June 15, 2016

First-of-its-Kind RecycleReady™ Technology Helps Create Recyclable Flexible Stand-Up Pouches Consumers Demand; Can Incorporate Barrier Film Technology

MIDLAND, Mich.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW) is introducing a new member of the recently launched RecycleReady™ Technology, which enables the recyclability of polyethylene-based barrier packaging as part of existing grocery store drop-off recycling programs.

Created through collaboration with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and other industry members, Dow’s RecycleReady™ Technology helps converters create barrier pouches that answer consumer demand for more recyclable packaging options. The new advanced barrier RecycleReady Technology is a major advancement that enables the recycling of packaging for products like granola and nuts, which was not possible before in flexible packaging.

“Working together with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and our value chain collaborators was crucial to achieving our breakthrough RecycleReady Technology, which incorporates RETAIN™ polymer modifiers, a key enabler for the recyclability of the packages,” said Stacy Fields, North America director, Packaging Solutions for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics.

The stand-up pouch made with RETAIN™ polymer modifiers is the first package of its kind with barrier film that can be recycled in a polyethylene recycling stream. When combined with other polyethylene resins, the RETAIN™ compatibilizer offers a recyclable solution with enhanced barrier characteristics.

Before this innovation, flexible barrier packaging posed unique recycling challenges due to the variety of materials generally used as part of its makeup.

With the introduction of RecycleReady™ Technology, converters will now have the ability to produce recyclable packaging with ingredients that ensure barrier protection, along with stiffness, toughness and sealability of the package. These recyclable flexible pouches incorporate multiple layers, but use only polyethylene as the basic raw material.

RecycleReady™ Technology in North America has been approved by the SPC’s How2Recycle program to use the Store Drop-Off label. Plastic film, wrap, and bags carrying the Store Drop-Off label can be recycled at participating local retail and grocery stores.

“This technology is a breakthrough in packaging design for recyclability. It possesses the properties of a multi-layer pouch, but behaves like a pure polyethylene bag in the recycling stream. We are very excited,” said Kelly Cramer, Sustainable Packaging Coalition project manager.

The technology aims to divert packaging waste from landfill or incineration, increase post-consumer recycling yields and aid the creation of a circular economy for plastics packaging.

“RecycleReady Technology is a great example of how we can bring breakthrough chemistry and process technology together to meet the needs of converters, brand owners, retailers and consumers,” said Fields. “We’ll advance RecycleReady Technology capabilities through continued collaboration.”

In 2015, collaboration between Dow, the SPC and packaging converter Accredo Packaging produced the Seventh Generation brand’s first recyclable Dishwasher Pods packaging. The innovation was developed in response to customer comments that the product’s previous packaging was not recyclable.

“We are thrilled to be able offer this breakthrough barrier technology to our customers,” said Fields. “This has never been done before, and it will provide new options for brand owners and retailers to offer recyclable packaging for many products that consumers enjoy.”

Dow has a long track record of innovative technologies that help customers develop more sustainable, higher performing packaging that consistently exceeds expectations. As a founding member of the SPC, Dow is committed to sustainable innovation to meet consumer demand for more recyclable options. For more information, visit

Plastics Technology

There are three things constant in the world: death, taxes and the…stand-up pouch. The stand-up pouch continues to grow in popularity showcasing that it does not yet have an expiration date, but it’s not all good news—issues with recyclability have been a consistent challenge.

Hoping to jump-start a new trend in the pouch market is Dow Chemical Co., Midland, Mich., which has created a fully recyclable stand-up pouch. I recently talked with reps from Dow, as well as the brand Seventh Generation, Burlington, VT, and the converter Accredo Packaging, Sugar Land TX, on Seventh Generation’s first recyclable Dishwasher Pods packaging.

Derrick Lawrence, director of packaging development for Seventh Generation, said that the brand uses the pouch packaging format for its various products, but an issue is that the pouches are not recyclable. Consumers took note of this and asked the company to provide a recycling option.

Dow developed the resins for the recyclable polyethylene stand-up pouch. Stacy Fields, North American director of packaging solutions for Dow, said that the final package is still a multi-layer structure, but it’s all in the PE family. The result is a 100% recyclable package.

