Sustainable Flex Packaging: Mono & Coextruded films

Packaging designers are continually improving production methods of packaged goods in response to continual shifts in consumer behavior. Consumers now expect packaging to be sustainable and have as little of an environmental footprint as possible. A good-looking, unsustainable package is no longer acceptable.

Governments across the globe are employing regulations to address single use waste. Market Research Future reported the global market for sustainable packaging is projected to reach $470.3 billion by 2027 up from $305 billion in 2020. That’s a 54% increase.   

Sustainable Packaging Continues to Evolve

The packaging industry continues to evolve to uncover new ways to satisfy consumer demands for sustainability while not sacrificing function and efficiency.  The industry is expected to work with the Association of Plastic Recyclers and the Sustainable Packaging Coalition to help develop new green packaging products.

Printing press manufacturers are designing systems now that print with water-based and solvent inks, and unique heat exchanger systems that are particularly energy-efficient and cost-saving. Many companies utilize flex packaging that is made with 20% post-consumer waste recycled content. Recyclable PE (polyethylene) pouches are utilized in many applications such as no-barrier requirement products, moisture-barrier products and pouches that require an oxygen barrier.

Custom equipment manufactures and other industry experts have created recyclable flex packaging and pouches based on all-PE multilayer structures, using new resins and manufacturing processes such as biaxial orientation. The design and variety of film based pouches are evolving with dizzying speed. They can be used with dry and frozen foods and many other applications in a variety of ways.

Plastic pouch manufacturing creates less emissions than that of aluminum containers and takes up far less space in manufacturing and storage facilities. Additionally, their light weight makes pouches much less expensive to transport. Many packaging companies continually evaluate and upgrade their equipment to ensure efficient and sustainable packaging production.

Mono Materials are Here to Stay

Mono-materials remain one of the best ways to create sustainable flexible packaging. The materials reduce the need for material separation and risks of polluting the recycling process. Due to their failure to attain the same high-protection as multilayer films, their utilization has been constrained. Consequently, the use of mono-materials is mainly in low-moisture products.

Packaging designers can utilize creative mono-packaging solutions to make packaging that satisfies consumers and drives them to buy the product. Mono-materials packaging can be tough to withstand the punishment of shipping and can be more of an eco-friendly product than other packaging methods.  As companies change their packaging product lines to become more environmentally friendly, they are utilizing custom designed, energy efficient production methods for more sustainable products and processes.

Coextruded Films

Coextruded films are created by compound molding techniques to simultaneously create multilayer films with thermoplastic resins. Multiple extruders pass through a single die to create multiple layers of resin on the inside and outside of a film. Some new technologies include coextruded films which may qualify as a mono material with multiple layers on each end of a flexible packaging bag and single layers in the middle.

Manufacturers of packaging will continue to invent fresh solutions with higher recyclability and the reprocessing of waste materials. Flex packaging will continue to be increasingly important to many industries with its usefulness and protection characteristics in addition to more eco-friendly packaging, shipping and storing. Whatever your manufacturing process, Tamarack can customize your finishing equipment to meet your needs.

Tamarack® Offers Finishing Solutions with a Variety of Materials

Tamarack® offers finishing solutions with window patching equipment for folding cartons, integrated forms, labels and mailers and RFID inlay insertion systems to create RFID tags, chips and cards. Our equipment is used in the packaging, label and forms industries to patch material on other substrates for value added elements. Our equipment utilizes Tamarack’s unique experience in patching, gluing, and die cutting.

Tamarack® offers more than 50 years of experience in meeting the needs of custom packaging and carton requirements. We partner with our customers to deliver highly specialized, precision equipment combined with exceptional customer service. Contact us to learn more about improving your folding carton, form or label production process with customized solutions.