Uncertainty about the availability and price of aluminum foil used for packaging applications in response to the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations led by the U.S. Department of Commerce is prompting consumer goods packaging companies and converters to consider alternative substrates and creative solutions for their packaging needs.
Toray Plastics (America), based in North Kingstown, RI, a global manufacturer of high-performance packaging films, is offering an alternative with its proven, barrier-durable, cost-effective MET OPP and MET PET films. Several of these alternatives offer advanced integrated sealant technology and are readily available to replace foil. Toray extrudes and orients its OPP and PET films, which include biobased versions, and has the capability to metalize and coat many of them. Barrier and unique seal-strength characteristics can be dialed in for customized applications.
All the work is conducted at the company’s headquarters. Vertical manufacturing ensures quality control and provides customers with convenient, cost-effective bundling, ordering and shipping, said Toray Plastics (America).
Tammy Williamson, Associate Product Manager of the Torayfan polypropylene film division, notes that Fortune 100 companies, medium and small regional manufacturers, and converters have relied on Toray’s advanced metalized OPP and PET film technology for more than 30 years to protect product freshness and build brand loyalty. Regarding its metalized film for foil replacement, Williamson explains that several forward-thinking customers were early adopters of MET OPP as a drop-in replacement for paper-polyethylene-foil-polyethylene packet (PPFP) and stand-up pouch packaging used for oatmeal, hot cocoa, seasoning, dried soup, rice, dried cheese, mixes, powdered beverages and nutrition/energy drinks.
Toray’s Torayfan PC1, PC3, PC5 and M23 MET OPP films are designed specifically for drop-in foil replacement and buried-barrier web applications. They offer flex-crack and puncture resistance and deliver moisture- and oxygen-barrier durability. Torayfan PCFS, MH5C and LGHX5 metalized films for PPFP applications have the additional feature of integrated sealant technology, allowing for the replacement of the foil and sealant layers, Williamson explained.
Williamson added that pouches for coffee, nuts, dried fruits and salty snacks that are made with foil are also ideally suited for foil replacement. Toray’s Lumirror MK61 and MK6HB MET PET films are robust alternatives to foil that offer oxygen- and moisture-barrier protection for those foods. They may be used as an outer layer in a two-ply lamination or as the middle layer in a three-ply lamination.
According to Toray, the company’s MET OPP and MET PET have industry-leading metal adhesion and greater bond strength between the non-metal lamination layer and extrusion laminations/coatings when compared with regular corona-treated films. Those characteristics eliminate the dissatisfying delaminated “pouch-in-a-pouch” effect that can occur when a consumer opens a weaker package.
Toray’s foil replacement films are also the thinnest available in the packaging industry, delivering more film per pound than thicker films and making them a smart, sustainable choice, said Toray. Increased footage enables converters to lower the number of required roll changes, thus reducing the amount of scrap and providing even greater cost savings and another sustainability advantage.
Unlike foil, the physical properties of Toray’s MET OPP and MET PET films do not exhibit a “shop worn” appearance after packaging and handling. Packets make a positive impression when taken out of a box, and stand-up pouches maintain a fresh, eye-catching appearance on the retail shelf.