Lawrence said there was a “tremendous” amount of work done to to optimize the material to get it to a point where most consumers wouldn’t know the difference between the old pack structure and the new one. For instance, as PE structures are typically cloudier than PET, it was important to have clarity in the material.
The new packaging features SPC’s How2Recycle label, which encourages consumers to take flexible plastic bags, films and wraps to local grocery or retail stores for recycling. The pouches can be recycled at more than 18,000 store drop-off locations throughout North America, which is definitely positive news on the recycling front for pouches.
Seventh Generation Recycle Ready Stand-Up Pouch 72 dpi_0
“It’s great getting the recyclable portion out there and consumers want to participate, but the challenge is they don’t understand what can be recycled,” Lawrence said. “The How2Recycle label makes it very clear. With the same pack being launched in this recyclable structure with the How2Reccycle label…that’s huge. What in the past went to the landfill is now going to be recycled.”

“When you add in the growth of the pouch market, as well as the growth of pouches with multiple materials, it is going to result in more plastic packaging in the landfill if something doesn’t change,” said Malcolm Cohn, director of sustainability, Accredo Packaging. “We believe the all-PE stand-up is an industry changer.”

Flexible Packaging
Accredo Packaging sustainable packaging solutions

With a mission to manufacture and supply sustainable flexible packaging for the pre-packaged food and consumer products markets, Sugar Land, Texas-based Accredo Packaging is no stranger to viable, eco-friendly practices.

Since opening six years ago, Accredo has established itself as the largest purchaser of 100 percent wind generated energy in the U.S. flexible packaging market, the first company in the U.S. to extrude resin from renewable resources and the only flexible packaging company believed to be certified to LEED Silver certification standards.

Plus, as a vertically integrated company that supplies throughout North and Central America, Accredo is responsible for extruding and printing, laminating, pouch making, roll stocks, etc. all within its own facilities.

“We really are proud to be a newcomer on the block in this very competitive market against the companies that have been around for all these years,” says Malcom Cohn, director of sustainability at Accredo. “To break through to the customers has been difficult, and we believe that what has been able to get us across to these major brand owners is our sustainability story. Because of our belief in sustainability, and the way that the market is going for sustainability, it has opened up companies to meet with us and discuss these alternatives.”

The owners of Accredo came to the United States with a church group in 1975 after the Fall of Saigon, and they worked four jobs a day to provide for their families and fund their education, Cohn says. When plastic grocery bags began reaching new levels of popularity, they had an opportunity to build a factory in New Orleans to manufacture them.

However, anticipating that the market for grocery bags was likely to plateau, the owners eventually decided to also focus their efforts towards high-barrier flexible packaging.

“In a short span of time we have grown (from) no customers to a multi-million dollar company and (are) continuing to grow,” Cohn says. “We’ve made great strides, but there’s still a long way to go.”

The company offers four different sustainable product options: conventional, compostable renewable and recyclable. Most recently, Accredo partnered with Dow to create an all-PE recyclable standup pouch made from certified compostable components.

To create its products, the company uses 9-layer blown film lines with 3-layer and 5-layer extrusion capabilities, a stable of 10-color 67-inch-wide-web press, expanded color gamut process printing, an ink delivery system that facilitates up to 40 percent more productivity and more.

The Climate Change Conference and Sustainable Innovation Forum held last December in Paris drew government leaders, CEOs and senior executives, financiers and investors, and associations and industry experts from all over the world. For Accredo, which has already made sustainability a crucial part of its mission, these events and recent spotlight on sustainability puts the company in a position to continue to do what it does best: eco-friendly packaging solutions.

“You’ve got 130 countries or so participating in this climate change conference in Paris, and how we as a company participate in this program is we are able, through our offerings and our sustainable packaging product options, to offer packaging that takes into consideration the lowering of our (environmental) footprint,” Cohn says.

Moving forward, Accredo plans on expanding its offerings as well as its capabilities.

