Controlling microbial growth in plastic packaging

Daphne Allen

January 6, 2016

1 Min Read
Controlling microbial growth in plastic packaging

Antimicrobial additives can be used with polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), and other plastics to inhibit biofilm build up in bottles, medical products, and other plastic items, it is reported.

MicroBlok S and MicroBlok Z from Plastics Color Corp. can be used to help eliminate undesired odors, enhance product freshness, prevent product degradation, and fight stains, according to a company statement.

“Depending on the version of MicroBlok, as an antimicrobial, it inhibits the growth, on the treated plastic, of bacteria, molds, fungi, etc.,” Sarah Skidmore, Marketing Manager at Plastics Color, tells PMP News. “MicroBlok protects the plastic by preventing product degradation. As a masterbatch (or compound, if desired), it is dispersed into the resin used to create the part — so it lasts the lifetime of the product.”  

MicroBlok S consists of silver ions that are evenly dispersed throughout an application, while MicroBlok Z contains a zinc compound and is suited for resins with low melting temperatures, the company reports. Common resins for MicroBlok S include TPU, PC, ABS, PP, and PE; TPE, TPU, PE, and PP are suitable for MicroBlok Z.

Stable at any polymer processing temperature, MicroBlok is strictly regulated under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) as well as by FDA and the National Sanitation Foundation. The company reports that it has been tested and approved to meet (or exceed) several regulatory statutes, including ISO 22196:2011, which measures the growth of bacteria within a 24-hour period on the tested plastic substrates. 

For more information on MicroBlok S or Z, visit

Image courtesy Plastics Color Corp.

About the Author(s)

Daphne Allen

Daphne Allen is editor-in-chief of Design News. She previously served as editor-in-chief of MD+DI and of Pharmaceutical & Medical Packaging News and also served as an editor for Packaging Digest. Daphne has covered design, manufacturing, materials, packaging, labeling, and regulatory issues for more than 20 years. She has also presented on these topics in several webinars and conferences, most recently discussing design and engineering trends at IME West 2024 and leading an Industry ShopTalk discussion during the show on artificial intelligence.

Follow Daphne on X at @daphneallen and reach her at [email protected].

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