Toray, Chemosvit Partner to Advance Sustainability in Flexible Packaging
Materials company Toray and European flexible packaging group Chemosvit this week showed a sample of a mono-material pouch with barrier properties designed with the circular economy in mind. It illustrates the potential of the partners’ technology, which combines a novel flexible film construction with a waterless electron beam (EB) offset printing process that results in reduced CO2 emissions compared with conventional techniques.
Offset printing is not as widely used with flexible packaging as gravure and flexographic printing, said Tokyo-based Toray in the announcement. The offset process is advantageous, however, for short and medium runs, as it offers production flexibility — offset plates can be imaged within minutes — and accelerates time to market, said Toray. These advantages have gained prominence as brand owners shift to a broader variety of food products and other consumables in smaller quantities. Toray and Chemosvit believe waterless EB offset printing is the most environmentally sustainable method supporting this trend.
The solvent-free technology, devoid of volatile organic compounds, reduces CO2 emissions by more than 80% compared with gravure printing, according to Toray. Moreover, offset plates are made of aluminum, which can be recycled. The cumulative result is greatly reduced energy consumption vis à vis other printing techniques, according to the companies.
Toray and Chemosvit currently are fine tuning the new printing technology. Toray has developed a material designed for use with a water-washable ink that is currently under development at major ink manufacturers.