Traditionally, the Henkel Group, a German manufacturer of stain remover, has protected its ‘Sil’ stain remover product from moisture ingress by using a combination of a plastic film to cover the outside of the cardboard package and a plastic bag inside the package that contains the product itself.
But recently, the company decided that it wanted a more eco-friendly package for its stain remover to fulfil the ‘Green Dot’ criteria specified by the German Dual System (Duales System Deutschland AG, or DSD).
So it turned to packaging supplier VG Nicolaus and Ticona, the technical polymers business of Celanese, for a solution.
Working together, the two companies developed a novel solution by laminating a barrier of a Ticona’s Topas COC (cyclic olefin copolymer) into the cardboard pack itself to provide the required moisture protection at a thickness of only 20 g/m2.
As a result, the plastics content of the package remained below the 5% limit specified by the DSD Green Dot system. This allowed the packaging material to qualify as eco-friendly, single-material packaging and only incur low DSD charges.
To achieve the same level of moisture protection provided by the Topas COC, a Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) content of around 20% would be required in the cardboard pack. Such packaging would then be classified as a composite material and be commercially uneconomical because of its high disposal costs.