Flex Films, the packaging film arm of UFlex displayed its range of BOPET, BOPP and CPP films at Pack Expo 2022, held from 23 through 26 October in Chicago. The highlight of the company’s exhibit included transparent, coated, metalized BOPET, BOPP and CPP films. Transparent and high barrier BOPET, BOPP & CPP are the new products that UFlex group has added to its portfolio recently, targeting the barrier films market in a new way using the latest technology and process. Traditionally, barrier property on BOPP is added using offline coating methods and is very much popular in the Anglo-American and Anglo-European markets. In addition, the company also displayed its range of CPP packaging films.
Speaking about the new Barrier BOPP film, Apoorvshree Chaturvedi, director EU operations & sustainability, UFlex Group said, “At present, adding barrier properties on BOPP involves multiple steps. So we are trying to consolidate these production steps for creating the film with barrier properties that offer best-in-class OTR and WVTR values. We are focusing both on producing best-in-class barrier and productivity in terms of speed on the filling line as well as the speed in which the equipment can run.”
Chaturvedi added, “Using metalized laminate with aluminum foil is the best barrier quick-fix but it is not easy to recycle. In contrast, polymer films always had a good barrier but they never had best-in-class barrier properties (like aluminum foil). So what we are envisioning is a new film that will replace certain flexible packaging structures where aluminum foils are being used as a barrier and we can replace and use a polymer film with a barrier that has OTR and WVTR values close to aluminum foil.”
Chaturvedi said that replacing aluminum or metalized foil with a polymer film for the barrier will make the structure fully recyclable. “If you have PE as barrier and printing layers, then you have a homogeneous flexible packaging structure. In addition to fulfilling the sustainability requirements, these structures can provide more yield – you can do packs of different sizes because polymer films serve as a barrier and are easier to handle when compared to aluminum foil. It is a future-ready product that answers both the questions of sustainability and performance. Aluminum foil can crack and can be difficult to handle in small pack sizes.”
Launch of the new barrier film in India, however, will take some time as the Indian packaging market has different barrier requirements. “We are focusing on barrier property for BOPP in India in a different manner. We have the technical capability to produce it at our Indian facilities anytime without requiring to depend on imports from our overseas plants. However, in India, the barrier requirements are not as advanced as what is required in the global markets. I think the standards and requirements will change by 2025 considering the kind of capital investment people are doing in packaged food and branded beverages. Right now, we have a full low-key manufacturing solution for the Indian market,” said Chaturvedi.