Packaging Material Reduced 62%
When someone is passionate about a topic, they want to share it with the world. That’s why, as part of special outreach programs; Felins regularly teams-up with area schools and challenges students to think about sustainable packaging alternatives as part of their real-life business classes.
Recently, a group of Homestead High School students from Mequon, Wisconsin formed a Product Development Project group under the mentorship of Mr. Andrew Barrieau, CEO of Felins, Inc. in Milwaukee, WI. The group studied Felins packaging capabilities, researched sustainable packaging and then went shopping [literally] for a product that had a potential for improvement in packaging.
The team chose an Oscar Mayer club pack typically found in club stores such as Sams’ Club or Costco.
In a letter to Oscar Mayer, team member Mackenzie Hawley introduced the project as follows: “After seeing your 3-pack of Beef Franks at Sam’s Club, we calculated that we could reduce the excess plastic wrap by 62%. We know your goal is to find solutions that are right for the environment and sustainable for your suppliers and we would like to help. Working with Felins, a packaging company, we thought of some ways we could repackage the Beef Franks to make it more environmentally friendly and potentially save Oscar Mayer money.”
The team was invited to present their idea to Oscar Mayer Managers, Directors of packaging, and Directors of engineering in Madison, Wisconsin. Upon arrival, they were invited to tour the production plant and learned more about production rates, plant lay-outs and other business challenges.
The students studied Oscar Mayers’ packaging which includes glued labels, extra plastic to wrap three packages of standard size hot dogs into one, and printed paper
bands to inform consumers of nutrition, expiration dates, etc.
When they finished, the team recommended a simple clear band in place of the plastic overwrap to hold the three packs together. This solution eliminated 62% of plastic and would divert it from landfills providing a sustainable alternative to current packaging.
The students were pleased to learn that the Packaging Experts at Oscar Meyer agreed that the existing packaging needed to be changed. Prior to the students’ recommendation, the club pack of hotdogs had been slated for a packaging redesign. The students did a great job of learning how to spot sustainable packaging opportunities and then applying the naturally sustainable solution of banding to the problem.