With both fill products and packaging needing to be mutually protected from the effects of oils, fats, water, and external substances, plastic polyethylene (PE) laminates have traditionally been adopted across the packaging industry — despite the complex, costly and increasingly scrutinized recycling process, which involves using specialist technologies to separate the plastic from the cardboard substrate. ACTEGA’s new ACTGreen Barrier Coatings range, however, comprises barrier coatings and TPE dispersions (YUNICO) for coating and binding which are all water-based, enabling substrates to be widely and easily recycled utilizing standard practices. Facilitating time and cost efficiencies throughout the production line and offering extreme versatility through a series of possible secondary features, ranging from heat sealability to heat resistance, the ACTGreen Barrier Coatings provide an effective, economical, and truly sustainable solution for conscientious printers and packaging converters looking to answer the ever-increasing call for reduced plastic use.
Designed around an expressed commitment to making a decisive contribution to sustainability, but also with ACTEGA’s characteristic packaging expertise and innovation at its core, the company’s ACTGreen Barrier Coatings deliver a host of additional customer benefits alongside their superior performance and environmental credentials. By eliminating the need for PE-laminated materials, ACTEGA’s ACTGreen® Barrier Coatings not only streamline the production process and deliver invaluable cost savings throughout the entire production process but also, critically, enable converters to transform their business model from one which is restricted by the lengthy delivery times or bulk storage costs of PE-laminated board, to an efficient just-in-time production system able to thrive in the increasingly competitive and demanding packaging sector. Compatible across sheet-fed offset, flexo, and gravure printing — and with the possibility for processing via different coaters from roller to air knife — the versatile barrier coatings reflect ACTEGA’s committed approach to both reducing plastic use and removing barriers to sustainable practices.
“Throughout our 10 operative companies, we have always championed our high customer orientation, and with production facilities across the globe, we are extremely well-placed to listen and respond to our customers in each market. What we are hearing universally is that the call for sustainability is, understandably, louder than ever,” explains Markus Locher, global barrier manager at ACTEGA Paper and Board. “We’ve worked extremely hard to ensure that our ACTGreen Barrier Coatings provide a robust and viable alternative to non-recyclable PE linings that will allow packaging manufacturers to not only respond to the increasing pressures that they’re feeling from brand owners regarding environmental issues, but to optimize their own operations and production processes too. The unavoidable need to shift away from plastics and find workable, profitable, and environmentally sound alternatives is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges facing the packaging industry today, and we are proud to be taking firm steps in the right direction with this latest offering.”
Depending on the product, barrier coatings from ACTEGA are able to provide effective protection from water vapor, water, oil, and fat, with additional barrier effects against alcohol, alkaline, and acidic liquids and dairy products. Further, its novel aqueous TPE dispersions with YUNICO technology make it possible to combine these different properties within a single dispersion — for example, specific barrier properties; tactile effects (e.g., smooth, soft, silky, rough); heat sealability in high and low temperature ranges; and certified recyclability. By compounding TPE components, ACTEGA is able to adjust variable properties and create tailored solutions which are unique to each client’s needs and compatible with various substrates from paper to aluminium.
“As a worldwide market leader, we feel a real responsibility to utilize our knowledge, expertise, and passion to continually innovate for solutions which benefit not only our customers but also the wider world,” continues Locher. “Our entire ACTGreen Barrier Coating portfolio is designed with that at its core; pushing one step further from just formulating our products sustainably to actually developing smart, game-changing solutions that enable the production of more sustainable end products.”