Amcor-AmLite

Amcor develops new film platform for high barrier and retort packaging

Global packaging company Amcor has introduced a new film platform that can be recycled and can handle a range of retort high-barrier, ambient medium-barrier and ambient high-barrier applications.

With this new product, Amcor achieved a major breakthrough in more sustainable high barrier and retort packaging, following the three years of research and development. This new development reflects the company’s progress toward its 2025 Pledge.

“We see a lot of our competitors going to market with very specific, medium- to low-barrier solutions or types of applications. What we have done is create a film that can be used in many different applications. It has the potential to convert a big chunk of the packaging out there into a structure that is compatible with existing and emerging recycling schemes,” said Luca Zerbini, Vice President of Marketing, Innovation, and Sustainability for Amcor Flexibles EMEA.

The new film platform is an evolution of the company’s AmLite metal-free flexible packaging technology. Zerbini explained that “first we took the metal out from the structure, and now we are also taking out the PET, so that the entire structure is a polyolefin-based material.” A layer of silicon oxide is deposited on a polyolefin film, along with the coating that is needed to address the functional requirements of the application.

The products that can be packaged using the new film platform are snacks, wet pet food, confectionery, ambient ready meals, coffee, nuts, and also yogurt. According to Zerbini, the film will be polypropylene-based; future developments are aiming to target polyethylene as well. “The point is, the film can be adjusted to the needs of each customer application,” he adds.

The figure for the retort high performance grade are <1g of moisture, while ambient high-performance grade are below 0.1 cc oxygen and 0.1 g moisture.

Amcor has also started developing flexible packaging applications utilizing the new film, in closely work with its largest CPG customers. According to Zerbini, “flexible packaging with this film, either provided in rollstock or in pouches, can be run on its customers’ existing packaging lines.”

Commercial applications are expected to hit the market in 18 to 24 months. In order to satisfy the anticipated demand for the product, Amcor is looking for a second plant for the development of the product in Portugal.

However, production will be based in Europe; the film will be available for all the company’s sites all over the world.

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