Plastics Technology

SEP 2018

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we'll work with them to develop a lower-cost or more sustainable option. Our sustainability story is a very strong point of differen- tiation between us and our competitors." THE SUSTAINBILITY STORY Accredo demonstrates its commitment to green in several ways, says Cohn. "We've integrated sustainability into every aspect of Accredo's business model," he says. "As one of our core values, sustainability is critical in the products we create, their impact upon the environment, our worker-safety initiatives and our environmental policies." Accredo utilizes 100% wind-generated electrical power and is said to be the first flexible packaging plant in the U.S. to be granted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification under the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) rating system. LEED promotes sustainable site development and material selection, water conservation, energy efficiency, and indoor environmental quality. The company is also BRC (British Retail Consortium) certified ("AA" Rating), a global standard for food safety established in 1998. Accredo also offers four sustainable packaging options, Cohn elaborates. Its "conventional" sustainable option product offerings are so named because they provide high-barrier films sourced from conventional hydrocarbon-based raw materials but produced in a more sustainable production process. Cohn states, "We've revolutionized the packaging industry by developing a proprietary printing process that brings new meaning to the term 'expanded color gamut.' Accredo's state-of- the-art printing process can reproduce a world of limitless colors and is so finely tuned that we can guarantee a consistent visual match from job to job, whether hours or months apart. Driven by an innovative ink-delivery system, we eliminate all ink changes (resulting in up to 95% less ink waste and significant reduction in solvent usage) and high-speed setup between jobs." Its recyclable option is perhaps best illus- trated by Accredo's 2015 collaboration with the Dow Chemical Company, Midland, Mich. (dow.com), and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC). That effort resulted in the development of all-PE, fully recyclable barrier film for pouches that can poten- tially replace co-mingled, multi-material structures (e.g. PET/ LDPE), which are primarily landfilled. The product is made with Dow's Retain modifiers. Dow says it's the first package of its kind with barrier film that can be recycled in a PE recycling stream. Accredo can supply film—trademarked AccredoFlex RP (recyclable pouch)—in up to 18 layers by laminating two nine-layer structures. Varn recalls, "We worked with the recycling community to make sure the product met their requirements. This was a long- term project and took a year to qualify. We were the first to develop a film product that is both recyclable and has gas-barrier properties. The moisture barrier is improved as well." There's a lot of "secret sauce" that went into making this possible. Notes Bertelsman, "Sophisticated raw-materials tech- nology and high-tech machinery combined with processing know-how allowed us to put structures together to create barrier performance and recyclability along with all the other functional performance that these films must have to be successful." The pouch was created for Seventh Generation, Burlington, Vt., making it the first laminated recyclable package for dishwasher pods. Its renewable option, including Accredo's previously noted work with Braskem, is third-party certified in accordance with ASTM D6866. The material can be run on existing equipment without compromising line speeds. Accredo is said to be the first company in the world to manu- facture a zippered standup pouch made from components certi- fied compostable in accordance with ASTM 6400 standards for compostability in industrial composting facilities. Cohn says new developments in compostable film technology enable Accredo to produce compostable packaging with high moisture and gas barriers. AHEAD OF THE CURVE At the outset, Accredo will use its new plant for warehousing. But it was built, according to Varn, "in preparation for and anticipation of continued growth." He explains, "Ownership likes to be ahead of requirements, and basically we need more capacity. The building has a raised roof to accommodate installation of additional blown film extrusion lines. Like the original plant, this facility will be equipped with a rail line. Material is fed by railcars to indoor silos, which convey resin to multi-component gravimetric blenders. Depending on the order size, lines can run for a few hours to days on end. "Accredo has grown significantly since its founding in 2009," says Varn. "We attribute our continuing success to our company owner's investment in leading-edge technologies, including high-tech plant operations, a dedicated workforce, and exceptional customer ser- vice," adds Varn. Concerning future growth, Varn observes: "The further down- stream the product goes, the more assets it touches during manu- facturing. In the case of pouches, for example, we do it all. And there is lots of ongoing conversion to standup pouches from boxes, cans, jars, etc. We feel we have a leadership position there, as well as in shrink-bundling films and towel/tissue-wrap films." Included in its sustainable product offerings are compostable films converted into zippered standup pouches like this. 52 SEPTEMBER 2018 Plastics Technology PTonline.com Accredo Packaging On-Site

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