Canadian Packaging

Constantia Flexibles and ExxonMobil Launch Recyclable Freezer Films for Bonduelle’s Plant-Based Foods

By Grayling Austria GmbH   

Vienna, June 18, 2024

Constantia Drukpol, one of the Polish plants of leading flexible-packaging converter Constantia Flexibles, has teamed up with ExxonMobil, a prominent supplier of polyethylene resins, to develop an innovative freezer film for the ready-to-use plant-based food brand Bonduelle.

This collaboration led to the development of a mono-material polyethylene (PE) solution designed to replace traditional multi-material metalized films, which can make the packaging easier to recycle and better suited for a variety of vegetables. The new film can address the packaging needs for both “easy to pack” vegetables, such as peas and green beans, and “challenging to pack” vegetables like spinach and broccoli, which were the primary focus of this project, due to their tougher packaging requirements.

Arnaud Warusfel, Packaging Development Manager at Bonduelle Europe Long Life, highlighted the project’s goals and achievements, stating, “For our retail Frozen Bag Category, we aimed to replace our historical multi-material metalized film, which can be difficult to recycle. We selected a mono-material PE solution without adhesives to facilitate easier recycling compared to multi-material solutions. Throughout the development process, we encountered numerous challenges, but successfully overcame them with the technical expertise of Constantia Drukpol and ExxonMobil.”

In the lab, the reinforced solution for “challenging to pack” vegetables demonstrated superior puncture and tear resistance, encouraging Bonduelle to conduct a factory trial. The film performed excellently on Bonduelle’s vertical form fill seal (VFFS) packaging line, showing robust abrasion resistance and maintaining high speeds, which were key to its adoption in addition to a marketplace acceptance for Bonduelle brand to stand out on shelves.

Constantia Drukpol was selected for its strong HD Flexography printing expertise and experience in blown coextrusion film, lamination, laser cutting, and pouch making. “ExxonMobil was responsible for polymer production, and our team at Constantia Drukpol focused on film production and excellence in printing. The results were impressive: the new packaging has also been positively welcomed by the market in terms of quality and aesthetics,” explains Marc Rademacher, Executive Vice President of Consumer Commercial at Constantia Flexibles.

Constantia Flexibles is the world’s third-largest producer of flexible packaging. Based on the guiding principle of ‘People, Passion, Packaging’, over 9,580 employees manufacture tailor-made packaging solutions at 36 sites in 16 countries. Many international companies and local market leaders from the consumer and pharma industries choose the sustainable and innovative products of Constantia Flexibles. Sustainability is a top priority in product development at Constantia Flexibles: the company was rated Level A by Climate Change Leadership (CDP) and Gold by EcoVadis in 2023. cflex.com

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