“(Accredo) was built with expansion in mind,” Cohn says. “Six years ago we started with two pieces of each equipment but now our factory is full. We’ve added extruders, printing presses and new pouch machines, and we are now at the point of actually planning and discussing our next production facility in the United States within two years. I think this has been as a result of our owners and the management and employees of our company being committed to achieving success within our mission.”

Packaging Digest

Seventh Generation Pouches, Recyclable PESeventh Generation is committed to achieving zero waste by 2020, and sustainable packaging is a key element in its strategy. Most recently, the company switched to a packaging design for dishwasher-detergent pods that offers all the functionality of conventional flexible packaging—and is also 100% recyclable.

The new package for Seventh Generation Natural Dishwasher Detergent Packs is a resealable stand-up pouch made entirely from polyethylene. Accredo Packaging Inc. makes the pouches using existing pouch-making equipment and decorates them using reverse-print flexography. Resin and the RecycleReady Technology for the packaging was developed by Dow Chemical Co.

The film for the pouches comprises “multiple layers of polyethylene,” explains Stacy Fields, North American director for packaging solutions at Dow. “There’s a combination of high-density, low-density or linear low.”

By combining HDPE, LDPE or LLDPE in the package structure, Seventh Generation Inc. and its partners achieved the sealability, toughness, stiffness and aesthetics required for the pouch—plus recyclability.

The back of each pouch is printed with the How2Recycle Store Drop-off label from GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC). This graphic explains to consumers that clean, dry pouches can be recycled at plastic-bag and -film drop-off locations at supermarkets and other retail stores.

The recyclable pouch, now in national distribution, launched in September 2015 in a 20-count format. A 45-count pouch is rolling out currently.

“Before we launched this pack, about 8% of our consumer complaints were around non-recyclability of the pack, so this addresses a good portion of our consumer complaints” about the product, says Derrick Lawrence, director of packaging development for Seventh Generation. He adds that the old package “was a PET/LLDPE adhesive laminate structure, a more typical stand-up pouch structure.”

Malcolm Cohn, director of sustainability at Accredo, explains, “The significance of that is a polyester/polyethylene lamination, as a co-mingled structure, or a multimaterial structure, cannot be recycled. It has to go to landfill.” In contrast, “the new structures used by Seventh Generation can be recycled through store drop-off.”

And yet, seen from the front, the old and new pouches look nearly identical. Polyethylene is ordinarily hazier than polyester, which could have affected the transparency of the pouch’s window and dulled its print finish.

To overcome that challenge, “Accredo did a lot of work with Dow to get the resin mix right—to get it as bright and shiny as possible so it would be less noticeable to the consumer that we made a change,” Lawrence says.

The next phase of the project, a redesign of the pouch’s graphics, is expected to roll out in March. When that happens, Seventh Generation will add educational information to its website to get consumers up to speed on the pouch’s recyclability. SPC is expected to add consumer-facing info about the package to its site, as well.

Seventh Generation had previously communicated to its consumers the various sustainability benefits of stand-up pouches. But until now, the company could not tout the package’s recyclability. “We spent lots of time educating consumers on why we were in that pack,” Lawrence says. The addition of recyclability “helps us button up the story on the end of life for that pack, as well.”

Packaging World

The new pouch is a multilayer PE structure that provides functional and aesthetic advantages comparable to a mixed-material structure, but solves the recycling challenge.

Plant-based household cleaning products company Seventh Generation of Burlington, VT, has a notable track record for innovation around eco-friendly packaging. In 2010, the company launched a high-density polyethylene bottle for its dish liquid and fabric softener products that featured 96% post-consumer recycled content—a quantum leap over the 25% recycled content typically found in plastic packaging at the time. In 2011, it became the first commercial user of a fully recyclable paper-based bottle for its concentrated liquid laundry detergent. And in late 2015, it began using a 100-oz HDPE laundry detergent bottle that replaces the 20% virgin petroleum-based plastic needed for strength with a plastic resin made from sugarcane.

Today, almost 100% of its HDPE bottles are made entirely from recycled content; all of its PET bottles are 100% rPET; and work is being done to increase the PCR content of its polypropylene caps as well.

