Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Light-weight aluminium laminate for use in flexible tube manufacturing

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Light-weight aluminium laminate for use in flexible tube manufacturing
New light-weighted aluminium laminate offers significant material savings over existing materials.
In Use – Commercially available

Benefits
Packaging Reduction, Resource efficiency (e.g. filling line efficiency)

Product Categories
Drinks, Food, Home Improvement, Household & Personal Care

Relevant Materials
Laminates, Metal

Relevant Packaging Formats
Flexible & Films

Supply Chain Phase
Raw materials / Ingredients

Details

Aluminium is used as a barrier layer in the production of many flexible tubes for food produts, household and personal care, and home improvement. Life cycle studies show that the aluminium layer makes a significant contribution to the overall environmental impacts of the composite material. Therefore, many manufacturers are looking at ways to downgauge the foil material used.
 
One manufacturer of flexible packaging materials has developed a new light-weight aluminium foil laminate for use in the manufacture of flexible tube packaging.  The new laminate is 25% - 45% thinner than existing foil laminates but retains the same look and feel as traditional foils. It can also be processed on existing converting lines.
 
The new R-Laminate material has been develoed by Huhtamaki Ronsberg of Germany and was a winner of the resource efficiency category for the 2012 Alufoil Trophy awards.
 
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

The new material offers considerable material savings when compared to traditional materials and this delivers additional benefits such as reduced CO2 emissions.  The company estimates that using the new material to form a 185 micron foil tube offers a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to forming a tube from standard materials of 250 microns. There will also be further benefits from reduced packaging waste generation.
 
Details of how the material saving has been achieved are not currently being released by the manufacturer.

Intellectual Property

The R-Laminate light-weighted foil has been developed by Huhtamaki Ronsberg of Germany.

Consultant View

The new material offers significant material reduction opportunities and associated carbon footprint benefits over existing flexible aluminium foil solutions and therefore has potential to reduce packaging usage, costs and carbon emissions during manufacture and processing. This is an important incremental advancement. However, it should be remembered that currently such composite packaging substrates are difficult to recycle. A whole life cycle approach to improving the overall performance of such packaging is required. Some initiatives are beginning to address the recycling of composite flexible packaging incorporating foil. For example, the Enval reprocessing technology, also featured in the REID database, is being developed to specifically target difficult to recycle flexible packaging materials.

Contacts and Further Information

Huhtamaki Ronsberg
Heinrich-Nicolaus-Str 6
Ronsberg, D-87671 GERMANY
Tel: 49.8306.77.0
E-mail:flexibles@de.huhtamaki.com
Website: www.huhtamaki.com

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