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Weight reduction in packaging will reduce environmental impact – company

By Joe Whitworth , 01-Mar-2012

A Spain-based food packaging supplier has signed an exclusive licence agreement to use a new technology in Europe - citing a reduction in product weight and sustainability as the main benefits.

The micro-cellular foaming production methods reduce packaging weight, directly impacting on sustainability while maintaining performance, claim manufacturers EDV Packaging.

Under the agreement with US-based Mucell Extrusion, EDV will exclusively produce coextruded polypropylene (PP) foamed-barrier materials for the food sector within Europe.

The deal allows EDV to offer a range of foamed PP sheets withEthylene Vinyl Alcohol (EVOH) to food producers and brand owners.

Develop through 2012

Xavi Franco, marketing and sales director at EDV Packaging told the product will evolve over the coming months.

We believe it gives an answer to the needs of the food industry to reduce the amount of packaging used, therefore also reducing the carbon footprint of their packed goods.

We can see many market applications for these PP-foamed materials, i.e. MAP packaging, aseptic filling, coffee capsules, but we do not expect all the market to shift to this technology, only those customers leading the way towards sustainable packaging to develop into this category,” he said.

The licensed microcellular foaming technology is the result of development work that includes more than 30 patents from Mucell Extrusion, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The Dow Chemical Company.

No compromise in performance

Franco said the production method does not diminish packaging performance.

The new microcellular foaming technology allows us [to] achieve foamed materials that offer better rigidity than other foaming techniques. This is essential for reducing packaging weight, while keeping the same performance specifications than non-foamed, or other foamed materials.

The sustainability dimension is a direct consequence of the weight reduction in the packaging used. The cost dimension is still to be finalised, as EDV is now developing it for multi-layer polypropylene materials, and they will be available by the second half of 2012,” he added.

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