Unifoil, DuPont Teijin win top spots in first AIMCAL sustainability competition

The Association of Industrial Metallizers, Coaters and Laminators (AIMCAL) presented Unifoil Corp. and DuPont Teijin Films with the association’s first Sustainability Awards on Sun., Mar. 22, during its annual Management Meeting, March 22–25, at the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines in La Jolla, Calif. Part of a larger awards program that includes Technology of the Year and Vacuum Metalized or Coated Product of the Year, the Sustainability Award Competition honors equipment, materials or processes that reduce environmental impact, minimize energy usage or waste and/or increase recycling.

Unifoil’s proprietary UniLustre transfer-metallizing process and patented UltraLustre electron-beam transfer-metalizing process applies a 0.0003-inch layer of metal directly on the substrate, eliminating the need for multilayer film, film/paper or foil/paper laminates that can be difficult to recycle. The 100% solid process uses no solvents or water and requires no drying, saving the energy consumed by thermal or infrared dryers. The carrier film can be recycled and used in a new film application. With a negligible amount of metal, the mono-material substrate can be recycled in traditional waste streams.

DuPont Teijin’s entry, heat-sealable Mylar ECO PET lidding film, features 30% post-consumer-recycled (PCR) content derived from polyethylene tephthalate (PET) bottles, 35% post-industrial recycled content and 35% virgin PET and offers the production performance of 100% virgin material. Every pound of the film’s recycled content reduces the demand for virgin PET by the same amount, reducing crude oil and energy consumption while shrinking the product’s carbon footprint.

Introduced in 2007 in the United Kingdom and in 2008 in the U.S., the heat-sealable lidding film is acceptable for food-contact for reheat applications in both the European Union and the U.S. Applications include cap liners and lidstock for fresh-cut produce and frozen and chilled meals. Options include shred resistance, anti-fogging properties, dual-ovenability, clean peel, controlled respiration, barrier coatings and self-venting.

For more information on these and all the other winners, visit the AIMCAL website at www.aimcal.org.

ISO Poly Films announces partnership, plant improvements

On Feb. 26, ISO Poly Films Inc. and Sigma Plastics Group announced a strategic partnership that combines the companies’ strengths in product development, film quality, advanced systems and market presence to allow both companies to grow and offer expanded film and capabilities to their customers. Under the strategic partnership, Alfred Teo, chairman at Sigma, will serve as ISO Poly Films’ board chairman.

ISO Poly Films currently operates a 135,000-square foot plant in Gray Court, S.C., and manufactures high-end multi-layer plastic films for the food, medical and industrial markets. Throughout the first half of 2009, the company will install additional capacity in 3-layer and 7-layer coextrusion lines as part of its ongoing $35 million investment in the development and expansion of its facility and in manufacturing equipment. N

New sealant films reduce costs and environmental impact

Bemis of Oshkosh, Wis., has introduced a patent-pending film that uses 20% less material and costs 10% less than high-barrier alternatives. New bMET blown, metalized sealant film offers the barrier and production line performance of a 3-ply structure in just two layers. The new product is geared toward protecting products like candy, crackers, cookies, granular products and pet treats.

The fully customizable film delivers hermetic polyethylene seals and the barrier equivalent of metalized oriented polyester (OPET) or metalized oriented polypropylene (OPP). The film is appropriate for nearly any flexible package format, including pre-made or form-fill-seal stand-up pouches as well as stickpacks and pillow pouches. Available in thicknesses between 0.75 and 1.5 mil, the film comes in metalized white and metalized clear and can include convenience features like tear initiation, EZ Peel opening and customizable barrier against moisture, oxygen and aroma.

Can a new resin formulation from Japan deflate the need for too much material in bags?

By Joe Pryweller, Managing Editor, Packaging Strategies

A start-up company that uses a nano-capsule technology, first developed in Japan to reduce the amount of polyethylene (PE) in plastic bags, has started distribution of the novel technology to Wal-Mart and other major retailers in Canada.

ecoSolutions Int’l has signed an agreement for exclusive use of a technology that strengthens the finished polymer and reduces the amount of material needed for shopping bags, film and other applications. The natural, non-synthetic nano-capsules work as additives that blend with the polymer during crystallization. The capsules use an oxygen carrier containing liposomes-simple fatty acid membranes-that maximize crystallization during polymerization.

The proprietary formulation can cut material costs for bags by as much as 50% but by at least 20% on average, according to ecoSolutions executive vice president Brian Patridge.

The publicly held company has signed an agreement with Hymopack, Canada’s largest bag producer, to use the ecoPlastic technology in bags going to major retailers. Hymopack sells bags to Wal-Mart Canada, McDonald’s, Sears and Best Buy.

While ecoSolutions also offers biodegradable and compostable bags, Patridge honestly stated that the biodegradable market is slowed by a lack of a suitable infrastructure for collection and few industrial compost sites. “Biodegradability will come down the road, but it’s just starting to scratch the surface,” he states.

About 380 billion plastic bags are sold in the U.S. annually, using 1.3 billion gallons of oil. The company claims ecoPlastic could cut oil consumption for PE bags to about 600 million gallons a year. n

ecoSolutions Int’l.

Reprinted with permission from Packaging Strategies newsletter, a sister business of Flexible Packaging. For more info, visit www.packstrat.com.
PLACE conference organizers seek presentations

The 2010 PLACE Conference, organized by converter industry association TAPPI, will be held April 18–21, 2010 in Albuquerque, N.M. The event’s program committee welcomes your technical presentations, panels, tutorials, roundtables and case studies on topics including advances in material or equipment, product design innovations, new applications and more. Visitwww.tappi.org/2010PLACEfor more details on submitting an extended abstract.

PIA rebrands technical center

As part of the transition from PIA/GATF to Printing Industries of America, the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF) has been renamed the Center for Technology and Research. For half a century, the institution provided the industry with professional, unbiased, third-party laboratory, research and education services and will continue to offer these same products, services and more under the new name.

Biodegradable bags available in stock sizes

Temkin International has made “going green” even easier for customers with its new stock line of biodegradable, compostable and recyclable side-gusseted bags. Previously available on a custom basis only, NatureFlex gusseted bags can now be ordered in seven stock sizes. The bags use renewable, biodegradable resources (wood pulp sourced only from managed plantations) and feature texture, gloss and clarity similar to traditional biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP). When properly composted, NatureFlex bags will biodegrade in as little as 15 weeks. Because of the film’s cellulose composition, the bags are also recyclable with paper inputs. NatureFlex gusseted bags are heat sealable and comply with Food and Drug Administration requirements for direct food contact applications.