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ConAgra Foods announced March 19 that it is the first company to utilize a new shrink film that contains more than 50 percent post-industrial recycled material, reducing landfill waste, greenhouse gases, and energy consumption. The new technology is a recycled Polylactic Acid (PLA). The new shrink film will be used for tamper evident seals on ConAgra Foods’ table spreads – Fleischmann’s, Blue Bonnet and Parkay - and for printed shrink labels for multi-packs of the company’s Reddi-Wip whipped topping and PAM cooking spray.
The new material has several advantages over traditional shrink films:
· It is manufactured using corn, a renewable resource. Traditional shrink films are petroleum-based.
· It contains more than 50 percent post-industrial recycled content, meaning that more than half the material that would traditionally be sent to landfills is now being diverted into a value-added end product.
· It produces less greenhouse gases than traditional shrink films; this means ConAgra Foods is reducing greenhouse gas production by approximately 592,000 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalents, the same as taking about 48 cars off the road per year.
· It requires less energy at ConAgra Foods’ manufacturing facilities, reducing the temperature necessary to shrink the material by approximately 20 percent.
· It provides a higher-quality finished product due to an improved shrink performance.
“This conversion to a new shrink material is one of many steps ConAgra Foods is taking in our continued commitment to innovation and sustainable business,” said Gail Tavill, vice president of Sustainability at ConAgra Foods. “We’re positively impacting the environment, reducing waste and eliminating the need for more than 400,000 pounds of petroleum-based material by replacing it with a material made from a renewable resource – corn.”
The new technology was developed in partnership with Plastic Suppliers, Bluepack and NatureWorks LLC. The company’s conversion to the new material will divert more than 350,000 pounds of non-renewable Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and more than 50,000 pounds of Polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol (PETG) from the company’s raw material stream annually.
ConAgra Foods is one of North America’s leading food companies, with brands in 97 percent of America’s households. Consumers find Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt’s, Marie Callender’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip and many ConAgra Foods brands in grocery, convenience, mass merchandiser and club stores. ConAgra Foods also has a strong business-to-business presence, supplying potato, other vegetable, spice and grain products to a variety of well-known restaurants, foodservice operators and commercial customers.