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Sustainable Plastics Packaging - Advanced Solutions to Watch Out for!

SpecialChem / Mar 23, 2011

Plastics packaging is undergoing a top to bottom governmental and environmental review at the behest of consumers across the world driving companies to enhance their environmental credentials. Today, the pressure is on all in the packaging supply chain, from retailers, to packaging manufacturers, right through to raw material suppliers to develop everyday 'green' products. Key sustainable plastics packaging trends are in the forefront. Polyglycolic acid (PGA) is a biodegradable, thermoplastic polymer entering soft drink applications. NatureFlex NK from Innovia films is a transparent flexible high barrier cellophane film that is heat-sealable and compostable. The Wheylayer Consortium is working to develop the excellent barrier properties of whey protein against oxygen and humidity. Frito-Lay pulled most PLA packaged SunChips snack bags from stores because customers complained that the compostable packaging material was "too loud." Amcor's Ceramis-PLA is a fully biodegradable film with a high barrier against oxygen and water vapor. Their SiOx coated PLA film uses Amcor silicon oxide coating technology. Multiple lessons were learned by Fabri-Kal in transitioning to PLA (polylactic acid) thermoforming of drink and portion cups. DuPont's 'green' Biomax PTT 1100 with its good gloss, as well as high stiffness and excellent scratch and chemical resistance is being promoted as a material suited to injection molded cosmetics packaging. Cellulose diacetate, a transparent resin, for some time used in high-end packaging for its excellent clarity, moisture resistance; and processability as well as its ability to be printed, glued and foil blocked, is gaining increasing attention as a 'sustainable' alternative to styrenics and PLA.

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