Food Engineering

Corrugated’s last stand

January 10, 2012
Fiber by fiber, the flight from corrugated materials to less expensive shipping materials is continuing in food and beverage distribution. Flexible film and semi-rigid plastics are eroding cardboard applications, and the evidence was everywhere during fall’s PACK EXPO trade show.

department
Polypack’s Kevin Harris holds a shrink-wrapped case of drink boxes with a “corrugated belt” of cardboard for vertical strength when palletized. The concept capitalizes on the flight from cardboard to less expensive shipping materials.

Whether under the guise of sustainability or simple cost cutting, companies are switching to less expensive materials for secondary packaging. “If a product can stack on a pallet, companies are shrink-wrapping instead of using cardboard boxes,” notes Kevin Harris, distributor sales manager at Polypack Inc., a Pinellas Park, FL maker of shrink-wrap machines.

For primary packages that do not provide adequate vertical stacking strength, the firm has developed “the corrugated belt,” a halfway solution that eliminates a box’s top and bottom flaps. Trials with Unilever and McKee Foods’ Hostess line are underway.

The belt reduces the amount of cardboard typically used to ship finished goods by about 50 percent, Harris estimates.  
 

For more information:

Kevin Harris, Polypack Inc., 727-578-5000, 
kharris@polypack.com