Making the case for container liners

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The CEO of Tekniplex Consumer Products talks to Nutritional Outlook about the value of container liners, and why they still matter.

Edge Pull container liner from TekniPlex Consumer Products.

Edge Pull container liner from TekniPlex Consumer Products.

Container liners are commonplace on jars and bottles, offering protection from leaks, spills, and contamination, while also extending shelf-life by offering a barrier against oxygen and moisture. You likely have experience with container liners in your daily life if you’ve removed that paper-like seal from a preferred dietary supplement bottle or bottle of orange juice. However, as packaging technology evolves, the use of container liners appears to be falling out of favor. Eldon Schaffer, CEO of TekniPlex Consumer Products, makes a case for why container liners are still relevant, effective, and affordable.

“There’s an understandable yet misguided notion that removing a liner will save money on materials costs, as well as enhance sustainability through a reduction in overall material usage,” explains Schaffer. “But almost without exception, this approach is wishful thinking that isn’t considering the holistic packaging and product protection process.”

On the contrary, says Schaffer, liner-less closures use exponentially more material, compared to liners. “Closure liners use minimal material compared to complex closures, which reduces overall resource consumption,” he argues. “In addition, many closure liners are designed to be mono-material and recyclable, and in some applications can comprise post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, which reduces virgin resources and promotes a more circular economy.”

“Containers without liners are more susceptible to leaks, spills and tampering,” adds Schaffer. “A product that never gets used is inherently – and completely – unsustainable.”

There is also an also consumer perception to consider. Liners can offer consumers peace of mind that their products are safe to consume. While they may be used to liner-less closures in some instances, such as RTD beverages, container liners on dietary supplements or OTC applications are well-established at this point, and offer an important safeguard. “The absence of a liner can create consumer doubts about product integrity, safety, and quality,” says Schaffer. “Customer confidence is worth far more than the modest cost of a liner; going liner-less is generally pennywise and pound foolish.”

Liners are not without their frustrations. Certainly, from a consumer point of view, they can sometimes be annoying and tedious to remove. However, innovation continues in this area. TekniPlex recently announced the introduction of a series of tabbed container liners that are easier to open while offering a high level of product protection. These lines are called Edge Pull and Simply Tab. Edge Pull is available in half-moon and offset tab configuration while Simply Tab has a dual tab design. Each solution has a strong bond between tab and liner, using induction heat seal for superior barrier protection. Both containing thick durable tabs, the liners are designed to also be easy to grip and remove.

The new TekniPlex liners can also be used on a variety of substrates including glass polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE), and polypropylene (PP), with options for unprinted and custom-printed liners for enhanced brand messaging. The liner market is “broad and multifaceted” says Schaffer, meaning that brands can choose from a variety of sizes, thicknesses, and shapes, as well as accommodate a diverse range of substrates.

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