The Association of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) presented four 2011 Sustainability Awards on Sunday, March 20, 2011, at an Awards Banquet during its annual Management Meeting, March 20-23, 2011, at The Boulders Resort, Carefree, Arizona. Winners include Celplast Metallized Products, Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Menges Roller Co., Wauconda, Illinois; Mitsubishi Polyester Film Inc., Greer, South Carolina; and Taghleef Industries LLC, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Now in its third year, the Sustainability Competition recognizes equipment, materials or processes that reduce environmental impact, minimize energy usage or waste, and/or increase recycling. It’s part of a larger awards program that includes Technology of the Year and Vacuum Metallized or Coated Product of the Year competitions.
A flower sleeve made of heat-sealable Nativia™ NZSS biaxially oriented PolyLactic Acid (PLA) film from Taghleef is derived from a renewable source, corn. The compostable material, produced at Taghleef’s facility in San Giorgio Di Nogaro, Italy, not only protects the flowers during transport and handling, but also presents an eye-catching appearance. Compared to petroleum-based polymers, PLA offers a smaller carbon footprint due to the lower energy requirements of the production process and the carbon dioxide absorbed by the corn as it grows.
The crystal clear front and metallized back of the PLA flower sleeve captured the judges’ attention. The panel also liked the renewable source and compostable nature of the film, which can be disposed of with the flowers. The judging panel for the Sustainability Awards Competition included Vince DiTrolio, vice president/owner of DiTrolio Flexographic Institute, Broadview, Illinois; Travis Funk, senior packaging engineer, Diageo, Norwalk, Connecticut; Jeffrey T. Weber, research principal, Kraft Foods, Glenview, Illinois; Stan Kopecky, principal, SJK Packaging Associates, Prospect Heights, Illinois; Pat Reynolds, editor-in-chief, Packaging World magazine, Chicago, Illinois; and Yolanda Simonsis, associate publisher/editor, Paper, Film & Foil Converter magazine, Chicago, Illinois. AIMCAL Awards Committee Chair Steve Sedlak, sales manager for ESK, Ceradyne,Inc., Costa Mesa, California, moderated the judging session.