Have you noticed that potato chip bags are never completely full?
I found out why during a recent IoPP tour of the Mocon Ametek facility in Brooklyn Park. The reason is that potatoes will go rancid if air gets into the bag, so they fill the bag full of nitrogen. This process also helps the product stay intact during shipping.
Mocon does packaging testing for the food & beverage, medical device, pharmaceutical and flexible electronics industries. They ensure that whatever is inside the package will maintain its integrity. This is very important in today's packaging market. We also heard from Dr. Keith Vorst, Director for the Polymer and Food Protection Consortium at Iowa State University. He talked about how pre-made food packaging is not going away any time soon. It is a huge market that many big retailers are getting into.
During this talk, I learned that it is more important than ever for the designer to work with packaging specialists from the beginning to help come up with a solution that is attainable with current technologies. If you have a product that needs specialized packaging, I would love to help out!
Did you know that you are supposed to keep the caps on your plastic bottles when you recycle?
I’ve always thought of myself as an informed recycler, but did not know this until I went on a tour of the Waste Management Recycling Facility. If you don’t keep the caps on the bottle, it falls into the wrong section of the recycling line. This is just one of the many things I learned on the tour. The sheer volume of trash was humbling, but it’s good to know that it will not make its way to the landfill.
While I was there, I also learned that Target Corporation is implementing a recycling icon program on all of their private label products so that the consumer can easily see how to recycle each product. This is a great trend in the industry that I think we’ll see more of in the future as other companies follow suit. If this is a trend that you would like to implement, I can help. Or, if you are a manufacturer that needs help with the labeling and packaging of your product, I can help with that, too.