Canadian Packaging

Flexibility Rules


October 20, 2010
by Canadian Packaging

The general rise in living standards over the last few decades has vastly accelerated growth in the consumer goods production and, consequently, in the packaging and labeling of goods—putting growing pressure on today’s leading CPG (consumer packaged goods) companies to come up with new ways to serve consumers quickly, safely and efficiently with the most sustainable solutions.

Packaging is usually viewed by consumers and media as a stand-alone product—a view which ignores its fundamental role to protect, distribute and display goods.

Without packaging food rots, fragile products get broken and distribution becomes hazardous—rendering the entire supply chain inefficient.

With high print quality that sometimes rivals rotogravure, flexography offers a number of key environmental advantages over other package printing processes. Photo courtesy of Flexo4All.

Because packaging makes a major contribution to the prevention of waste, it is only logical to use more ‘sustainable’ packaging to help in preserving the environment.

Increasingly, companies wanting to lower the environmental impact of their packaging without downgrading its attractiveness or brand image are turning to the flexographic printing process.

Some market segments have already been long-time converts to flexography for flexible packaging—including dairy products, cheeses and groceries—leveraging flexo’s considerable advantages over other printing processes in terms of cost, time-to-market, production flexibility and the constantly improving print quality.

These days, the flexography process can provide an important competitive edge in fulfilling the sustainability demands of the CPGs, brand-owners, private-label producers and retailers alike.

Of course, no package can be truly sustainable in isolation—it must be so as an outcome of a process integration of equipment and materials involved from the design stage to the final printed package.

Last year, DuPont Packaging Graphics ran an updated Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) aimed at measuring the environmental benefits of using thermal technology during the flexographic plate-making process—compared to the traditional solvent process.