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Complementary to Pragmatic Approaches from the July 2010 issue, Joe Funicelli, CEO/president, Unifoil Corporation, and Mark Ormiston, director of research and development, Anomatic Corporation, talk about increased demands for sustainable innovation in packaging from both consumers and retailers.
What have been your efforts toward sustainability, in terms of both production and products offered?
Funicelli: Unifoil Corporation launched significant sustainability efforts long before being “green” was fashionable. In the 1990s, we developed nonlaminated “film-free” silver metallic paper and paperboard for a progressive consumer packaged goods company (CPG) that wanted an environment-friendly package for its pantyhose without compromising shelf appeal. That endeavor led to the successful launch of Unilustre materials and spawned a new generation of packaging that offered a superior reflective finish and recyclability. Eventually we developed multi-dimensional Holographic Unilustre and added security and anti-counterfeiting options.
The science behind Unilustre drove the development of our new Ultralustre process which is used with flexible and rigid plastics. Ultralustre for IMD (in-mold decorating) and IML (in-mold label) applications is gaining popularity because it brings environmentally sensitive highly decorated finishes to a basically white and clear world. End users especially appreciate the fact that it can be used on plastic that is recyclable and regrindable.
The proprietary process employs a water-borne, solvent-free chemistry. The carrier film used during production is100% recycled, with significant source reduction as a result. Unilustre and Ultralustre are manufactured without heat or thermal drying and therefore demand less energy to produce. Also, fewer pallets and shipping containers are used, and that translates into even greater cost savings. Moreover, we recycle in-house and are currently exploring the use of alternative energy sources for power.