What’s happening in packaging

The Evolution of Breathable Film Technology — Soda & Beer Pouches

It wasn't that long ago that beer-lovers (and for that matter soda-drinkers) were stuck with rigid bottles, cans, even semi-rigid 2-liter bottles. A day at the beach or a picnic required lugging around heavy packaging that the consumer would be stuck trying to find a place to dispose of — or even worse, carry back home and drop into an approved trash or recycling container. Many of us learned to deal with the excess "baggage."

However...recent advancements in film technology have vaulted an exciting packaging container that just might turn a tired and stale industry (or two) on its ears.

The laminated flexible packaging problem

Laminated flexible packaging was limited for years to products that didn't out-gas (i.e. either dry products or non-carbonated liquids). Spouted pouches for liquids had a material structure that was robust and puncture resistant, but carbonation or anything that had an out-gas couldn't escape without a separate and expensive gas release valve (think roasted coffee for dry products that outgas and items like sauerkraut and fermented vegetables that have liquid present).

These inserted gas valves were also expensive and did not prevent liquid (if there was liquid present) from escaping. The very strength of the laminated film layers worked against it when being able to release gas...plus it's just common sense that any liquid packaged with a hole or vent could spell disaster. Products such as sauerkraut and fermented vegetables were forced to use rigid glass because the glass was able to contain the liquids and the out-gas and not blow-burst. 

Over the past 3-5 years, a gas release valve has been developed that could allow the manufacturer to eliminate the glass and use a flexible bag. Place that valve in the right spot, for the right products, and a laminated stand up pouch suddenly provides not only a cost savings but a very solid sustainable example of a reduction in packaging materials, space to ship/store, even energy to create and fuel to ship.

These gas release valves are STILL NOT liquid-proof, so if the valve is placed in an area that is swimming in liquid, the bag could leak. To be clear: gas release valves in pouches like kraut or kimchii aren't "swimming" in liquid and will work...but what about products that are all liquid...not just juice in the bottom of a pouch?

Enter...breathable film, from the makers of laminated film

Imagine a film that can hold liquid without leaking, "breathe" out some of the carbonation gas, and still offer convenience for retailers and consumers alike.  What about holding someone's favorite craft brew? What about Coke or Pepsi? This special film can breathe and contain liquids without leaking. Beer, soda, juice, sparkling water — you name it — pouches with this film can hold it...and not burst.  Even 2, 3, 4-liter or larger sizes are perfect for the Beer-Soda Pouch.

The Beer Spouted Pouch, Stand Up Beer Pouches...the Soda Pouch...whatever you want to call it...it works!  Imagine take out from a restaurant: no more rigid bottles of plastic or glass! Imagine taking your favorite brew to a picnic or a beach and then being able to throw it away. What the #$%@? Imagine using it over and over again! What the #$%@?


Spouted beer pouches are an example of sustainability, innovation, and drastic cost savings. In many instances in the US and beyond, this spouted pouch is recyclable. It can be ground back up and used as filler and regrind for plastic lumber, kids' toys, construction signs, and street bumpers. A spouted pouch for carbonated beverages uses 85-90% less plastic/materials, costs a fraction of what rigid containers cost, and uses much less energy to produce and store (and less fuel to ship).

Finally, think about your customers. A retailer can get something unique and different — while actually being good for the environment. A consumer who wants to do something positive for Mother Earth can accomplish it without giving up their favorite beverage.

Call them Beer Pouches, Soda Pouches, Carbonated Drink Pouches, or whatever you like...the flexible packaging industry saw a need and filled it!

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