High Barrier Flexible Packaging Materials. Developments and Application Fields
In Europe, we have three driving forces for the rising application of high barrier flexible packaging materials: The two general trends to reduce input materials cost and to facilitate packaging processes are valid for all types of packagings, also in the technical sector. For consumer packagings, a third motivation also comes from the waste management side. The latter is driven by the EU Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste, which leads to the stepwise introduction of cost intensive waste management systems all over Europe. As a consequence, waste management costs may be close to production costs for a given packaging system. In this context, prospects are best for light weight specialized flexible materials, for which vacuum coated films are prominent examples. Before this difficult background Fraunhofer IVV coordinates collaborative R&D projects together with more than 40 companies, mainly from the packaging sector, supported by additional funding from national sources or the European Union. Right now a European Thematic Network has started its work in which more than 30 partners will pursue the successful collaboration on a wider scope.