Dow Chemical's Polypropylene Advances to Benefit Food Packaging Sector

23 Jun 2009 • by Natalie Aster

The Dow Chemical Company announced regulatory compliance and product development breakthroughs for Polypropylene products ideally suited for use in injection molded and thermoformed food and beverage packaging applications. Dow ethylene-propylene impact copolymers (ICPs) have been granted expanded Food Contact status by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This opens up opportunities for food packaging producers needing the operational efficiencies enabled by higher-flow materials together with improved impact strength for cold temperature applications. According to company experts, these products meet and comply with Food Contact Notification (FCN) guidelines for all food types and conditions of use. The new impact copolymer (ICP) grades with FCN compliance status are:

  • DC7072.00 Developmental Polypropylene - A new 80 MFR high impact resin for improved impact applications.
  • DC7054.00 Developmental Polypropylene - A 7 MFR high impact resin previously used in pallets but now also appropriate for pails requiring Food Contact Compliance.

Dow also announced the breakthrough development of highly clarified INSPIRE™ Performance Polymers for use in thermoformed rigid packaging applications. The first commercially available grade is INSPIRE™ 222 Performance Polymer, a high clarity polypropylene grade especially well suited for applications requiring clarity and stiffness (such as disposable cold drink cups, or similar applications which require the clarity of glass desired by consumers without compromising stiffness, impact and top load properties). Dow tests have shown that clear 12 gram 16-ounce cold drink cups using INSPIRE™ 222 can match the performance of 16 gram PET cups. This represents a 25% weight reduction and offers the potential for reduced consumer waste and reduced transport costs through the life-cycle of a cup. According to the company, the conversions from PET to PP packages result in a net reduction of total energy consumed (including stored energy) and greenhouse gas production of between 30 and 60% respectively.

Source: Plastemart