High-Barrier Medical and Food Packaging is Recycle-Ready

Healthcare facilities represent some of the largest contributors of plastic waste to landfills and incineration while consumers increasingly seek recycle-ready food packaging.

Stream One

The other 2020 Flexible Packaging Achievement Award Winners are: Innventure'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

The FPA awarded PAXXUS Gold Awards in Sustainability and Technical Innovation for combining high barrier properties with recyclability in the #1 stream for its StreamOne® R Retortable Recycle-Ready Polyester (PET). The packaging, suitable for food products, medical kits, drug delivery systems and more, also won a Silver award for Packaging Excellence.

PAXXUS created this multilayer PET structure specifically for applications requiring retort or autoclave sterilization—it was originally designed as for a food application requiring an ultra-high barrier. As PAXXUS CEO Dhuanne Dodrill explains, “An oriented PET is used on the outside for dimensional stability,” while an amorphous polyester is used on the inside to provide sealing properties with a broad sealing window. “By extrusion coating the sealant directly onto oriented PET, virtually inseparable bonds were created.”

The brand owner attached to the project was unable to comment, however PAXXUS notes that after sterilization, the material offers an oxygen barrier of 0.01 cc/100in2/day/atm and moisture barrier of 0.02 g/100in2/day—more than an order of magnitude higher than barrier PP historically used for products undergoing high-temperature processing and requiring protection from oxygen/moisture.

Oxide coated PET can replace aluminum foil structures for applications requiring protection from moisture and/or oxygen. Beyond the energy savings of switching from aluminum foil for the barrier layer, PAXXUS notes that unlike mixed plastic/aluminum materials, “there are viable options to return PET to its monomer. StreamOne R can truly provide a cradle-to-cradle packaging solution.”

The company’s FPA entry form calls the material a “revolutionary, high-performance, all-polyester packaging solution,” adding that “StreamOne R maintains its ultra-high barrier and reliable hermetic seals even after processing at high temperatures, ensuring that product quality and shelf life are not compromised.”

The product inside is easily viewed thanks to “crystal-clear” visibility, particularly important for technicians using medical devices or for shelf impact. Printed on a flexo press, the product is reverse printed so the ink is buried within the structure, giving it a high-gloss appearance. (The packaging is also available in a white format to offer contrast with graphics or to mask the product.) Material thickness can be tailored to the individual application—for the application in the entry, total thickness was 0.0032 in.

As the entry form noted, “The consistent high barrier that StreamOne R provides allows products that previously required an aluminum foil barrier to move to an environmentally friendly package, supporting brand owners’ sustainability initiatives.”

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