These developments have all served to help Seventh Generation move closer to its 2020 sustainability goals around packaging, which include replacing all virgin petroleum-based plastics with recycled or bio-based materials, and making all of its packaging recyclable.

Until recently one packaging format that proved especially challenging from a recycling standpoint was the stand-up pouch used for the company’s Dishwasher Detergent Packs. Made from a mixed-material film laminate, the pouch could not be recycled, meaning 100% of the packages ended up in landfill. But through a partnership with The Dow Chemical Co., Accredo Packaging, Inc., and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Seventh Generation launched into retail a multilayer all-polyethylene SUP in Q4-2015 that is 100% recyclable.

“Our goal was to produce a recyclable package for our dishwasher pods, without sacrificing performance or aesthetics,” says Derrick Lawrence, Director of Packaging Development for Seventh Generation. “Our customers were asking for a more recyclable option, and our collaboration with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Dow, and Accredo Packaging turned that demand into a reality.”

Three companies, one common goal

According to Lawrence, Seventh Generation began its pursuit of a recyclable package for its dishwasher pods in earnest in 2012. While he says that the company “kicked the tires” on options such as recyclable polypropylene tubs, it found the format involved a lot of unnecessary plastic.

“It would have been hard for us to justify going from a stand-up pouch, even though it was not recyclable, to something that used a lot more plastic,” he says. “We like the advantages of the stand-up pouch. It offers a number of environmental and consumer benefits: It ships flat, it is very light, it is resealable, and it is a category-accepted format.”

The existing detergent pouch was constructed of (from the outside) PET/ink/adhesive/linear low-density PE. The reverse-printed PET allowed for a high-gloss finish and protected the print from scuffing—an important factor in ensuring a high-quality look for the premium product. The pouch also provided the moisture barrier needed to guarantee that the dissolvable film covering the pods would not degrade and lead to clumping of the detergent.

In 2013, Seventh Generation met with Dow’s Packaging & Specialty Plastics Group at an SPC conference where it learned about the resin supplier’s RecycleReady™ technology. Explains Dow’s North American Director of Packaging Solutions, Stacy Fields, the RecycleReady concept involves using either all-PE structures or PE plus specialty compatibilizers with non-PE materials that allow the pouches to be incorporated into recycling streams designed for PE recovery.

Dow’s development partner at the time was Accredo, a film converter that had been researching potential recyclable materials that could replace PET as the outer web of a two-ply film structure. “It was a natural fit,” says Accredo Director of Sustainability Malcolm Cohn.

Significant technical challenges

For Dow and Accredo, many technical hurdles had to be overcome to successfully develop a recyclable multilayer PE film that could replace one made from mixed materials. Among them, according to Cohn, were creating a pouch structure that could be manufactured without compromising machine speeds or increasing waste; would have the necessary gloss, rigidity, scuff-resistance, tensile strength, and barrier properties; and would provide end-user filling and packaging machinability.

One of Seventh Generation’s main concerns was the appearance of the pouch. “From a brand owner perspective, the biggest challenge was achieving a gloss level that was comparable to the existing pouch and having a robust printed surface,” explains Lawrence. “Previous solutions we had tried were surface-printed on the outer layer and would scuff significantly during distribution testing. When we would laminate an outer layer, traditional PE films would not provide the clarity were looking for.”

While specific details of the technology are proprietary, the combination of Dow’s resin expertise and Accredo’s manufacturing technology resulted in a structure made from PE/ink/solventless adhesive/PE that provides all the required functional and aesthetic properties while being recyclable. Though the structure sounds simple, Cohn says it is not as basic as it sounds. “A huge amount of technology has gone into the coextrusions of the various layers of the respective webs,” he explains.

The AccredoFlex® RP™ (Recyclable Pouch) for Seventh Generation’s Dishwash Detergent Packs comes in two sizes—a 20-ct and a 45-ct—for two fragrance varieties, Free & Clear and Lemon. The pouch features a press-to-close PE flange zipper and is reverse-printed using expanded-gamut process printing. A clear window on the front panel of the package gives the consumer a clear view of the chlorine-free, biodegradable detergent pods inside. The graphics for the pouch were not changed.

