synthetic papers New opportunities

While synthetic papers have been making their mark in areas such as IML and outdoor tags and labels for some time, there are some newer markets that synthetic paper suppliers are looking to crack. “An emerging packaging market includes folding cartons and blister packaging due to the pilferage resistance and security features of synthetic paper, coupled with excellent graphic qualities,” says Giblin. “In addition, synthetic papers are being used as the strength ply in multi-layer bags and flexible packaging materials for many of the same reasons.”

Arjobex is actively working with customers on using synthetic papers to replace two-ply paper/PP bags. As always, this takes development work and for products such as these, one of the areas is the heat sealing of the bags at top and bottom. The challenge, says Hoag, is for bag converters and their customers to be able to achieve reliable seals at acceptable production rates. 

Clint Beutelschies, VP of sales and marketing for Valeron Strength Films, notes some markets that could benefit from efforts such as these. “Chemical packaging and packaging of hazardous materials is a great fit for us,” he says. “Legislation regarding contamination and chemical spills means that higher performance packaging films will be used more and more.” 

Giblin adds that food and pharmaceutical packaging are growing markets for synthetic papers. “Synthetic paper usage in the pharmaceutical field is expected to increase, especially with products that are known to have a high and expensive pilferage rate. Because of their high tear strengths, synthetic papers can reduce tampering without sacrificing graphic fidelity.”

As a final note, the use of synthetic papers could have a positive impact on sustainability concerns. “Choosing the right synthetic can also mean reducing the amount of packaging required by eliminating plies of paper, foil, etc.,” says Beutelschies. “In the case of Valeron, customers are able to significantly reduce the amount of packaging materials required by relying on the unique strength and tear resistance of the product.”