We all have heard of sustainable packaging, two words that don’t always seem to belong together. How can packaging, a process involving many materials including plastic, glass, steel, aluminum, paper and paperboard, wood, and foam… be sustainable?
Here at Millennium we’ve always focused on the principles of sustainability as part of our business strategy. As a packaging distributor, we are making commitments to improve the sustainability of our packaging design, and ultimately reduce packaging waste.
How to reduce packaging waste
Sustainability doesn’t solely come from recycling but can come from different places. At Millennium, we are continually striving to find new ways to reduce packaging waste. What we have found the most effective is reducing the amount of material per package. Easier said than done right? Not quite.
To answer the question of “how do we do that”, we have to talk about the Cryovac CT-300 Series shrink film. Millennium has been the authorized distributor of Sealed Air for the last 16 years. Years prior Sealed Air launched the new patented Cryovac shrink film, which is based on their microlayer technology.
If you’re not familiar with this new technology or are simply interested in understanding how it works, here’s a brief explanation. This type of shrink film incorporates 29 micro-layers of film, different from the typical polyolefin shrink films, usually of up to 5 layers: an outer layer on each side and 3 core layers. Sealed Air focused on the 3 core layers alone and spliced each of them into 9 individual micro layers, for a total of 27. The 2 outer layers were left untouched. The secret of the new Cryovac shrink film is in that patented manufacturing process.
Why is Cryovac film different?
The Cryovac CT-300 series shrink film is a new ultra-thin high efficiency shrink film, which has shown to perform just as well, if not better, than thicker shrink films. So, this is the big difference. This polyolefin shrink film is thinner. From this exceptional feature and the innovative engineering of the Cryovac shrink film come a series of benefits.
This Cryovac shrink film allows you to get improved seal strength, greater durability, longer rolls as well as significant weight reduction in the film used. This new cross-linked polyolefin film has also proven to be highly tear resistant and to have higher shrink energy. This means it requires less heat in the shrinking process. The temperature will of course depend on which gauge of shrink film you choose to employ.
It is also easier to use compared to thicker shrink films. Because of its extreme tensile and seal strength, this type of polyolefin shrink film is adaptable to a broad range of applications in the market. It can shrink wrap anything from light weight (toys and games) to large heavy products (houseware and hardware items), almost with no changes in the settings of the machine. The Cryovac shrink film is available in six options: 30, 42, 55, 70, 90 and 150 gauge.
The Cryovac shrink film has exceptional retail-ready optics. The unique composition of this film shows superb clarity, which allows the product to maintain that just-packaged appearance, starting from the logistical cycle all the way to the consumer purchase. The outstanding strength and resistance also allow you to obtain enhanced product protection and pack integrity.
How is the Cryovac shrink film more sustainable?
Keeping in mind all the benefits we listed before, it shouldn’t be too hard understanding why this shrink film plays a great role in sustainability.
First of all, the longer rolls increase packaging line efficiency. This means two things: you will use less material, including cores, cartons and pallets, and you will be able to spend less time changing rolls. The fewer changeovers also allow you to increase productivity, because you can handle more packages per hour. The Cryovac film has lower transportation costs per packaging unit, because it can accommodate 30% more film in the same space with no increase in weight. This is not only beneficial to the bottom line, but also to the environment. Less material means lower carbon footprint. With the use of the ultra-thin Cryovac Shrink Film, Millennium can reduce the amount of material per package by 30 to 50%.
The new Sealed Air CT-300 series technology can decrease the packaging waste not only on the package itself, but also in the operation as a whole. Let’s consider transportation. A product damaged in transit can be very harmful to the environment: the package would have to be sent all the way back to the supplier so it can be repaired. Because the Cryovac shrink film is stronger and more resistant, you will reduce the risk that the package gets damaged while it is transported, once again reducing carbon footprint.
As we explained earlier, thinner films also typically require a lower temperature in the shrink tunnel and sealing process, translating to lower electricity consumption.
Hold on: it is also recyclable!
I’m sure you remember those classes at school when they taught you the 3R’s to sustainability: reduce, reuse and recycle. Here at Millennium, we have found immense benefits from reducing the amount of material per package thanks for the CT-300 series technology. But this Cryovac shrink film has one more benefit up its sleeve. It is recyclable.
This shrink film meets the requirements for the SPI recycle code “4” and it can be introduced in the LDPE (Low-Density Polyethylene) recycle stream. Because recycling isn’t always the easiest process, Sealed Air has partnered with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the how2recycle program. You will be able to find the closest drop off place by using the collection points located nationwide.
What more can you ask for?
If you stuck with me all the way to the end, you know by now that the Cryovac CT-300 series shrink film by Sealed Air offers some exceptional and unique features that will allow you increase your sustainable efforts, as well as reduce productivity costs. So, if you’re interested in discovering more about this product, please contact our team of experts at (847) 717-3300 or send us a message.