Use of paper tube-pouch could reduce plastic in pharma packaging

According to the developers of a new paper tube-pouch, its design could reduce plastic use by up to 65 percent in pharma packaging.

Paper tube-pouch

A new tube-pouch made with paper has been developed which could reduce the use of plastic in pharmaceutical packaging. 

Developed by Toppan Printing, the producer says that due to the use of thinner film material, the conventional tube-pouch is easier to squeeze and uses 30 percent less plastic than the type of laminated tube widely used for toothpaste.

According to the company, the tube-pouch maintains its functionality while demonstrating an improved environmental performance by employing a paper-based material for the body, making possible a 50 percent reduction in plastic volume. Coupled with a redesign of the plastic parts of the head section, this enables plastic to be reduced by a total of 65 percent. Although plastic has been replaced with paper, the tube-pouch still maintains its shape even when the volume of content inside decreases, and the use of a film on the inner surface ensures a barrier to protect contents. 

Paper tube-pouch

Credit: Toppan Printing

The body of the paper tube-pouch has a thickness of 0.1mm and a special folded structure. Combined with a horizontal design for the plastic spout, the company says this makes it easier to squeeze out the contents.

“The paper tube-pouch represents a new solution that can meet the needs of manufacturers, consumers and society as a whole by reducing impact on the environment, enhancing user-friendliness and also offering new possibilities for design,” said Shingo Wada, general manager of business strategy in Toppan’s western Japan division. “It is another example of Toppan’s efforts to tackle such issues as marine plastic and the need for efficient circulation of resources by developing eco-friendly packaging and containers that sacrifice nothing in terms of functionality while making use of more sustainable materials, such as recycled and biomass plastics, monomaterials and paper.”

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