer told BakeryandSnacks.com that the slider decreases a pack’s carbon footprint in that any reduction in mass of packaging relates to less energy used to fabricate and transport the product and thus a reduction in the amount of greenhouses gasses emitted.

Form-fill-seal applications

She said that the clip and flange can be applied to pre-made pouches and form-fill-seal applications, and there is no requirement to invest in new machinery:

“The slider can run on most form-fill-seal machines and pouch making equipment at equivalent speeds, and thus is applicable to the packaging of a wide range of snacks, nuts and other dry goods.”

Shelf-life

Resealable packaging using this type of clip ensures freshness after the initial opening of the product, while also allowing for more convenient opening for consumers of all ages, said Zip Pak.

“After the package is opened, a feature such as a slider has been shown by some consumer packaged goods manufacturers to extend product life in many pantry tests,” ​continued the spokesperson.

The company maintains that products remain fresher throughout the last serving, thereby helping to reduce food waste.

Moreover, Zip Pak claims that as there is no need to transfer a package’s contents into a separate container for storage to preserve product freshness, the consumer is exposed to the manufacturer's branding every time they eat some of the product.

Flexible packaging outlook

Meanwhile, a recent study from Freedonia shows that global demand for converted flexible packaging is forecast to grow by 3.5 per cent per year to more than 19m tonnes in 2013.

Plastic films, which account for nearly three-quarters of global converted flexible packaging demand, will continue to grow at the expense of paper and aluminium foil, predicts the report World Converted Flexible Packaging.

Factors contributing to that growth will be:

  • Converted flexible packaging’s superior price/performance profile and versatility.
  • Renewed efforts to improve sanitation and extend product shelf lives in the food and beverage, pharmaceutical and personal care markets.
  • New developments such as breathable properties, biodegradable films and high-barrier resins.
  • Increasing interest in novel value-added features, such as microwaveable pouches, resealable stand-up pouches and pouring spouts for use in convenience-oriented processed food, particularly in developed countries.

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