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Resin said to boost clarity of PP based food packaging

By Jane Byrne , 08-Jul-2010
Last updated on 12-Jul-2010 at 14:49 GMT

A new grade of resin clarified with an additive can enhance the clarity and side wall stiffness of low-density polypropylene (PP) for food packaging and allows it to compete with other plastic material on sustainability and aesthetics, says Total Petrochemcials.

The US based plastic packaging supplier, which provides PP based thermo-formed trays, films, pots and closures for the dairy, beverage, meat, and fresh produce sectors, said it teamed up Belgium based Milliken Chemical to develop a new metallocene PP resin using Milliken’s Millad NX8000 clarifier.

Manufacturers are increasingly demanding good transparency in packaging to enhance the safety and quality associations it lends their food packaging, but PP has traditionally not been able to compete with the high clarity of polystyrene (PS) or polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in this regard.

Total, headquarted in Houston claims its new PP grade, Lumicene M3382MZ, employing the agent from Milliken, can now successfully compete with traditional materials because it offers high clarity coupled with lower density for reduced cost and lower resource usage, as well as fast and easy processing for high productivity.

Millad NX8000 provides a reduction in haze in comparison to the current industry standard, while also delivering “performance benefits including increased material strength and rigidity, and improved heat and chemical resistance,” said the US packaging producer.

According to Total, its new PP grade also has ultra-low extractables, improved taste and odour characteristics, and complies with US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations regarding food contact.

“During processing, this resin delivers optimum thermal stability for superior colour, clarity and processability,” continued the company.

The supplier explained that clarified metallocene PP supports environmental goals in two ways: with its lower density, PP requires less resin than other clear polymers, reducing the amount of non-renewable resources used in manufacturing; and it is more easily recycled in the existing US waste management infrastructure.

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