With the world heading towards a more sustainable future, innovative methods are being introduced every other day to meet the needs of consumers. While plastic seems to be a wonderful invention, people are discovering its harmful impact on the environment. This has motivated companies to adopt alternate solutions to packaging, coating, and other synthetic products.
Regarding food packaging, plastic films have been the go-to solution for many years. But due to its non-biodegradable properties, the more plastic we use in packaging and other implementations, the more harmful it is for our planet. As a result, discovering an alternative to plastic food packaging became a goal for innovative companies prioritizing sustainability. Companies like Kuraray are striving to achieve sustainable initiatives through their products.
Founded in 1926, Kuraray specializes in synthetic chemicals, fibers, and polymers. The company also has a global supply network. Recently, they have introduced an innovative method for food packaging that helps food stay fresh for longer with minimal environmental impact.
The fresh food approach
Food goes stale in plastic packaging because air penetrates the package. Consequently, oxygen, which constitutes a considerable part of the air, enters the packaging too. It then reacts with the fresh food and makes it lose its freshness. So, to keep food fresh for longer, one solution was to develop barrier packaging that blocks oxygen from entering the packaging. And that’s what Kuraray has done.
PLANTIC and EVAL are two notable products from Kuraray. PLANTIC, a Biomass-derived gas barrier material, was developed through collaborative research in Australia. Since its commercialization in 2003, PLANTIC has gained recognition for its high biomass content. It has been embraced as an eco-friendly material by major retailers and food manufacturers across different continents.
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On the other hand, Kuraray’s EVAL, an ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) resin first pioneered in 1972, offers unparalleled gas barrier properties compared to other plastics. EVAL is widely utilized in food packaging containers and is increasingly adopted in various applications, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, agricultural produce, industrial products, and even automotive plastic fuel tanks.
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The food packaging developed by Kuraray consists of a film that blocks oxygen and acts as a barrier between food and air. Compared to ordinary plastic packaging, it is a much thinner layer that can be recycled, thus limiting its impact on the environment. Proper food storage helps reduce carbon footprint, minimizes food waste, and allows us to enjoy our food to its full potential. Ultimately, discovering more innovations in this industry to counter excessive plastic use has benefits for the environment and ourselves.
YouTube: Kuraray’s Plantic (promotional video)
Photo credit: All shown images are owned by Kuraray and were provided for media usage as part of press releases.