Food Engineering

Less is more, DuPont judges conclude

July 30, 2009
Gaining FDA approval of a cleaning process for recycled polyethylene terephthalate enabled Associated Packaging Technologies to create a dual-ovenable tray for frozen foods. Use with ConAgra brands will divert 8 million lbs of PET from landfills this year, the company says. Source: DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers.

Function trumps form in sustainable packaging. Containers that better protect and perform with less waste and at a lighter weight were the big winners at the 21st annual DuPont Packaging Award competition this year.

Primary and secondary containers that use less material or reduce shipping costs dominated the roster of 10 award winners. Packages with recycled content accounted for the remaining honors. Innovation, performance and sustainability were the judging criteria for 120 entrants. Four of the winners involved food and beverage products.

Trays created from manmade materials that can withstand temperature extremes were judges’ favorites, with Sealed Air’s Renew-a-Pak, a compostable baking tray created for Whole Foods that doubles as a display package, winning one of the food-application awards. Another was a dual-ovenable tray made from recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET), an innovation nominated by both the manufacturer, Associated Packaging Technologies Inc., and its first North American user, ConAgra Inc.

Other food-use award winners included Amcor Flexibles and Unilever, which claims a 70% material savings by putting Bertolli pasta sauce in pouches instead of glass jars, and Ecolean Group, a Swedish firm that pioneered lightweight aseptic pouches made from calcium carbonate (see “Lean, green and chalky,” Food Engineering, June 2009). 

For more information:
Ron Skotleski, Associated Packaging Technologies, 484-785-1154,