Qualvis Packaging and Sun Chemical, a wholly owned subsidiary of DIC Corporation, have collaborated to develop a highly sustainable chocolate truffle carton for chocolate manufacturer, Whitakers. The concept enabled Whitakers to transform an existing truffle carton that featured 55% plastic into a highly recyclable lightweight fiber-based solution without plastic layer of the same dimensions. The package uses Sun Chemical's SunPak DirectFood Plus highly bio-renewable direct-food contact inks* and SunSpec SunStar direct-food contact aqueous varnish* on the inside of the carton.
The use of Sun Chemical’s inks and varnish eliminates the need for a plastic extrusion in between the ink film and the food product and enables replacement of the existing PET double clam shell housing the truffles with a fibre-based holding structure, whilst ensuring both a direct food contact safe environment for the truffles complimented by functional resistance and barrier properties to maintain the protection and integrity of the carton structure and its contents. This, in combination with the highly bio-renewable properties of the inks drastically decreases the overall carbon footprint of the product.
SunPak FSP EcoPace low migration inks and SunCoat aqueous varnish are employed on the front of the carton, also contributing to the reduced carbon footprint achievement due to a very high bio-renewable content made possible by employing a new fossil fuel-free carbon black derived process ink. All inks are also cradle-to-cradle certified.
Furthermore, the board is an environmentally sourced material from premium paperboard company and Qualvis partner, Holeman Iggesund. The outer cellophane wrap has been replaced with a tear strip built into the carton design to keep the lid in place during transit and on the shelf at retailers.
Richard Pacey, sales director, Qualvis comments, “Whitakers is a long-standing customer of ours. When we proactively approached them about this project, we turned to Sun Chemical as our go-to supplier for food-contact inks. Sun Chemical’s expertise in inks, specifically for food-contact applications, along with their sustainability credentials meant that, together, we were able to seamlessly bring our vison for Whitaker’s premium pack to life. Compared to solutions from other suppliers, the inks truly stand out in terms of on press performance and quality. Vibrancy is not compromised at all and there are never any on-press issues. We are able to print in as many colours and designs as we would with typical non-food-contact inks be it CMYK or Pantones, enabling the brand to improve the overall attractiveness of the packaging, all while ensuring regulation compliance.”
William Whitaker, owner of Whitakers comments, “The concept of this packaging is similar to some of our daylines that Qualvis produce for us in DFC print but the structure is a new concept. There are major benefits in being able to eliminate plastic and increase the sustainability credentials of our products, so meeting safety regulations and ensuring consumer safety of the packaging is always front of mind for us as a brand owner. The collaboration with Qualvis and Sun Chemical gave us the confidence to reach new limits, while maintaining safety and brand reputation. Based on the success of this solution, we continue to explore new projects with Qualvis, where we can deploy the same print technology.”
Jim Buchanan, product director Sheetfed Systems, Sun Chemical comments, “Our R&D team works hard to develop products that comply with exceptional levels of migration testing, and sustainability is a core brand value for us, so it is an honour to be such an integral part of this innovative project. Qualvis is a long-term partner of ours that is renowned in the packaging industry. Their agile and flexible approach, combined with their creativity and expertise, makes them an ideal partner to work with, which is further demonstrated by the key major brands that have trust in them, such as Whitakers.”
*Laws and regulations for food contact materials vary from country to country. Prior confirmation of local regulations is required before use.