TekniPlex Healthcare is showcasing its new fully transparent recyclable mid-barrier blister package (reported to be the world’s first as a blister + lidding combination) at PACK EXPO 2022 in Chicago (Booth W-13043). The material is recyclable in geographies where the #5 polypropylene recycling stream is available and features a polyolefin blister film paired with a barrier PP lidding film.
Melissa Green, head of global marketing for TekniPlex Healthcare, explains that the new material is designed for pharmaceuticals, veterinary drugs, nutraceuticals, supplements, and personal care (dental or cosmetic applications). “Anything that requires mid-level barrier (in the 40 to 90 gram PDVC-coated PVC range) can be packaged in this blister + lidding combination. Currently, only a peelable lidding is available with barrier properties,” she says, adding that if the application requires push-through lidding, the blister + lidding combination wouldn’t be appropriate.
A number of sustainable blister upgrades have come on the market recently—including recyclable non-barrier transparent packages, recyclable barrier packages in white, and recyclable barrier transparent blister film without matching lidding. But Green notes, “The true milestone in the TekniPlex offering is that it is a fully transparent barrier recyclable blister + lidding combination that patients can drop into the recycling bin (where recycling is available).”
From a manufacturing standpoint, initial machinability analyses have been positive, with large-scale tests scheduled for the near future.
Transparent material benefits
As companies evolve and make sustainable upgrades to packaging, packaging transparency is an important feature for brand owners to keep in mind, with benefits to the patient and caregiver.
“Having the ability to identify the right drug before you remove it from its protective packaging is crucial—and then having visible confirmation via an empty blister also enhances patient compliance,” says Green. “Other added benefits of transparent packaging are in the manufacturing and inspection process—oral solid doses packaged in blister packaging need to be inspected for defects such as wrong color and size (dosage), whether tablets are broken or chipped, and whether there are empty pockets in the blister packaging itself. Transparent packaging makes it far easier to assess these potential manufacturing defects, identify them, and cull out the bad packages, increasing patient safety.”
Chris Qualters, CEO of TekniPlex Healthcare, adds, “The ability to make transparent barrier blister packages recyclable is a crucial step toward healthcare materials circularity, one in which technical challenges needed to be overcome with extensive research, trials, and dedication,”
TekniPlex Healthcare is also premiering a fully recyclable polyester mono-material blister + lidding combination, suitable for products that do not require barrier protection.
Paper device packaging
At PACK EXPO, TekniPlex Healthcare is also launching a new lower-weight reinforced coated paper for medical device protection. “The company’s proprietary coating formulations and application technology result in rolls that can meet demanding performance and sterilization requirements,” reports TekniPlex Healthcare. “The reinforced coated papers are suitable for the packaging of a variety of common healthcare items including syringes; tubing such as IVs, catheters, and airway filters; gauzes, sponges, and bandages; and devices sterilized by EtO and radiation. Notably, the slimmed-down product has already received its first commercial order, from a prominent manufacturer of swab sticks.”
Both the fully recyclable blister packages and lower-weight reinforced coated paper are designed with TekniPlex’s “Rethink Responsibly” concept in mind, which commits to continually considering what it means to provide responsible solutions to customers, their consumers, and the planet.