Going Green

Costco recently selected alternative packaging from Meadwestvaco (Richmond, VA) to support programs in theft deterrence, and the use of ecologically-friendly materials. Costco also sought user-friendly packaging to replace hard-to-open clamshells.

The chain is replacing the outer pack with Meadwestvaco’s NatraLock for five products. NatraLock addresses “wrap rage” spawned by customer-resistant clamshells. A less-bulky alternative for theft prevention packaging, the tamper- and tear-resistant paperboard-and-plastic construction also speaks to retailer and consumer demand for ecologically friendly materials, the company says.

“NatraLock’s tear-resistant and theft-deterrent properties allow us to protect high value items from shrinkage, but still make the product accessible to the consumer,” says Scott Carnie, general manager, Costco East Coast Packaging.

“The ability to use renewable materials and recycle our throwaway packaging is at the core of our company’s philosophy to exceed ecological standards in every community where we do business,” he adds.

“Consumers are increasingly holding the retailer, rather than the manufacturer, accountable for overpackaging,” says Michael Skrovanek, general manager, NatraLock Project, Meadwestvaco.

Skrovanek says that NatraLock can replace clamshells used in packaging medical devices, in systems such as smoking-cessation kits and high-value OTC drugs. Drug chains and warehouse clubs use this overpackaging for medications to reduce shrinkage, he says.

NatraLock sandwiches and seals an APET or RPET bubble between two pieces of Meadwestvaco’s Coated Natural Kraft paperboard or coated Printkote kraft paperboard. Consumers access the product by using standard household scissors to cut through the flat surface. The paperboard provides extensive store shelf billboarding space. The predominant material is the removable, recyclable paperboard, made with recycled and renewable materials. The package is heat sealed without the use of air-polluting solvents.


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