DNP Develops Biomass-Based Packaging Materials for use with Microwave Ovens
Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP) has developed a packaging material based on plant-derived biomass plastic film for use with microwave ovens. This plant-derived environmentally friendly material is the first of its kind in the packaging industry, and marketing activities will be launched from May 2015.
DNP is actively developing a diverse range of sustainable packaging materials with a low environmental burden. In 2012, the Company led the world in developing a PET film that included plant-derived materials.
At the same time, foodstuffs that can be prepared in microwave ovens are also on the rise, fueling increased demand for packaging materials that can be safely heated in microwaves. From 2003, DNP has developed and marketed packaging materials allowing the contents to be heated in the state they were purchased at the supermarket.
In this latest development, DNP has successfully developed a biomass-based Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE). And in an industry-first has applied this to the creation of a packaging material for use with microwave ovens that uses biomass plastic materials in all layers.
[Features and Environmental Response Effect]
The newly developed product, uses PET film with a 20% biomass content in the surface layer, and LDPE in the inner layers.
And by using plant-derived materials in all film layers, other than the ink and adhesives, it has been possible to achieve a maximum biomass content of 60% throughout the entire container. Using Life Cycle Assessments that quantitatively assess the overall impact of reduced environmental burdens throughout the entire lifecycle of the product, it has also been possible to achieve maximum CO2 emission reductions of approximately 14% compared to currently available products based on petroleum-based products.
It is also possible to use barrier film, or design specs that are compatible with the contents, or filling devices for foods, where it is necessary to prevent the infiltration of water vapor or oxygen. Furthermore, it is possible to offer the new materials in the form of pillow pouches, or as rolled film.
[Packaging Materials for Use with Microwave Ovens]
The pillow pouches are part of the packaging materials for use with microwave ovens from DNP, and are based on a structure that prevents bursting, by allowing water vapor to escape. This is achieved by using the heat and pressure emitted when heating in microwaves to automatically open the vapor mouth of the pouch. Part of the pouch seal is coated with a special resin that softens when heat is applied and opens, but which is completely sealed at standard temperatures.
To the best of its ability, DNP plans to switch packaging materials offered to manufacturers of foods, beverages and daily necessities to biomass plastic film. Manufacturers overseas have shown a firm interest in the new packaging materials, and the Company plans to actively develop the international market.
Looking ahead, the Company will also develop packaging in diverse formats, including paper-based products and molded products, and aims to contribute to the prevention of global warming through the market penetration of these products.
DNP aims for sales of 300 million yen by FY 2017 from sales of the newly developed packaging materials.