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Alternative to Single Use Plastic Packaging


RT&L FOCUS AREA(S): General Warfighting Requirements (GWR)


The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with section 3.5 of the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws.

OBJECTIVE: Develop and promote solutions and alternatives to single use plastic packaging.   With the European Union (EU) enacting a ban on the import of items with plastic packaging, alternatives materials need to be identified and tested.

DESCRIPTION: Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Troop Support (TS) Subsistence topic of interest is research focused on finding alternatives to single use plastic packaging for military customers Outside of the Continental United States (OCONUS).   Disposal of single use plastics packaging as well as the amount of waste generated by this packaging is a major aspect leading to the EU taking action.   This research project shall involve identifying alternative packaging:

1. That is environmentally friendly upon disposal

2. Preserves the shelf-life of the item(s) in the packaging

3. Provides security against tampering or altering the product in the packaging

4. Reduces the US environmental footprint in OCONUS by decreasing the amount of single use packaging in landfills


PHASE I: NTE 12 Months $150K- Base NTE $100K base 6-9 Months, - Option 1 NTE $50K base 3-6 Months

PHASE II: – NTE 24 Months $1.6M - Base 12-18 months, $1M Option 6 Months NTE $.6M

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: The phase one period of performance is not to exceed 12 months total.  Options are not automatic.  Approval is at the discretion of the DLA SBIP Program Manager.  The decision is based on Project Performance, Priorities of the Agency, and/or the availability of funding.

PHASE I: The research and development goals of Phase 1 are to provide Small Business eligible Research and Development firms the opportunity to successfully demonstrate how environmentally friendly packaging or natural alternatives can reduce costs to DLA.   The Vendor should identify and propose new types of environmentally friendly packaging.  The Vendor should also propose how the packaging will preserve and protect the food product as well as how the qualities of the materials will not contribute to landfills or harm the environment upon disposal.

At the end of Phase I, a final report defining the proof of concept is required.

PHASE II: Based on the research and development results of Phase 1, the goals of Phase 2 will emphasize the testing and evaluation of various packaging alternatives.  The testing and evaluation may occur at a location in the Continental United States (CONUS) and Outside Continental United States (OCONUS) with an emphasis on the issues faced in OCONUS with regard to the ban established by the European Union (EU).  Testing locations will be mutually agreed upon by DLA Troop Support Subsistence, DLA Troop Support Europe & Africa (E&A) and the vendor.

The Vendor should discuss research and development efforts of Phase I and Phase 2 in the technical proposal as well as the proposed cost in Phase II.

The expectation of Phase II is the development of a working lab prototype (TRL 6) and a demonstration of your proposed solution.

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: At this time, no specific funding is associated with Phase 3.  Develop a plan for moving the prototype into an operational environment.  Progress documents from Phase 1 and Phase 2 should result in a vendor’s qualification as an approved source of alternative packaging in future procurements.   

COMMERCIALIZATION:   The vendor will pursue commercialization of the various processes and technologies associated with the alternative packaging methods identified and/or developed during earlier phases as well as potential commercial sales of any parts or other items


  1. Department of Defense Food Service Program (DFSP). December 2, 2014.
  2. Defense Material Disposition: Disposal guidance & Procedures. October 22, 2015.
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