Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

New PET barrier material

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New PET barrier material
Multilayer PET for films for thermoforming with superior oxygen barrier
In Use – Introduced to the market by Placon in October 2010. A company spokesperson explains "EcoStar® is in the market and we have many customers that use it but we are under contract not to reveal names and specific products."

Benefits
Product Waste Reduction, Recycled content/recyclability, Water Usage, Not Applicable

Product Categories
Food

Relevant Materials
Laminates, Plastic – Flexible, Plastic – rigid

Relevant Packaging Formats
Other

Supply Chain Phase
Consumer, Recovery, Storage

Details

A multi-layer sheet that can be converted into transparent retail packaging for a variety of meat products, poultry, seafood, cheese and processed food items. The material features a patent pending co-extruded sheet comprising a combination of active and passive layers. It is these active and passive layers which the manufacturers claim provides superior oxygen barrier performance. The result is an extended shelf-life for perishable foods.
 
Unlike many alternative co-extruded barrier products using EVOH type passive layers, this barrier PET has layer thickness eliminating oxygen permeation.
 
The film, called Ecostar HB 4000, is produced by Placon, who claims that the HB 4000 PET can be recycled with no negative impact on the recycling stream.

Potential Benefits

As well as providing enhanced shelf-life this PET material appears to be fully recyclable, a significant advantage compared to many other barrier polymers used for thermoformed food products.

Intellectual Property

The intellectual property for Ecostar® is owned by Placon. The company comments on IP:
"Placon developed and owns all intellectual properties of EcoStar. We consider all materials proprietary but only a few of the more unique materials are patent pending". 
 
A company spokesperson further explains: "EcoStar® is in the market and we have many customers that use it but we are under contract not to reveal names and specific products. We work with multi-national companies that sell into North America and Europe. Each EcoStar® material has different qualities depending on what our customers need. We have PET materials that provide an oxygen barrier, heat sealing ability, different levels of post-consumer content and food grade material. None of these materials contaminate the recycling stream but can be recycled right back in. We sell EcoStar® in two forms – roll stock/sheet material and thermoforms depending on what the customer is looking for".

Consultant View

Placon is planning to open its own recycling facility in February 2011. This facility will grind and wash post-consumer bottles and thermoformed packaging for processing into Ecostar® sheet products. Incorporating post-consumer recyclate will further enhance the potential environmental benefits of this material.
 
Other related technologies that may be of interest on the REID database include, for example -
"Unique modified atmosphere pack" - a BreatheWay echnology from Apio Inc. in California.

Contacts and Further Information

Company details:
Placon Corporation
6096 McKee Road
Madison, Wisconsin 53719

Tel: 608-271-5634
 
Technology contact details:
John Yourkovich
 
 

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