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Paper Packaging

High-Barrier Material Takes Paper Packaging to a New Level

Image courtesy of Amcor AmFiber-ftd.jpg
Amcor has developed an environmentally friendly paper packaging material that protects food from oxygen and moisture — and runs well on with existing packaging lines.

Amcor is expanding packagers’ options for sustainable flexible materials with the launch of LifeSpan Performance Paper in Europe. The recyclable, high-barrier material was developed for food packaging and is the first offering in Amcor’s recently announced AmFiber product family.

“We anticipate a brand launch using LifeSpan Performance Paper for confectionery in the first half of 2022,” says Clifton O’Neal, Director, Media Relations at Amcor. “It will first be available for cold-seal flow-wrap applications, with further applications following close behind.”

LifeSpan Performance Paper was engineered to provide snack and confectionery packagers with a recyclable package that is grease-resistant and delivers high oxygen and moisture barrier, even in tropical climates. According to Amcor, the material offers a barrier level comparable to that of metallized oriented polypropylene (OPP).

The company is currently working on additional packaging applications for the material, including coffee, spices, and dried soups.

The material is compatible with food manufacturers’ packaging lines, as well. “Machine tests of LifeSpan Performance Paper for the snacks and confectionery market have shown that the material runs easily on producers’ existing lines and avoids common challenges with paper, such as tearing and slowing down the line speed,” O’Neal says.

As for sustainability, the new material has more than 80% paper-fiber content and contains no polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC), making it recyclable in most European countries. The fiber used to make the paper is sourced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified forests.

These features will be attractive to brand owners responding to consumers who are interested in more sustainable products and who are willing to pay more for them.

Amcor reports, without naming names, that leading fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) brands have successfully tested the new material.

Geographically, the AmFiber products are expected to roll out in the Americas and Asia-Pacific after the European launch. The AmFiber initiative is part of Amcor’s pledge to develop all its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025.

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