ePac Flexible Packaging Launches Sustainable Child Resistant Pouch Line

ePac is excited to announce the launch of Certified Child Resistant (CR) Resealable pouches made with Post Consumer Recycled (PCR) materials. This was made possible due to an innovative collaboration between ePac, Presto, and Charter NEX. 

Virag Patel, ePac’s COO commented: “The teamwork between Charter, Presto, an ePac has been phenomenal, and the key to being able to bring this innovation to market. With Presto’s focus on child safety, Charter’s GreenArrow™ film engineered for sustainability, and ePac’s focus on child resistant pouches and sustainability, we’re proud to announce its commercial availability”.

Click here to read the full press release.

Digital Printing & Sustainability: 4 Reasons Digital Print is an Eco-Friendly Choice

As more and more consumers and retailers are looking for companies that offer eco-friendly options, brand owners are oftentimes left wondering where to begin when it comes to developing their sustainability goals. Large brands like Nestlé and General Mills have committed to more sustainable packaging and regenerative farming methods that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions; however, oftentimes small and medium-sized brands are left wondering how they too can stay environmentally-friendly and relevant, without investing significant resources, or without a complete overhaul? 

As a brand owner, you can start by looking at your product development. By assessing where you are sourcing your ingredients, your packaging, your energy usage, waste, and more will help to align your actions with your vision. A simple place to begin evaluating your options is by turning to your current distribution and manufacturing partners, or finding new partners, to see which eco-friendly options are available.

When it comes to flexible packaging, there are many sustainable options available. Brand owners can go the sustainable packaging route, with recyclable, post-consumer recycled, or compostable packaging. Or, brands can partner with a packaging manufacturer offering digital print, an inherently more earth-friendly printing method. Some companies are even able to offer both options.

Today, we’re diving into 4 reasons why digital print is an eco-friendly choice for brands of all sizes, and why it may be a good choice for your brand. 

1. Digital Printing Helps to Reduce Emissions

Regardless of the type of packaging you choose for your brand, it’s important to take into consideration the carbon footprint and emissions released during production. 

The great news about digital printers is that they produce far less CO2 emissions than many traditional and rovograture printing presses. At ePac, our HP Indigo 20000 presses are carbon neutral, allowing the process of digitally printing our pouches and rollstock to have a lower environmental impact than conventional printing. 

A reduction in emissions = a happier earth. 

ePac’s HP Indigo 20000 press at their Austin, Texas location. Our presses allow us to simultaneously focus on high-quality flexible packaging and the environment.

2. Digital Printing Reduces Waste 

With digital printing, waste is reduced substantially. Unlike with conventional printers, with digital printing, printing plates are not needed for the creation, setup, and production of each SKU. Printing plates wear and tear with time, and new plates need to be created anytime there is a change made to a packaging design, leading to more wasted materials. With digital print, files are uploaded to the press and printed, as you would do on your home printer, which eliminates the waste associated with plates. 

Bottom line: No plates means less materials are required, and less waste is produced.

3. Digital Printing Reduces Inventory Waste & Obsolescent Packaging 

With the ability to print to demand, print multiple SKUs in one run, and place low minimum orders, brands can drastically reduce obsolescence (both waste and costs) when compared to conventional printing methods. Never again do you have to throw out packaging and lose money due to a changed recipe, design, certification, or regulation. 

By cutting down on obsolescence, digital printing helps to keep unused plastic packaging out of landfills, and more money in your pocket.

4. Digital Printing & Eco-Friendly Flexible Packaging Materials 

The materials involved in digital print – from the inks to the films – are also sustainable. In addition to our HP digital presses being carbon neutral, they use polymer-based inks, which do not contain any hazardous air pollutants (HAPs). These sustainable inks consume less energy and emit fewer greenhouse gases than solvent-based or UV-curable inks typically used in traditional packaging manufacturing. 

With digital printing, you also have sustainable packaging options, including recyclable PE-PE films, as well as films made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin content. Both types of packaging keep plastic out of landfills, which is a win-win for brands and consumers alike.  

Eco friendly flexible packaging, made of post-consumer recycled materials, from our friends at Hella Nuts.

Digital Printing and Your Brand 

As you can see, digital printing serves your small to medium-sized company so you can align your sustainability goals, without a complete brand overhaul. The fact is, switching to digital printing will save you from wasted resources and time. You’ll also enjoy an easy ordering process, and more money in your business, since less will be tied up in inventory.

Plus, compared to analogue, or conventional printing, digital printing is a far more sustainable option since it uses less energy, produces less waste, and has a smaller carbon footprint overall. When it comes to flexible package creation, the environmentally conscious choice is digital printing.

