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ENVIRONMENTAL, CONVENIENCE BENEFITS LEAD INNOVATIONS IN PACKAGING

 WASHINGTON, Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- The Flexible Packaging Association (FPA) today announced that nine companies have won the 1992 top honors for innovations in packaging, for products as diverse as food, household goods, pet food and cigars.
 The Top Packaging Awards this year went to companies which further reduced the environmental impact of packaging or enhanced convenience, saved costs or employed new technology. The winners are:
 -- E-Z Carry Turkey Bag, manufactured by Viskase Corporation of Chicago, is the first turkey package featuring a built-in handle for the convenience of shoppers. The handle eliminates the need for additional plastic netting, is 50 percent cheaper than netting, significantly stronger and uses 45 percent less material.
 -- Pringles Vacuum Pouch, manufactured by American National Can of Chicago, is the first use of vacuum packaging for a fragile product like potato chips. The vacuum-sealed pouch uses 60 percent less material than the old spiral-wound canister, and the tight vacuum packaging helps reduce chip breakage.
 -- ScotTowels Big Roll, packaged by Hargro Flexible Packaging of Exton, Pa., uses 25 percent recycled plastic in its overwrap. Three years of research went into producing a thin plastic wrap that retained its strength and clarity yet overcame the impurities and technical problems inherent in using recycled material.
 -- Towel & Tissue Overwrap, manufactured by James River Corporation of Richmond, Va., is another example of the expanding applications for recycled plastic. The wrap includes 25 percent recycled material, yet maintains the same high strength, integrity, gloss and clarity.
 -- A product like Mexicana Microwave Bacon Cracklin's, packaged by Printpack Inc. of Atlanta, was not possible until now. New microwave technology employed in this package heats and puffs the bacon rinds and eliminates overcooking or undercooking. Such a product previously had to be fried in oil. The small, flat package takes up minimal shelf or storage space and needs no secondary packaging. Expect this technology to be applied to other hard-to- microwave products.
 -- Printpak Inc. of Atlanta developed a new heat-tolerant plastic package for Pepperidge Farm Garlic Bread. Because the pouch is all polyester, it is recyclable, and it uses 24 percent less material than the typical paper and aluminum foil bag. The frozen garlic bread can be baked right in its package for on oven-fresh taste and feel. The development of heat-tolerant plastic has promise for a wide range of other food products.
 -- Scoshi's Bloody Mary Mix, packaged by Dixico Inc. of Dallas, features two compartments that eliminate the need to use bottles and cans to store individual additives. The twin pouch is a fraction of the weight and volume of ingredients stored in bottles and cans, and as such, saves space, fuel, and
shipping costs. By separating the liquid from the spices, the pouch preserves flavor and freshness.
 -- The new package for Exact Hand Feeding Formula For Baby Birds reduced the volume of packaging material used by a whopping 90 percent. Manufactured by Duralam Inc. of Appleton, Wis., the resealable pouch replaces a plastic bucket with lid, handle, label and separate information pamphlet. The resealable bag also prevents the moisture-sensitive bird feed from coming into contact with the atmosphere.
 -- Swisher Outlaws Cigar Pouch, manufactured by Minigrip/Zip-Pak of Orangeburg, N.Y., is the first flexible and resealable packaging for cigars. The pouch reduces the amount of material by 67 percent over the traditional cigar box, and provides an easier way for consumers -- especially outdoorsmen -- to carry the product with them. Its small size and light weight also require less space and less energy to transport.
 The awards were determined by a broad-based panel of judges representing industry, consumers, government, academia and environmental interests.
 FPA has presented the Top Packaging Awards since 1956 to recognize developments and achievements in the packaging that protects much of the food, pharmaceuticals, household and other goods consumed in the United States.
 -0- 2/25/93
 /NOTE: Color slides or prints of the award-winning packages are available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Marjorie Valin of the Flexible Packaging Association, 202-842-3880/


CO: Flexible Packaging Association ST: District of Columbia IN: PAP SU:

DC -- DC001 -- 0261 02/25/93 09:08 EST
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