22 Juni 2016

New “green” PLA tamper-evident seal yields cost savings for customers

New biodegradable polylactic acid film is made from sustainable, 100% annually renewable plant sugars

New Hampshire-based eatSafe, LLC, a global leader in tamper-evident seals for the packaging industry, has developed and launched ecoSafe, a shrink film designed to save money on packaging costs while being environmentally friendly.

wImageecoSafe is a biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) shrink film manufactured from sustainable, 100% annually renewable plant sugars to create a proprietary polylactide polymer. It caters to a growing number of companies who wish to package their products in more environmentally responsible manner.

This material is far superior environmentally to oil-based PET, polyethylene, PVC and polypropylene films, which use 20-250% more non-renewable energy during production and produce 4-6 times more greenhouse gases during their life cycle.
ecoSafe can be composted in industrial facilities, or incinerated with no volatile compounds (VOCs) and low residue created during burning. Even if the product ends up in a landfill, it produces 75% less greenhouse gas compared to oil-based PET products.

“Our customers tell us they are searching for more eco-friendly and greener-living packaging choices,” said Wayne Summerford, president of eatSafe. “ecoSafe fills that need, and works in traditionally more difficult applications like nested materials, shrink bundling, and multi-packing. We have had success not only with food manufacturers and contract packagers who are concerned about food safety, but also in the general packaging marketplace.”

ecoSafe heat shrink film is roll stock and can be ordered in any width from 1” to 10”. It is designed to be utilized with the eatSafe Ringer, an automatic tamper-evident shrink banding machine. ecoSafe film is formed into a tamper-evident seal with an easy-open feature; no scissors are required and there are no sharp edges left after opening. A tamper-evident seal is required by the Food & Drug Administration on certain classes of products but is also used widely in the packaging industry due to its superior level of safety as compared to a simple tamper-resistant seal.

ecoSafe’s customers report cost savings after making the switch from preform shrink bands to ecoSafe PLA roll stock applied with the eatSafe Ringer machine, says the company. Together, ecoSafe shrink film and the eatSafe Ringer machine replace the labor-intensive and costly existing technologies such as preform shrink bands, sleeves and safety stickers and labels The savings are said to be primarily in labor, freight and inventory, but there is also a reduction in administrative and warehouse costs.

“ecoSafe is much more environmentally-conscious than PET, PVC, polyethylene and polypropylene films,“ said Summerford. “In addition, ecoSafe’s bio-based PLA material consumes far less non-renewable energy during production than any other type of shrink film currently on the market.”

Source: Bioplastics MAGAZINE, 2016-06-16.

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