According to Lawrence, the pouch provided a “like-to-like transition.” It passed all distribution testing and stability requirements, and its cost is at parity with that of the previous pack. “There are only two things we’ve had to deal with,” he says. “The film is a little hazier than PET, so the pouch is slightly less translucent on the outside. But unless we put the two pouches side by side in front of consumers, I don’t think they would even know we made the change, which is what we were going for.

“The other thing is the opening of the pouch. With the PET package, consumers could tear the pouch open. With the new structure, we have a scissors icon to instruct consumers to cut the pouch open, which isn’t ideal, but we’re working to improve that over time.”

Significant recycling potential

While consumers may not recognize a change in the structure of the package, Seventh Generation hopes they will notice the change in the SPC How2Recycle Label on the back of the pouch. The How2Recycle Label is a standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public. Seventh Generation was an early adopter of the label in 2012, and now uses it on almost 100% of its packaging.

The company’s previous detergent pod packaging used a “Not Recycled” icon. The new all-PE SUP uses the “Store Drop-Off” icon, which encourages consumers to take flexible PE bags, films, and wraps to local grocery or retail stores for recycling. The pouches can be recycled at more than 18,000 store drop-off locations throughout North America.

According to Lawrence, in a perfect world, if 100% of Seventh Generation’s new pouches were recycled, it would result in 20 tons of material per year being diverted from landfill. But it’s not a perfect world where recycling rates are concerned. “So the question then becomes, what would we expect from our consumers?” Lawrence posits.

“We have some data not specifically around flexibles, but around other packaging types, that indicate our consumers tend to be more attuned to recycling, usually anywhere from 10-percent to 20-percent higher,” he says. “The nice part about recycling of PE flexibles is it’s one of the most widely available programs. One national study found that 91 percent of the U.S. population has access to plastic bag recycling within 10 miles, and 72 percent has access to plastic film recycling within 10 miles.”

Further progress on 2020 goal

Seventh Generation launched the 20-ct pack in August 2015; at presstime the 45-ct was scheduled to roll out in early 2016. Lawrence says the consumer response to the change has been minimal. “This is good from our standpoint—we haven’t received any negative feedback on the new pouch, which is what we were going for,” he says. “In the next couple of weeks, I’ll get a read on consumer complaints, but I expect they will have gone down.” (The non-recyclability of the previous detergent pouch generated 8% of consumer complaints around the product.)

In its 2014 Corporate Consciousness Report, Seventh Generation reported that 69% of its products and packaging were biodegradable or recyclable. With the introduction of the AccredoFlex PR pouch, Seventh Generation will no doubt be able to move that needle closer to its 2020 goal.

Recycling Today

Dow, GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Accredo Packaging join forces to create recyclable dishwasher pods packaging for Seventh Generation.

Midland, Michigan-based Dow Chemical Co.’s Packaging and Specialty Plastics business has collaborated with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and Accredo Packaging, Sugar Land, Texas, to produce Seventh Generation’s first recyclable dishwasher pods packaging. The new packaging features SPC’s How2Recycle Label, which is a project of Charlottesville, Virginia-based GreenBlue’s SPC that was developed to provide clear and concise on-package recyclability information and to keep recoverable materials out of landfills. The brand joins more than 40 How2Recycle member companies using the label on packaging.

Dow says it developed the resins for the recyclable polyethylene (PE) stand-up pouch to help ensure the package’s stiffness, toughness and sealability. Accredo Packaging converts these materials into pouches.

“Our goal was to produce a recyclable package for our dishwasher pods, without sacrificing performance or aesthetics,” says Derrick Lawrence, director of packaging development, Seventh Generation, based in Burlington, Vermont. “Our customers were asking for a more recyclable option, and our collaboration with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Dow and Accredo Packaging turned that demand into a reality.”

Seventh Generation’s new dishwasher pods packaging carries the How2Recycle “Store Drop-Off” label, which encourages consumers to take flexible plastic bags, films and wraps to local grocery or retail stores for recycling. The pouches can be recycled at more than 18,000 store drop-off locations throughout North America.

As a founding member of the SPC, Dow says it focuses on collaborating throughout the value chain to create more sustainable packaging and improve consumer knowledge and adoption of recycling streams.

