SABIC has launched a sustainable packaging solution for frozen food which combines a new polyethylene (PE) grade with innovative film production technology. Compared to conventional blow PE film solutions, it offers significantly higher throughput and also has potential for down-gauging, making it attractive from both a commercial and sustainability standpoint.
The solution is based on a mono web TF-BOPE film structure which has a thickness of only 20 micrometers – an unprecedented benefit in this market. This thin gauge provides a potential packaging material reduction of approximately 35-50% compared to incumbent blown PE film. The reduced thickness of the packaging solution minimizes environmental impact and supports brand owners and retailers who are aiming to reduce their packaging material consumption. The new packaging solution is also 100% recyclable and fits mono-PE recycling streams.
This innovative packaging solution for frozen food is the result of SABIC’s close collaboration with film suppliers/extruders Ticinoplast and Plastchim-T, as well as packaging machine manufacturer Syntegon Technology.
TF-BOPE film made of SABIC® LLDPE BX202 material offers tear direction and low tear strength provides an easy unidirectional opening. Compared to conventional solutions, it offers much better visibility of packaged products due to higher light transmission and lower haze. Meanwhile the high gloss delivers first-class design and aesthetics.
The 20 micrometer thin film was successfully tested on Syntegon’s vertical form, fill and seal machines, which feature the newly-developed PHS 2.0 sealing technology. This technology reduces the amount of clamped film by 25 percent and increases packaging speed by up to 25 percent. The thin TF-BOPE film also requires less cooling time which increases packaging speed even more. During the evaluations, a constant speed of 130 bags per minute was achieved.
For packers, TF-BOPE film delivers a robust sealing performance and increased productivity resulting from improved packaging speed. The thin gauge results in increased film roll efficiency which reduces logistic handling, storage space and transport costs.
For converters and brand owners, SABIC’s TF-BOPE film material offers a wide range of benefits that include good printability, cost-saving opportunities, higher yield, less consumption of plastic materials and lower packaging taxes due to reduced material consumption. It further reduces the package weight to product weight ratio, resulting in a more optimized packaging design.
The TF-BOPE film is based on SABIC© LLDPE BX202 grade, which is available globally. TF-BOPE stands for Tenter Frame Biaxially Oriented Polyethylene. This is a PE grade that can run in tenter frame machines traditionally used to make Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) film. TF-BOPE has the potential to be used in new applications and markets which support the circular economy, where mono material solutions are required to enhance recyclability. TF-BOPE can replace multi material laminates into a mono-PE structure.