Plastic Suppliers, Inc. Unveils First Ever Bio-based Ultra-thin Packaging Film
-EarthFirst® UL 9μ / .36 Mil High Performance Sealant-
Orlando, FL, April 8, 2016– Plastic Suppliers Inc. announced a breakthrough in plastic film making with the unveiling of an ultra-thin PLA sealant film for the flexible packaging industry. PLA (polylactic acid) is a biodegradable and compostable plastic derived from renewable sugar compounds found in corn starch, tapioca roots, sugar beets, sugarcane, and most plant life. Sealant films, when laminated to packaging films, bond to themselves to form hermetic seals and are used on a wide range of pouches, bags, and sachets used for flexible packaging. The new film, EarthFirst® UL, overcomes the machinability issues common with thinner, lighter gauge films and reduces the volumetric weight of common sealant films entering the waste stream from 75%-150% depending on the application. Demand for sealant webs in the US alone is 6-7 billion pounds annually.
"The potential impact this product can have on sustainability in flexible packaging is enormous. It is lighter and compostable. In addition to EarthFirst® UL sealant films, we envision a high-barrier, compostable, light-weight, low-cost laminations to be available for the industry very soon" says Francisco Cavalcanti, Global VP of Technology for the company. Cavalcanti presented a technical paper and a series of videos of the product being laminated and converted into pouches at Innovation Takes Root, a global biopolymer conference in Orlando Florida this week. ITR is attended by a number of CPG brand owners, converters, processors, and material suppliers to the plastics industry.
Cavalcanti went on to say, "PLA film has always had a number of very positive attributes beyond its lower carbon footprint and the wide range of plentiful and renewable sugar sources from which lactic acid can be made." Examples he gave were PLA’s naturally higher surface tension for printing and adhesive applications and its very high modulus needed for machinability versus polyethylene and polypropylene used in packaging today. "We have demonstrated laminating .36 mil (9μ) EarthFirst® UL to common flexible packaging substrates like BOPP and Metalized PET at over 1000 feet per minute. When converting these laminations into pouches, they require less time and temperature to form the seals on pouches than conventional sealant films thus allowing the pouch equipment to run faster at lower costs with less wear and tear." Page | 2
"Historically the barriers to wider use of PLA in packaging have been its higher cost and its stiffness causing ‘noisy packaging’ in heavier thickness PLA films. The proprietary blends and patented manufacturing processes we use today to make a .36 mil thickness eliminates those barriers." says company CEO George Thomas. "We are excited at the high level of interest we are getting from the brand owners and converters globally."
Plastic Suppliers Inc. is the world leader in the production of PLA based films with manufacturing in Columbus, Ohio and converting and distribution sites in Los Angeles CA, Dallas TX, and in Ghent Belgium through its subsidiary Sidaplax VOF. In addition to EarthFirst® films, including UL and EarthFirst® shrink label films, the company manufactures a range of value-added polystyrene label films and windowing films under the Polyflex™ brand and distributes lidding films, PET, synthetic papers, and polypropylene substrates to a variety of markets including food, beverage, HBA, chemical, and office products.