Dry and Liquid Containment with Flexible Plastic Bags and Liners “from the field to the consumer”

Pickling Cucumber Improvement Committee Meeting Abstract

Stephen C. Duchon

Scholle Custom Packaging

The 1980’s brought about great change in how the American business world would handle both dry and liquid products. Traditionally, most dry or solid products were handled in either multiple 50 or 100 pound paper or plastic bags, or in difficult to empty stationery boxes and bins. As for liquids, plastic bottles, pails, 55-gallon drums, or rigid metal containers were being used exclusively. Issues surrounded both the dry and liquid packaging process. Costs continued to rise in regards to handling, storage, shipping, cleanliness, and disposal. Twenty years later, each of these containment types still exit, but are being used less often because of the development of flexible semi-bulk plastic packaging. As a result, reliable, flexible, plastic containers have allowed consumers to purchase less frequently, reduce their storage needs, handle their product less, contain larger quantities of their product, and improve their sanitation requirements. As a bonus, when the useful life of a plastic, semi-bulk container has elapsed, disposal is at a minimum. What a perfect world!

In the early 1980’s, the Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container (FIBC, also known as a bulk bag) was taking hold as a great alternative for handling dry products of all types in a semi-bulk method. You name the product and most likely a bulk bag has been tried and used successfully. Agriculture, chemical, industrial, food and drug, and a number of other industries have found the bulk bag to be the preferred packaging method. The collapsible, woven polyolefin fabric that the bags are made out of can be designed to hold loads in excess of 8,000 pounds if desired. Most loads are of the metric ton variety. Fill and discharge spouts are incorporated for easy loading and emptying. A pallet full of empty bags usually number from 50 to 150 each, drastically reducing storage and handling when compared to any other form of packaging. Most bulk bags can have additional features added to them if necessary. Many bags are even deigned to allow reuse options.

The late 1980s brought on the development and promotion of semi-bulk knockdown/collapsible liquid containment. Units handling from 110 to 350 gallons of product could now be successfully sent around the world in containers other than rigid style. With the advent of this new form of shipping came the necessary development of a properly engineered, multiple liquid liner. The liner needed to perform to a perfection; any improperly designed or constructed liner would become a leaking catastrophe very quickly. The traditional (self-containing) rigid container, once used exclusively, was now being replaced by containers that needed to rely on the integrity of the liner to do the containment. The maturity of this industry also brought with it the development of film types that would be best suited for protection, compatibility and barrier. Also, the capacity to irradiate this flexible bladder for sterilization opened up many options for the food and drug industry.

Scholle Custom Packaging has been an industrial leader during initial stages of design and development for both dry and liquid semi-bulk containment. Many features (some patented) that were introduced by Scholle Custom Packaging have today become preferred and requested worldwide. Scholle Custom Packaging has a universal presence, with 124 locations around the world. Offering liquid containment from the smaller sized, one gallon “bag-n-box” for products such as wine, condiments, and fruit juices to 7,000-gallon capacity liners of trailers and overseas cast containers. Any and all issues regarding barrier, sterilization and compatibility have been addressed and resolved! For many applications, Scholle Custom Packaging’s very own Rhino Style bulk bag has been industry-preferred. Several features stand out when the Rhino Bag has been incorporated with customers’ products. Some of these features include an easier and complete fill and discharge, an all one piece construction for a longer life, and self-folding feature for easy storage or disposal. When a liner is needed for either dry (single ply) or liquid (multiply) application, Scholle Custom Packaging has the answer with its form-fit liners, which mate with the outer Rhino bag perfectly for optimum filling and discharging. Our expertise and experience complement both the outer and inner containment needs for our customers’ valued product. Our manufacturing practices follow and conform to the guidelines of United Nations Testing. Dairy Approval, Kosher Approval, International Safe Transit Association (I.S.T.A.) Guidelines, the Flexible Intermediate Bulk Container Association (F.I.B.C.A.) Standards, and Food and Drug requirements. Clean room manufacturing is available if necessary.

The pickle industry has the opportunity to incorporate the above form of semi-bulk packaging immediately to reduce cost. Flexible plastic packaging can benefit the entire pickle industry, from the field where the cucumber is grown until its delivery at the processing location. And, any opportunity for reuse will multiply the saving much more substantially!

For further information, contact:

  • Stephen C. Duchon, National Accounts Executive
  • Scholle Custom Packaging
  • P.O. Box 183, Manistee, MI 49660
  • Telephone: 231-398-2873; Fax: 231-723-6014
  • E-mail: sduchon@scholle.com

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