“We are excited about our work with the SPC on the How2Recycle Label program because it enables us to communicate and educate the consumer about the pouches’ recyclability. This kind of collaboration is important to achieve the environmental vision for packaging that we all share,” says Greg Jozwiak, North America commercial vice president for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics.

Rex Varn, executive vice president of Accredo Packaging Inc., says, “Accredo Packaging’s new innovative 100-percent-recyclable stand-up pouch offers CPG [consumer packaged goods] brand-owners a more sustainable proposition of recyclability.”

Seventh Generation is a leading brand of household and personal care products that help protect human health and the environment. Established in 1988, the company says it remains an independent, privately held company distributing products to natural food stores, supermarkets, mass merchants and online.

LEED Silver certified Accredo Packaging Inc. is a fully integrated converting company producing flexible packaging with an emphasis on sustainability, primarily targeting the consumer packaged goods markets in North America. A Certified Minority Business Enterprise, Accredo uses electricity generated via wind power. The company says it attributes its growing success to investment in leading-edge technologies, including state-of-the-art extrusion, bag making and printing processes in terms of reduced environmental impact, high quality and world-class productivity.

Cheese Market News

Accredo Packaging Inc., Sugarland, Texas, is one the companies that has taken steps to implement sustainable measures throughout the life cycle of its products. The producer of conventional, compostable and renewable sustainable flexible packaging says it has integrated sustainability measures throughout its manufacturing process that allows it to produce its AccredoFlex barrier films (which are suited for cheese applications) in a more sustainable process.

The benefits are twofold, since the packaging also tackles sustainability by eliminating food waste, the company says. “With improvements in packaging, there often are opportunities to provide ample product protection during shipping with down gauged material, reduce the amount of water and energy required to manufacture, ship and store products or remove secondary packaging,” says Chris Cometa, vice president of technology, Accredo. “The technology we use supports efficient production while ensuring that we produce exceptional quality products.”

Accredo utilizes 100 percent wind-generated electrical power and says its goals are to lower the environmental impact of flexible packaging and extruded fi lm production while producing competitively priced offerings.


In order to further its social and environmental commitment, Wholesome Sweeteners is consistently searching for new ways to reduce its carbon footprint. As a result, Wholesome Sweeteners has partnered with Accredo Packaging, Inc. to supply the sweetener company with its existing packaging requirements, as well as to develop new, innovative, alternative sustainable materials.

Wholesome Sweeteners chose to collaborate with Accredo because of the high-quality, sustainable packaging products it offers. These products, offered at a competitive pricing, helps the company embrace more environmentally responsible solutions that will benefit the bottom line.

“Accredo is a great match with our corporate values,” says Marjorie Duyongco, Director of Product Development & Packaging for Wholesome Sweeteners. “Since the business landscape continually changes, we are always seeking to partner with suppliers and vendors that offer more environmentally responsible alternatives and innovations. Therefore, we are very excited to work with Accredo on exploring sustainable packaging solutions utilizing renewable and recyclable materials.”

Also based in Sugar Land, Texas, Accredo is believed to be the first high-barrier, flexible package manufacturing facility in the U.S. granted LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. According to Malcolm Cohn, Director of Sustainability for Accredo, Silver certification is the highest level that a manufacturing company can receive and it is very difficult to achieve.

Commissioned in 2009, Accredo’s facility is a 200,000-sq-ft, state-of-the-art flexible packaging converting plant, which uses 100 percent wind-generated electrical power as well as processes designed to eliminate waste and minimize carbon emissions during the production process. Building materials were sourced locally, and recycled materials were used whenever possible. As a result, everything produced at the facility has a greatly reduced carbon footprint, even when manufactured to the same specifications as at conventional plants.

Cohn points out that Accredo runs exclusively expanded color gamut process printing. The proprietary ink delivery system supplies ink directly to the ten-color, 2,000 feet-per-minute printing presses, which reduces ink consumption by up to 35 percent and ink waste by up to 95 percent. Similarly, solvent usage is also significantly reduced. Because of this technology, Accredo is able to produce even conventional packaging material in a much more sustainable way than other suppliers.

