Finding Silver

Innovations and Beauty Mark Flexible Packaging Competition

Finding Silver

Frozen food packaging has been plagued with poor resealable options, creating food waste for consumers, says an official with Sealstrip Corporation. So, when a packaging client sought a product that would meet its technical specifications while having strong shelf appeal, Sealstrip found a solution. 

“Frozen foods packaging is challenged by freshness preservation, lack of convenience, and differentiation,” says Sarah Moore, a marketing and product development specialist at Sealstrip. “Zipper alternatives are expensive and bulky, utilize more energy, create more post-consumer waste, and are not ultimately more convenient on the films required for freezer products.” 

The company worked with US Waffle™ Company to develop the final Jus-Rol™ Poffitz Club Pack with Sealstrip’s SealAcross® Reseal. That package recently won two silver awards in the 68th Annual Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Competition for 2024 held by the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA). The awards were for expanding the use of flexible packaging and packaging excellence. 

While comparing solutions, a zipper option was considered, but that was not ideal for the production needs. But with the SealAcross® reseal and the patented TamperTear®, Sealstrip could provide the company with rollstock that was ideal for the pace and efficiency of the product launch. “The final package provides necessary brand presence and shelf impact while minimizing food waste through effective reseal,” Moore says about the product marketed at Sam’s Club. 

The package is one of 11 silver award winners announced at FPA’s Welcome & Achievement Awards Dinner held during the March 20–22 Annual Meeting in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to expanding the use of flexible packaging and packaging excellence, silver awards were given out in four other categories: sustainability, technical innovation, printing, and shelf impact. 


Manufactured by Amcor Flexibles, the Amcor HealthCare™ AmSky™ Recycle Ready Blister Packaging System won one of the silver awards in sustainability. AmSky™ replaces both polyvinyl chloride (PVC)-formed blister and aluminum foil-based lidding, providing an alternative that is designed for recyclability, the company says. 

“The pharma industry has been searching for an alternative to PVC for many years,” says Ed Haedt, Amcor director of business development. “In the last decade, leading consumer health brands began to escalate their requirements for a PVC replacement that was also designed to be recyclable. The AmSky™ blister system is Amcor’s innovative solution to our customers’ challenges.” 

Amcor developed it to meet the “designed to be recycled” guidelines provided by organizations such as the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR). It is being promoted globally as a recycle ready blister packaging alternative for prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and nutraceuticals. 

The system was designed to be a drop-in replacement for existing PVC with foil-lidding blister packs. He says the sustainability attributes are as follows: 

  • Elimination of PVC, which is not currently recycled in consumer waste streams; and
  • Reducing the carbon footprint versus traditional PVC/foil based on life cycle analysis modeling.

Amcor estimates as much as a 50% improvement in carbon footprint even if the package is not recycled. AmSky™ has received critical guidance recognition for recycling from APR. 

The system also offers excellent protection against water vapor permeating into the package, which helps to maintain the shelf life of moisture-sensitive medications or nutraceuticals, Haedt says.

Packaging Beauty

Six silver awards were given for packages that demonstrated strong printing and shelf appeal. Among those awards was a shelf impact silver that went to PPC Flex for its Liquid I.V.® Hydration Multiplier® Mocktail Edition, sold at Costco and Amazon, says Simmy Coscia, director of prepress and design at PPC Flex.

The process to get just the right colors for the packaging proved to be challenging, Coscia says.

Steve Cox, senior designer at PPC Flex, says they collaborated closely with the designer for Liquid I.V.® in the prepress stage to get the color accurate before the job was sent to press.

“It took a couple of rounds of printed contract proofs to get the color to their specifications,” he says. “Then, our press team used the approved contract proof to match the color on press while making sure the shared colors matched other Liquid I.V.® bags for consistency.”

Nosco won its silver award for shelf impact for a flexible sachet made for Earth To Malibu, a premium skincare brand whose primary packaging typically is labeled pump bottles and jars. To initiate the project, Earth To Malibu co-founders approached Nosco to develop a lay flat-style pouch that would be used for samples of their product, says Adrian J. Pagan, business development specialist with Nosco.

They had limited experience with flexible packaging and leaned into Nosco’s in-house design team, he says.

After figuring out the optimal dimensions for the sachet, Pagan connected Earth To Malibu officials with Nosco’s designers to help develop the overall look and final artwork for the sachet.

“Our design team worked diligently with Earth To Malibu on design concepts, optimal materials, and laminates to narrow down the best options and truly make the art pop,” he says. “This level of collaboration allowed us to incorporate the look and feel of the brand’s existing labels, which are simple and elegant and really showcase the premium nature of the product.”

Ultimately, the team decided on a rich black sachet with a soft touch laminate. This paired well with the metallic elements of the design, giving the final package the premium look and feel that Earth To Malibu desired, the company says.

“This is an incredible example of Nosco’s full-service packaging development capabilities and services,” Pagan says.

Technical Innovation

PAXXUS, Inc. won a silver award in technical innovation for its StreamTwo® Pouch Recycle Ready All HDPE Packaging. Dhuanne Dodrill, PAXXUS CEO, says the package offers a groundbreaking solution for sustainable medical device packaging, enabling manufacturers to achieve their sustainability goals without compromising on performance or user experience.

“The key challenge in its development was crafting a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) film that seamlessly seals and peels from uncoated Tyvek®—and other HDPE films—while maintaining consistent seal strength across a wide operating window and featuring a bright white tamper-evident seal indicator upon peeling,” Dodrill says.

It is important to note, she adds, that standard HDPE options provide a peelable seal to Tyvek®. “As a result, the density of the sealant side usually needs to be adjusted so that, while the structure may be all polyethylene, it can no longer make the claim of being all HDPE,” she points out, adding that the lower density makes the structure more elastic and, therefore, more difficult to process.

“In fact, traditional methods for making chevron pouches with uncoated Tyvek® require multi-ply laminates with a heat-stable layer—a structure that is not suitable for mechanical recycling and not desirable for advanced recycling,” Dodrill explains. “StreamTwo® resolves these challenges, offering a streamlined and sustainable solution for medical device packaging.”

Customer feedback on the package has been overwhelmingly positive, she says.

“StreamTwo®’s reliability, wide manufacturing window, support of the medical device regulations around the user ability to verify seal integrity, and favorable economics have resonated strongly with industry stakeholders,” Dodrill says. “This feedback underscores its effectiveness in meeting the diverse needs of medical device packaging and the emphasis on the industry’s desire to find sustainable packaging solutions.”

The package is being marketed as a seamless, drop-in replacement solution for medical device manufacturers looking to transition from multi-layer films sealed to either uncoated or coated Tyvek®, she says.

“StreamTwo® offers a hassle-free alternative, allowing companies to maintain product integrity while embracing sustainability without any capital investment or equipment modifications,” Dodrill says. “This material technology resonates strongly with companies looking for sustainable options without a greater financial investment.” 

For More Information

To learn more about the 2024 winners of the FPA competition, click here.

Thomas A. Barstow is senior editor of FlexPack VOICE®