Consumers Prefer Clear Plastic Food Storage Containers

There’s no haze of doubt – consumer test groups overwhelmingly prefer clearer, safer and eco-progressive food storage containers made of polypropylene (PP) clarified with Millad® NX8000 from Milliken Chemical, a division of Milliken & Company. Clarity is equated to cleanliness, purity and aesthetic appeal in the view of consumers in a recent TNS study. Consumer preference is one key reason why Home Concepts Products selected clarified PP for the new Reynolds Casuals line of food storage containers, launched in supermarkets in January 2009. In addition to excellent aesthetics, the material offers enhanced sustainability.

Home Concepts Products’ Reynolds Casuals Food Storage Containers Made with Polypropylene, Clarified with Milliken’s Millad® NX8000

The Reynolds Casuals containers feature a distinctive splatter proof reheating vent in the lid and are made entirely of PP clarified with Millad NX8000. This versatile plastic not only offers clarity approaching that of polycarbonate, but avoids many of its drawbacks. BPA is not used in the manufacturing of clarified polypropylene. It is also more environmentally responsible for two reasons: with lower density, PP requires one-third less resin than polycarbonate for a given application, reducing the amount of non-renewable resources used in manufacture; and it is more easily recycled in the existing waste management infrastructure.

“Milliken opened our eyes to the many advantages of clarified polypropylene in meeting the concerns of today’s consumers,” said Michael Moghavem, CEO of Home Concepts Products. “With the high clarity imparted by Millad NX8000, we achieved the see-through visibility that’s so important in food storage products. In fact, leftovers never looked so good. At the same time, we were able to address consumer concerns regarding health and safety and environmental responsibility. Clarified polypropylene is a great innovation for the consumer package industry.”

“This initiative with Milliken also helped Home Concepts Products achieve its goal of becoming a BPA-free company in 2009. Their insight into other plastics has helped our company become more responsible to the consumer and the environment,” continues Moghavem. “We now feature two lines of products which are BPA-free and have outstanding clarity.”

“Environmental sustainability is an important part of Milliken’s global mission, and we’re continually looking for new ways to reduce plastic waste,” said Brian Burkhart, global marketing manager for Millad clarifying agents, Milliken Chemical. “Our Millad clarifiers are making polypropylene more appealing as a replacement for less easily recycled resins, opening up new application possibilities for polypropylene. We’re also making it easier to recycle resins by removing processing variables in the waste stream, as evidenced by our recently launched Hyperform® HPN-68L hyper-nucleating agent. As a result of our efforts, we are seeing reduced environmental impact from plastic packaging.”

The new containers impart no tastes or odors to stored food. Focus groups also favored the air-tight lid and durability that takes Reynolds Casuals containers safely from freezer to microwave to dishwasher over and over again.

The next generation in Milliken’s range of world-leading polypropylene clarifiers, Millad NX8000 offers a step change in haze reduction compared to existing clarifiers. Its typical 50 percent reduction in haze vs. the current industry standard makes highly transparent polypropylene an achievable reality. Further, Millad NX8000 delivers performance benefits to polypropylene including increased material strength and rigidity, and improved heat and chemical resistance.

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