Inline Plastics showcased its latest innovation recently in a discussion with The Shelby Report. Safety Chef is new for the company, according to Carrie Cline, senior brand manager.
“We’ve got Safety Fresh, which has the patented technology of being tamper evident and tamper resistant, that was launched around 2006. We took that same technology and put it into our new polypropylene product line, which is called Safety Chef,” Cline explained.
The difference in the two products – Safety Chef and Safety Fresh – is that Fresh is made with PET plastic and Chef is made with polypropylene, which is microwave safe. Both are clear, with no colors used.
“We were exclusively PET and now we’re moving into the polypropylene world. It’s a whole different audience for us – foodservice,” Cline said.
“You can put [Safety Chef] under heat lamps – it is for hot food applications. We’ve been in the world of cold and ambient temperatures. Now we’re entering the world of the hot.”
Safety Chef was hatched a couple of years ago. After receiving positive feedback to a trial run, Inline Plastics decided to invest “quite a bit of money” in a facility.
“We actually opened a manufacturing plant in Conyers, Georgia. We bought all new equipment and restarted manufacturing,” Cline said. “I just went there yesterday…it’s exciting to actually watch this come to fruition.”
Safety Chef launched May 1 and orders are already in the works. “We think it’s going to take off really quick,” she said.
Inline Plastics was already producing products with the tamper-evident, tamper-resistant feature, which became a positive during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were pushing the safety,” she said. “With the pandemic, people are really looking to make sure that the food is safe, especially if it’s, let’s say, a restaurant that is a third-party delivery. They have found that 33 percent of the drivers were actually picking at the food.”
With Safety Fresh and Safety Chef, once the lid is closed the containers are tamper evident, tamper resistant, according to Cline.
The products also are recyclable. Some polypropylene products have black bases, which make it more difficult to recycle. “We’ve already taken the lead and made sure we don’t have any black in our products,” she said.
The Safety Fresh and Essentials product lines are made with 10 percent post-consumer materials. Inline Plastics would like to increase that amount as soon as supply becomes more available.
“We’ll bump that up as soon as we can get more supply,” she said. “That’s our challenge, is to get supply…we’ll be looking down the road at also doing something with our polypropylene. We’re trying to be as sustainable as possible.”
Cline added that Inline Plastics’ headquarters and manufacturing plant in Shelton, Connecticut, features 2,600 solar panels on site, providing 15 percent of the energy needed the facility needs.
For more information, visit inlineplastics.com.
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