Want to learn more? Check out HP’s video that explains how digital printing technology can easily help you create a more sustainable product and lower your carbon footprint, while delivering a superior package.

Partnering with a Digitally Printed Flexible Packaging Manufacturer

If you’re curious about what digitally printed custom flexible packaging could do for your brand, our team of flexible packaging experts would love to talk to you. Give us a call or request a free quote to take advantage of our flexible packaging services with all the benefits of digital printing including sustainability, short runs, fast turnaround time, and endless customizable design options. 

ePac Flexible Packaging and RePurpose Technologies Create Disruptive Solution for Plastics Recycling

ePac is excited to announce a new partnership with RePurpose Technologies.  This partnership will allow both companies to help create solutions that ensure plastics are recycled and kept from landfills. ePac and RPT together will create recycling facilities starting in 2021.

“I’m excited to be a part of the team and the collaboration with ePac that allows everyone to take action and be part of the solution” said Claudine Osipow, CEO of RePurpose Technologies. 

Jack Knott, ePac’s CEO added: “The reason we started ePac was to play a small part in rebuilding our communities; our relationship with RPT will allow us to continue in that direction with a reliable, sustainable, and transparent solution”.

Click here to read the full press release.

What You Need to Know About Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Packaging

Both savvy shoppers and consumer packaged goods companies are placing more emphasis on sustainability, reducing waste, and using less energy. As a brand owner, your sustainability goals are more important now than ever, as consumers begin seeking out brands focused on the environment.  

When it comes to packaging, it’s no surprise that brands are looking for eco-friendly packaging. While recyclable or compostable packaging are the two most common types of sustainable packaging, there is a third choice gaining traction on the shelf – post-consumer recycled (PCR) packaging.

What are Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Plastics? 

Post-consumer recycled content, often referred to as PCR, is material that is made from the items that consumers recycle every day, like aluminum, cardboard boxes, paper, and plastic bottles. These materials are typically collected by local recycling programs and shipped to recycling facilities to be sorted into bales, based on the material. The bales are then purchased and melted (or ground) into small pellets and molded into new items. The new PCR plastic material can then be used for a variety of finished products, including packaging.

How is PCR Packaging Different from Recyclable and Compostable Packaging?

Though PCR, recyclable, and compostable packaging are all sustainable packaging options, they each differ in the way that they are processed and what they can offer consumers. 

PCR packaging is manufactured with film that is made from recycled materials. In general, PCR packaging cannot be recycled again since it’s already made from recycled materials. This allows brands to fulfill their sustainability goals, without relying on the consumer to recycle or compost the package after use. 

A package is deemed recyclable when the materials can be processed and used again.  Once the package enters the recycling stream, it is broken down into raw materials and sold to manufacturers. One potential downside of recyclable packaging is that the benefits are dependent on the consumer actually recycling the package, and knowing where to recycle the package.

Lastly, compostable packaging is packaging that breaks down completely in a compost site and leaves no toxic residue. In order for a plastic to be called compostable, it must biodegrade, or break down into carbon dioxide, water, or biomass at the same rate as cellulose (paper).  One potential downside of compostable packaging is that not all consumers have access to industrial composting facilities. 

The Benefits of PCR Packaging 

While all eco-friendly packaging options are a step in the right direction for brands looking to be more sustainable, PCR packaging, in particular, has some benefits that are worth discussing. 

In general, PCR films are a great packaging option for brands looking for eco-friendly flexible packaging, and can be developed into stand up pouches, lay flat pouches, and rollstock. These films can be used in most industries including confection, coffee, baked goods, snacks, pharmaceuticals, herbal remedies, pet treats, and sports nutrition.

PCR packaging also matches the quality of regular flexible packaging. PCR film can offer the same level of protection, barrier performance, and strength as regular plastic film. You can rest assured knowing that PCR film will still block light, oxygen, and other gases from penetrating the package layer and getting into your product. 

Lastly, and quite possibly the most obvious benefit, is that using PCR packaging can help your company reduce its carbon footprint, lessen its impact on landfills, and meet its overall sustainability goals.

The best part? PCR packaging is a great option for brands who want to offer a sustainable solution for consumers, with no requirements or actions needed on the consumer end, unlike recyclable and compostable packaging. 

Finding a PCR Packaging Partner

As you examine your company’s sustainability goals, consider partnering with a PCR packaging manufacturing. At ePac, we offer PCR pouches, rollstock, and lay-flat pouches in varying percentages, for any of your project’s custom flexible packaging needs. Our PCR film is FDA-compliant for direct food contact and can accommodate high-impact, photo-quality graphics. It’s just one of our sustainable flexible packaging services that we deliver for our customers. Ready to get started, or want to learn more? Call us today or request a quote and see how using PCR can help you meet your sustainability goals.