Roots in Sustainability
Portco Packaging is a company with a solid growth record and a proud history of environmentally-friendly practices.August 2011 By Matt Stringer
Flexo printing operation Portco Packaging, based in the Pacific Northwest, is a company founded on the principles of sustainability in packaging—using renewable materials where possible, while still delivering the highest quality product to the customer. Portco has a long history of using paper as its primary substrate. However, in response to changing market demands, Portco has moved into laminated film structures without comprising its commitment to sustainability.
"We're a water-based company," says Rich Castillo, manager of Portco Packaging. "We print with all water-based inks, no solvents."
Portco laminates polypropylene, polyethylene, and cellophane, along with other specialty films. "We're doing something other companies aren't. It's a unique offering," Castillo remarks. "We're able to produce high-end packaging with 150 line screen graphics using water-based inks. We do business with companies that have the same philosophy of sustainability."
"If a customer needs a package with an extended shelf life, we want to make sure we can produce it for them," Castillo says. "Our sales force works closely with our customer base to understand their product needs and that allows us to design packages that fit those needs both functionally and economically."
Portco's commitment to sustainability is illustrated by something for which Castillo is very proud—the combination of water-based inks and solventless laminations. "There are only a handful of companies out there that can produce high-end packaging using these technologies together," Castillo says.
The right stuff
Portco places a major emphasis on keeping its employees well-versed in all aspects of the printing industry, and it sends them to one of the premier training grounds for professionals in the industry—Clemson University in South Carolina.
In addition to this, Portco is currently taking advantage of the Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) sponsored FIRST Certification training program. "We have currently embarked on a company-wide training program," Castillo says. "They have an excellent training process."
The company expects all its operators to be Level III certified by the FTA. "It's an ongoing process," Castillo says.
"For years we were isolated. We're in the Pacific Northwest. But with the help of the FTA and its FIRST virtual campus, we are able to bring the training home," Castillo adds.
Portco not only keeps its employees well trained, but also keeps its equipment up to date.