In the constant search for recyclable solutions in the packaging world, monomaterials have gained prominence and revolutionized the industry, offering a more sustainable and efficient alternative compared to conventional materials.
What are monomaterials?
Monomaterials are films made from a single type of polymer, unlike traditional materials that contain multiple layers with different properties and additional elements such as aluminum and paper In other words, monomaterials are 100% recyclable and can be treated and recycled more easily than conventional films.
Advantages of monomaterials in packaging
Production Efficiency: The manufacturing of monomaterials is more resource and energy-efficient compared to composite materials. By requiring fewer production steps and fewer processes for melting different materials, natural resource consumption is reduced, and greenhouse gas emissions are decreased, contributing to mitigating climate change and improving manufacturers’ carbon footprint.
Versatility: Monomaterials can adapt to various packaging applications and requirements, offering optimal protection and barriers.
They can take on different formats, such as rigid and flexible films, bags, or flowpack, and offer a wide range of thicknesses and sizes to meet the specific needs of food or industrial products.
Sustainability: The simplicity of recycling is a standout advantage of monomaterials. Being composed of a single type of polymer, such as PET (polyethylene terephthalate), PP (polypropylene), or PE (polyethylene), they facilitate their separation and processing in the recycling system. This helps reduce the amount of plastic waste and promotes a circular economy, where recycled plastic materials can be reused to manufacture new rolls of monomaterial plastic film for the packaging of other industrial or commercial products.
Considerations when working with monomaterials
Monomaterials have different properties compared to multimaterials or traditional materials. In this regard, some key aspects should be considered and packaging lines should be parameterized before introducing them into production.
1. Machinery Compatibility:
In general, monomaterials are compatible with most conventional packaging machines, such as those used in thermoforming, heat sealing, and flowpack packaging. However, it is essential to verify that the machinery used is designed or can be parameterized to work with the specific type of films. Some polymers may require adjustments in speed, temperature, or pressure to achieve optimal packaging.
2. Processing Temperature:
Processing temperature is a critical factor when working with monomaterials in packaging, as each polymer used has unique thermal characteristics and specific requirements. To achieve successful packaging, it is essential to select the appropriate temperature based on the type of monomaterial, the thickness of the plastic film, and the characteristics of the product being packaged.
3. Suitable Barrier and Strength:
When selecting a monomaterial for packaging, it is important to consider the specific needs for barrier properties and strength required for the packaged product. Some foods may require a higher barrier against moisture, light, or oxygen, such as meats or dairy products, while other products may need greater mechanical strength to protect them during transportation and handling.
Monomaterials represent an innovative and promising solution in the sustainable packaging industry. Their focus on waste reduction, ease of recycling, and versatility makes them an increasingly popular choice among companies committed to environmental responsibility.
At TtPack, we offer a wide range of monomaterial packaging films. Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information on their advantages and applications.