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Ultrasound Gel Pouch Gets Ergonomic Design, Reduces Waste

Designed to be easy to hold and evacuate more product, this multilayer spouted pouch replaces the traditional bottle while requiring less energy to manufacture and transport.

HR Pharmaceuticals won an FPA silver award for EcoVue by Glenroy. It is a flexible package for ultrasound gel featuring custom film requiring less energy to manufacture and transport.
HR Pharmaceuticals won an FPA silver award for EcoVue by Glenroy. It is a flexible package for ultrasound gel featuring custom film requiring less energy to manufacture and transport.

The 2020 Flexible Packaging Achievement Gold Award Winners areInnventure's AeroFlexx (Highest achievement)   | UFlex Ltd.’s 4D Bag with Handle    |    UFlex Ltd.’s FlexiTube     |     Plastic Packaging Technologies’s Hill’s Recyclable Pet Treat Bag    |     Amcor Healthcare’s Insura Seal Verification     |     Printpack’s Paqui Tortilla Chip Pouch     |      Amcor Flexibles’ Predilecta Sacciali Jar Shaped Pouch     |    Glenroy’s Premade Standcap Inverted Pouches      |      ePac’s Skratch Labs Mosaic Packaging     |    Printpack’s Stacy’s Women’s History Month Package      |      Silver Winners

Winner of a silver award in Packaging Excellence in the 2020 Flexible Packaging Achievement Awards Competition was the EcoVue® FlexPac® packaging for ultrasound gel. Made by Glenroy, the flexible package features custom film with benefits to consumers and the environment. It is easy to hold and easy to use, while being lightweight and requiring less energy to manufacture and transport.

York, PA-based HR® Pharmaceuticals, with a legacy of supplying personal care, consumer and medical supply products, sought packaging that would target the common issues of waste and lack of eco-friendliness among ultrasounds gels. 

“We also started hearing from our health system customers about their wide-ranging green and sustainability initiatives,” says Jim Pilsner, Director of Marketing at HR® Pharmaceuticals, and they set out to develop packaging “that could be more sustainable, easier to use and more cost-effective.” 

Selecting Glenroy after multiple industry recommendations, the team worked for two years on R&D for the product formulation, clinical trials, regulation compliance and new packaging design. The EcoVue® ultrasound gel in its patented packaging was introduced in 2018. 

Traditional plastic bottles can waste about 14% of the gel left at the bottom, while this custom flexible package design with a spout allows for up to 99.5% evacuation of the product, reducing the number of units consumed each year. As a result, an estimated 1.5 million fewer containers will end up in landfills, and 800,000 less pounds of gel will be landfilled. Glenroy reports that the lighter package also requires less fuel to ship and “less CO2 is emitted during its manufacture.” The need for pallets in shipping and warehousing is also reduced.

Easy to hold

The “ergonomically pleasing to hold” three-layered film structure offers a strong barrier to moisture and oxygen to protect the gel. Glenroy explains that the adhesive laminated multi-layer structure includes:

·      a 0.75 mil matte polypropylene (OPP) film, ink, adhesive,

·       a 0.60 mil nylon layer, adhesive, and

·       a 4 mil white linear low density PE (LLDPE) coex film.

The matte polypropylene layer provides a matte finish (non-glare appearance) and soft feel, while the nylon acts as a strength layer. The LLDPE coex is a sealant layer. The EcoVue® FlexPac® packaging features vibrant reverse printed customized graphics. 

Pilsner said, “We are receiving positive feedback from just about everyone about the product and its packaging. Almost all of the large health systems have green initiatives, and we have become a natural fit to help them to comply with and meet their goals for sourcing.“

Customers also find the product lasts longer because almost 100% of the product is used, and waste is minimized. The package also fits better in the hand and is easier to squeeze, while leakage is virtually zero because of a leakproof closure and the strength of the packaging film. As a result, they’ve seen a reduction in complaints and returns.

“People also like the fact that it’s 100% manufactured in the United States, and the product is approved for use in the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe, Asia, Central and South America,” said Pilsner.

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