Through the integration of Curwood's patented 7201 series of chunk and sliced cheese horizontal flow wrap film, a reduction of 25 million cubic inches of packaging materials has been recorded by Curwood to date. This reduction was achieved through two ways: taking Curwood’s previous chunk and sliced platform to a new advanced standard and transitioning customers from existing competitive film platforms. Through the use of Curwood’s proprietary coextrusion technology and material engineering, Curwood has achieved increased abuse resistance, barrier properties and the value proposition of chunk and slice cheese packaging. The result is less material used, increasing the product to package ratio.
Curwood’s product development philosophy is routed in providing packaging solutions through technology and material science. This philosophy commonly results in sustainable gains as represented by a multitude of Curwood products.The force behind the engineering of Curwood’s 7201 film series was to increase the abuse resistance related to pack-off and distribution of finished product. Distribution is a highly uncontrollable environment and several factors can influence the action of pinholing and box abrasions related to product pack-off and distribution.
“Our goal was to increase the abuse resistance and improve package integrity through distribution,” says Dave Engen, Curwood’s Market Manager for Cheese. The development resulted in increased abuse resistance by reducing pack-off and shipping related package integrity failures by as much as 400% when compared to competitive offerings.
By the end of 2011, Curwood will have reduced the source of customer chunk and slice packaging by 30 million cubic inches or 814,125 pounds. Since landfill is the primary method of US waste disposal, volume is likely the more important metric. A common comparison is the plastic water bottle. A reduction of 30 million cubic inches of material is approximately equivalent to eliminating 616,331 8oz water bottles from the waste stream. Due to the reduced source and ultimately thinner structure of 7201, 18% more film can fit on a 15” diameter roll. This translates into more film per pallet and more film per truckload. As a result, not only will Curwood have eliminated 30 million cubic inches of input source, it will have eliminated the need for approximately 2,076 virgin hardwood pallets and 79 truckloads. This translates into a reduction of about 15,000 gallons of diesel or 795 barrels of crude (non-renewable resource) along with the elimination of the emissions related to transportation.
“Curwood is currently working on multiple avenues of sustainability to improve the net impact packaging has on our environment, resources and our society. As opinions regarding sustainable product claims, avenues and initiatives continue to evolve, Curwood believes that the clearest form of product sustainability at this juncture is source reduction without sacrificing any product performance attribute or increasing our customer’s total cost,” stated Jill Hanegraaf, Curwood Market Manager.