Best Packaging 2024: ITP’s FreezyPeel awarded for accessibility

date 24 April 2024

ITP’s FreezyPeel film wowed the expert jury of Best Packaging 2024, the Italian Packaging Oscars organized by the Istituto Italiano Imballaggio, the association that groups actors at every level of the supply chain, from raw material suppliers to packaging manufacturers, brand owners, and analysis laboratories.
The 2024 edition of the contest focused on accessibility, an increasingly felt trend that poses new challenges throughout the supply chain, which is forced to deal with the constant increase in the average age of the population on the one hand, and the number of single-family households on the other. These data imply the need to consider different abilities to access consumer products ; but also to assess usage opportunities to reduce waste.

FreezyPeel, the recyclable film for frozen foods with easy opening

It was precisely accessibility and eco-sustainability that moved ITP researchers in developing this film for frozen food. In fact, it is a peelable coextruded polyethylene monofilm that represents a combination of convenience, safety and sustainability, offering a new perspective in the food packaging industry.

Frozen packaging: the state of the art

Packaging frozen products with flexible film certainly represents a solution of proven convenience, safety and sustainability. A few grams of PE (polyethylene) in the form of an envelope, in fact, guarantee the integrity of the package containing 1 to 2 kg of frozen product. The pouch takes up little space, is resistant, lends itself to printing and is perfectly recyclable.
Bags currently on the market, however, suffer from the drawback of an “old-fashioned” concept of sealed closure that requires the consumer to use scissors to open.

FreezyPeel: frozen packaging revolution

The ambition of the ITP researchers, primarily as consumers, was to create an envelope that retained all the prerogatives of traditional packaging, but with the innovation of easy opening.
Specifically, in the most intuitive and natural way we are all prone to: pulling the two flaps in opposite directions near the top seal, as in potato chip packets.
No pre-cut, no zipper, no mechanical interlocking closure mechanism, but a careful modulation of the opening force of the horizontal seal for optimal accessibility to the contents.

FreezyPeel: rivoluzione del frozen packaging

ITP’s experience in the field of peelable films, in which it has been operating for decades, has been instrumental in fine-tuning the correct formulation of FreezyPeel.
The critical issues, clearly, are mainly related to the storage temperature of the product: -20°C is a condition that embrittles the polymers, weakens the seal of the seals, and puts a strain on the vulnerability of the packaging itself.
The know-how accumulated by ITP researchers in the area of frozen food films, combined with expertise related to peelable films, enabled the ITP research team to develop FreezyPeel.

FreezyPeel Technical Features

The film is obtained by bubble-blow coextrusion and is flexo-printed.
The combination of polyethylenes of different densities and characteristics made it possible to balance the right stiffness and puncture resistance (conflicting characteristics), to maintain good mechanical properties even at low temperatures, and a surface gloss that would enhance any printed images.
The film is presented in a white version with a thickness of 60μm, but it is also available transparent and in different thicknesses depending on the weight of the content.
Being made entirely of polyethylene, the film is in fact a recyclable mono-material.

Innovative accessibility

The formulation of the sealing layer of the bag (easy open) is the innovative aspect, because it allows easy access to the contents without the use of scissors, knives, without too much effort in tearing the bag, and without removal of edges (e.g. case that occurs with pre-cutting), because the bag is opened by simply pulling the two flaps from opposite sides.
The jury awarded the prize to ITP on the following grounds: the frozen food envelope has an easy opening, which does not require the use of scissors. The invitation to open is communicated through an infographic on the front of the package.

ITP awarded at Best Packaging 2024

This award celebrates the consumer, reflecting our careful consideration of his or her needs. On the one hand, we took into account the official statistics that highlight the inevitable aging of the population, while on the other hand we considered the equally authoritative ones that indicate the increase in single-family households. – comments Paola Centonze, ITP’s Chief Communication & Sustainability Officer – The convenience of this packaging not only satisfies everyday needs, but also reflects our environmental commitment by reducing the risk of the traditionally discarded flap of packaging being dispersed into the environment.

Consumer-friendly packaging

Il Best Packaging ha quindi voluto rappresentare un’occasione per far riflettere le aziende sul valore dell’accessibilità, oltre alla sostenibilità in senso stretto, di modo che, come ha spiegato la presidente dell’Istituto Alessandra Fazio durante la cerimonia di premiazione, il consumatore sia posto al centro della progettazione del packaging e allo stesso tempo abbia gli strumenti per comprendere il ruolo cruciale dell’imballaggio nella vista quotidiana: non solo un involucro destinato a diventare rifiuto, ma un componente fondamentale della fruibilità del prodotto che protegge.
Concetto ribadito dal prof. Luigi De Nardo, docente del Politecnico di Milano, che descrive l’accessibilità come tema unificante dei pilastri della sostenibilità, esprimendo l’urgenza di invertire la tendenza rispetto al percepito negativo del packaging presso i consumatori, facendone loro riconoscere il vero valore e l’utilità.

The Best Packaging was therefore intended to be an opportunity for companies to reflect on the value of accessibility, in addition to sustainability in the strict sense, so that, as Institute President Alessandra Fazio explained during the awards ceremony, the consumer is placed at the center of packaging design and at the same time has the tools to understand the crucial role of packaging in the everyday view: not just a wrapper destined to become waste, but a fundamental component of the usability of the product it protects.
A concept reiterated by Prof. Luigi De Nardo, professor at the Politecnico di Milano, who describes accessibility as a unifying theme of the pillars of sustainability, expressing the urgency of reversing the trend with respect to the negative perception of packaging among consumers, making them recognize its true value and usefulness.

FreezyPeel’s strengths

  • Opening without scissors. ITP reinvents the concept of easy opening, allowing users to access the contents by simply pulling the two flaps, as with potato chip packets. Without pre-cuts, zippers or complicated mechanisms, the ITP solution offers unprecedented accessibility to frozen food.
  • Sustainability and safety. FreezyPeel is a coextruded monomaterial film, consisting only of polyethylene, and therefore recyclable. ITP has always been committed to providing solutions that respect the environment while guaranteeing the highest level of performance for proper and healthy food preservation.
  • Hi-tech formulation. ITP, a market leader in flexible extruded blown film for 50 years, has developed FreezyPeel peelable for frozen food: the unique and innovative formulation provides the necessary resistance to low temperatures (-20°C) and a surface gloss that enhances printed images.