Block-bottom bulk bag wins 2021 AIMCAL Product of the Year

FlexFilms (USA) honored for reclosable, handled nonwoven bag for ricemaker Ripuraj.

ABOVE: 2021 AIMCAL Product of the Year winner FlexFilms converted the zipper-reclosable, handled nonwoven bag for customer Ripuraj’s bulk-rice packaging. 

 By Contributing Editor Hallie Forcinio

A reclosable, handled nonwoven bag for Ripuraj brand rice, entered by FlexFilms (USA), Inc. (Elizabethtown, KY), the manufacturing arm of UFlex, Ltd. (Noida, India), has won the 2021 AIMCAL Product of the Year Award.* The Assn. of International Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (Greenville, SC), presented the award during a virtual ceremony today. Winners also will be recognized at PACK EXPO Las Vegas and the AIMCAL R2R USA Conference / SPE FlexPackCon 2021 (Oct. 17-21 in Orlando, FL), co-located with ICEC USA 2021.

The bag’s reverse rotogravure-printed, 15-micron modified polypropylene (PP)/adhesive/18-micron metallized, biaxially oriented PP/15-micron extruded PP/60-gsm nonwoven PP structure replaces laminated or woven-PP substrates. The nonwoven core imparts a textured appearance, feels soft to the touch, and projects a premium image for the bulk rice product. The all-polypropylene structure is recyclable in the PP waste stream. Convenience features include a reclosable zipper and handles for easy carrying of bulk quantities of rice and potential reuse of the package as a shopping bag.

Members of the judging panel were impressed with how all aspects of the package evoke a premium image. They also noted this design offers several improvements over previous iterations and particularly liked the addition of the block bottom, which allows the bag to stand upright on its own. “This year’s entry represents a forward progression,” concluded one member of the panel.

Judges for the competition met via Zoom in a session moderated by AIMCAL Executive Director Chris Kerscher. Members of the judging panel included experts in converting and packaging: Dr. Charles A. Bishop of C.A. Bishop Consulting, Ltd. (Loughborough, UK); Larry Jopko, principal of Stickum Consultancy LLC (Houston, TX); Robert M. Kimmel, Sc.D., associate professor, dir.-Packaging Science Program, dir.-Center for Flexible Packaging, Dept. of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences, Clemson University (Clemson, SC); Steve Lange, managing member of ProcessDev LLC (Cincinnati, OH); and Michael Ulsh, group mgr.-Process Science & Engineering, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL, Golden, CO).

The AIMCAL Product of the Year Award is part of the AIMCAL Awards program, which also includes Technology of the Year and Sustainability Award competitions and the AIMCAL Hall of Honor.

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* The 2021 AIMCAL Product of the Year Award posthumously honors the late Peter Rigney, former publisher of Paper, Film and Foil Converter and long-time champion of the competition.