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Customer Trials Start on ‘World’s First’ Recyclable PE-based Blister Packaging

Image: Amcor AmSky packaging
Amcor’s AmSky eliminates PVC in healthcare packaging, which can be problematic to recycle by conventional methods, with polyethylene (PE) thermoform blister and lidding film. 

Amcor has announced that it is beginning customer trials of what it is calling the world’s first recyclable polyethylene-based thermoform blister packaging. Designed to meet the regulatory requirements of pharmaceutical packaging, the product “creates a more sustainable alternative for the most in-demand healthcare packaging type,” said Amcor. This innovation also achieves up to a 70% reduction in the carbon footprint compared with packaging alternatives currently on the market.

AmSky replaces PVC in the packaging with polyethylene (PE) thermoform blister and lidding film. PVC can make packaging recycling more difficult or contaminate other materials if consumers attempt to recycle it, according to Amcor. 

Noting that the company generates nearly $2 billion in annual sales in the healthcare market, “this new blister packaging solution will significantly enhance the ability of healthcare and pharmaceutical brands to put sustainability at the heart of their businesses,” said Peter Konieczny, Chief Commercial Officer.

Amcor said that it is currently working with several leading pharmaceutical companies to bring AmSky to global markets. It is expected to be available in the healthcare market by the second half of 2022.

The recyclability of the material was verified by cyclos-HTP, an organization based in Aachen, Germany, that provides independent assessment and certification of such environmental claims. The carbon footprint reduction is based on an Asset life-cycle assessment of a standard PVC blister with aluminum foil lidding compared with Amcor’s AmSky PE blister and lidding film. The Asset tool is certified by the Carbon Trust.

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