Addressing Package Stability Concerns for Sustainable Film Initiatives

Emily Brogan
Fri, Mar 5, 2021

Sustainable Packaging Options for Stand Up Pouch Bag Styles Available on Rovema VFFS MachinesThat inner swell of pride you get when you pass by your own products in the market is very familiar to me. My dad has worked for the same CPG company for over 30 years and as far back as I can remember, we'd walk down the grocery store aisle and he'd point out what packages we needed to straighten up, which of their products were new and tell me stories of his time as the distributor, before he finished college and traded his box truck for an office. 

I feel that same pride today when I see our own customers' products in the market and now I get to walk him to other parts of the same grocery store when visiting home. 

Brand owners, operations engineers, and their vendor partners beam with pride when see their products stand out in the market- and more importantly, so do consumers. The shelf presence of your products matters, even if it's subliminally when they are making quick decisions while shopping.

But here's a reality that many food producers are facing:

Big retailers and their customers are prioritizing sustainability and demanding that their vendors do the same. And many have put deadlines behind those demands.

A lot of folks immediately see recyclability as their singular solution but if you're packing product into any type of pouch today and your product requires some barrier properties of your film to stay fresh, you're probably using a premium multilayer film made of different materials like PE, aluminum, an inside sealant layer, etc.

The intricate mix of materials along with the current recycling capabilities boil down to a simple fact: the packaging for your product isn't recyclable- yet. This is the status quo here in the U.S. for many industries- coffee, potato chips, even your pet's food. 

The most sustainable goal you can have for your products is to keep it as fresh for as long as possible so that it ultimately gets consumed. 

Step One: Package Material Reduction

The economic accessibility of fully recyclable films with these same barrier properties is improving but in the meantime, many producers have another option- material reduction. 

Here's a new resource on how to audit your package for material reduction opportunities.

One of the largest opportunities for material reduction is using a thinner film but some producers that are running simpler packages are faced with a unique challenge: stability.

Maintaining Package Stand-Up Ability with Thinner Films

Shelf presence and package "stand up ability" is a big deal, and as films get thinner and the procurement and finance folks call for more cost savings, what options do  you have to maintain a dynamic shelf presence?

The solution: Being strategic and innovative with bag styles.

There are many bag styles that are specifically engineered, not just to stand out in the market, but that add structural stability to the package, even with the thinnest of films. 

Here are a few examples:

RoPack VFFS Machine Made Doy BagRoPack®

The RoPack® package is ROVEMA's trademarked version of a doy style pouch made on a VFFS machine. The seals that support the bottom of the package allow for excellent shelf presence and stand up ability and are a great fit for snack foods, powders and confectionery products and was recently recognized by one of our customers for it's innovative design

Stabilo Quad Seal Bag Typically Used for CoffeeStabilo®

A patented process by ROVEMA, the Stabilo® package takes a standard block bottom bag design but adds quad vertical seals to the corners to give excellent shelf stability as well. This is commonly seen in the coffee aisle and for snack foods as well in larger sizes. 

Flexcan VFFS Machine Bag Style Flexible Replacement for Canned Snack PackagingFlexCan

This package is formed using the same process as the Stabilo® bag and was invented to serve as a flexible alternative to cans, jars or other rigid packaging typically used for snack foods. Much like the RoPack®, the stability seals along the bottom of the package allow for a completely level and supported foundation.  

All of these package types use narrow vertical seals (in addition to where the package is actually sealed) that have been great solutions for many of our customers that have converted to lower gauge films. 

To learn more about different bag styles, their advances and considerations, you can check out our newest guide on current bag style capabilities, their unique advantages and considerations and the market trends driving today's innovations.

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