As mentioned, Wholesome Sweeteners chose Accredo for their packaging needs because it is, and remains, one of the only LEED® silver certified flexible packaging manufacturers in North America. The fact that Accredo’s factory is located less than two miles from Wholesome Sweeteners corporate office is an amazing coincidence. Beforehand, Duyongco had to travel to other cities to conduct press checks on packaging. This was not only time consuming and costly, but did not help in reducing the company’s carbon footprint.

Duyongco is quick to praise the packaging company. She states that the print quality is phenomenal, the material is of the highest quality and the customer service is excellent. She adds that Accredo was the first company to introduce the first-of-its-kind zippered standup pouch made from certified compostable components.

It was Carl Moccia, National Account Manager for Accredo, who first approached Duyongco at a trade show approximately three years ago. The facility was still in the planning stages and Duyongco admits that she was skeptical because it sounded too good to be true. “I told Carl that I would believe it when I saw it,” she recalls. Once the facility was completed and she saw firsthand their capabilities, there was no question whether to use Accredo.

Duyongco notes that she had previously worked with various other packaging suppliers but jumped at the opportunity to join forces with Accredo because they provided the ability to develop and test new sustainable packaging solutions. She explains how she has been working on a concept for new packaging material for six years and had many other suppliers approach her with ideas on how to tackle the problem, but never offered any tangible sample that she could test.

That has now changed. Working together, Wholesome Sweeteners and Accredo are now at the forefront of experimenting with biopolymer and renewable packaging material, and are currently working on developing a viable biofilm for a standup, zipper pouch. Duyongco explains it is critical that the biofilm has the right properties to preserve the sweetener throughout the supply chain cycle. The biofilm structure is currently undergoing shelf-life evaluation.

Although Accredo only began formal operations less than three years ago, the facility has grown significantly due to increased production, requiring new equipment and employees. Cohn reveals that later this year the company will begin building a new plant adjacent to the existing one, which is scheduled for completion next year.

“Our collaboration with Accredo helps with our branding because we are working with a supplier that shares our same environmental philosophy, which is not only important to us but important to our customers, says Duyongco.”

Eye on Sustainability
Flexible packaging converter, Accredo Packaging, Inc. has been up and running for just over a year, but is already an industry leader recognized for its comprehensive focus on sustainability. The 200,000 sq ft., state-of-the-art Sugar Land, TX plant was designed and built to meet LEED® Silver certification standards, and utilizes 100% wind-generated electrical power, with a focus on eliminating waste while minimizing its carbon footprint.

Accredo Executive Vice President, Rex Varn, says their commitment to producing sustainable flexible packaging solutions, primarily targeting the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) segment, is supported by a sizable R&D budget. Adds Malcolm Cohn, Director of Sustainability, “we’re researching compostable and recyclable solutions, but we also want to find new ways to produce conventional polymeric packaging in a more sustainable way. Reducing waste, using less resources and increasing productivity equates to better sustainability.”

Some of the company’s biggest breakthroughs to date are in the area of stand-up and flat bottom pouches, as well as wicketed bags. Accredo was the first to produce a zippered stand-up pouch made entirely from certified compostable components, providing a major area of growth for Accredo. Utilizing the most efficient machinery is part of Accredo’s equation for sustainability. The facility houses 3-layer and 9-layer VAREX blown film lines as well as 10-color NOVOFLEX presses from W&H, with more equipment scheduled for installation.

imageThe Organic Trade Association is the membership-based business association for the organic industry whose mission is to promote and protect organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public, and the economy. OTA envisions organic products becoming a significant part of everyday life, enhancing people’s lives and the environment.

Says Malcolm Cohn, Director of Sustainability, “From a holistic point of view, it makes sense if you have an organic or natural product to be packaged, to align the product with the package made in a ‘sustainable’ way, whether that be from packaging made from renewable resources, or from production processes that facilitate minimal impact of carbon emissions by using renewable energy. Accredo Packaging is built on the premise of sustainability and we associate ourselves with the OTA’s Mission, Vision and Core Values.”