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Toray Develops Gas Barrier Film that Triples
Gas Barrier Properties for Food Packaging to Help Cut Food Losses

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Aug. 30, 2022

Toray Industries, Inc.,

Tokyo, Japan, August 30, 2022 – Toray Industries, Inc., announced today that it has developed a new grade of Torayfan™ biaxially oriented polypropylene (OPP) for food packaging applications which has excellent gas barrier properties. The film offers triple the gas barrier properties of regular OPP counterparts. This enables high gas barrier food packaging with a polypropylene (PP) mono-material composition. The new film could help cut carbon dioxide emissions by expanding the recycling loop of film manufacturing, usage by consumers and reproduction of a new film. Toray will investigate production feasibility at plants around the world.

In the field of food packaging, demand is growing worldwide for high gas barrier films for long-term storage. Conventional packaging employs metallized polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film for the gas barrier layer, laminated with a non-oriented cast polypropylene (CPP) film as a sealant. As it uses 2 different materials, post-use recycling is difficult. One approach to facilitate recycling is therefore to replace the PET with OPP, which is made with the same polymer species as the sealant. The issue is that the gas barrier and heat resistance are inadequate, making it hard to use the film in boil-and-retort resistant food packaging applications.

The new Torayfan™ grade combines technologies of OPP film structure controlling which was developed through xEV capacitor applications, together with homogeneous barrier layer processing. The resulting gas barrier performance is more than triple that of regular metallized OPP film, i.e. the water vapor transmission rate is just 0.3 [g/m2・day], and the oxygen transmission rate is no more than 0.3 [cc/m2・day]. At the same time, heat resistance has been improved by more than 25°C. The film can endure processing temperatures exceeding 120°C, making it applicable for boil-and-retort food usage. Thanks to these properties, Toray’s new film grade can replace metallized PET film in food packaging and serve as high gas barrier packaging with a PP mono-material composition complying with the guidelines of Europe’s Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX) initiative, whose members cover the entire value chain of flexible packaging.

Toray Group has OPP film production sites in Japan, the United States, and Europe, with high European and U.S. market shares for OPP film for aluminum metallized barrier packaging. Domestic affiliate Toray Advanced Film Co., Ltd., is the Japanese market leader in aluminum metallized film, and also possesses transparent vapor deposition technology. Toray Group aims to expand its worldwide business by utilizing its integrated film and metallization processing sites.

Toray Group’s Sustainability Vision and Toray Vision 2030 aim to contribute to resolving environmental, resource, and energy issues through its business. Toray will keep developing advanced materials and processes to materialize its corporate philosophy of contributing to society by creating new value.