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Toray and ITP Foods Contribute to Carbon Neutrality by Commercializing World’s First Food Packaging Employing Volatile Organic Compound-Free Waterless Electron Beam Offset Printing

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Sep. 25, 2023

Toray Industries, Inc.
ITP Foods Sdn. Bhd.

Tokyo, Japan, September 25, 2023 – Toray Industries, Inc. and its partner ITP Foods Sdn. Bhd. of Malaysia today announced that, in a world first, they are to commercialize a flexible food packaging  employing a proprietary Toray waterless electron beam offset printing system. This system is free of volatile organic compounds (Note 1) and reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

The applications of flexible packaging include refillable pouches for foods, shampoos, and detergents. These materials are popular for their lightness, transparency and processing ease. Flexible packaging market should expand more than 3% through 2025 as global population rises (Note 2).

Regular flexible packaging employs petroleum solvents in inks to print text, images, and other information on plastic films. The solvents release volatile organic compounds. Another issue with these inks is that they require equipment to heat, dry and incinerate these solvents in printing process. These processes consume a lot of energy.

The environmental harms of carbon dioxide from energy consumed in printing on base films and the impacts on work environments from volatile organic compounds make it vital to slash carbon dioxide emissions and eliminate those compounds in printing processes. 

Toray has accordingly demonstrated and researched practical applications for waterless electron beam offset printing technology by employing its proprietary IMPRIMA™ offset printing plate (Note 3). This setup cuts volatile organic compound and carbon dioxide emissions in printing processes by at least 80%. 

ITP Foods remains dedicated to utilizing eco-friendly flexible packaging materials. In a pioneering move, the company has chosen to incorporate Toray's environmentally conscious printing technology for its film packaging in the production of its new products. An additional advantage of adopting this technology is its superior printing performance compared to conventional options, particularly when packaging food ingredients with delicate textures of Southern Asia.

The packaging for new ITP Foods products showcase the use of eco-friendly printing technology. They carry the P4E™ Mark (Note 4) to indicate that the printing system is free of volatile organic compounds and the Monarch Butterfly Mark (Note 5) to show use of waterless printing plates.

ITP Foods plans to exhibit its new products at Anuga 2023, the world’s leading trade fair for food and beverages, in Cologne, Germany, from October 7 to 11. That company aims to leverage that event and other vehicles to promote the eco-friendly printing-based packaging of new offerings in various countries. 

Toray and ITP Foods will accelerate the deployment of environmentally-friendly electron beam offset printing technology in producing flexible packaging. They will help materialize a sustainable economy by cutting carbon dioxide emissions and eliminating volatile organic compounds in flexible printing systems for this packaging.

Profile of Toray Industries, Inc.
Principal businesses:  Manufacturing, processing, and selling fibers, plastics, and other basic materials
Head office:  Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, 1-1, Nihonbashi-Muromachi 2-chome, Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Establishment:  January 1926
Representative:  Mitsuo Ohya, President and Representative Director

Profile of ITP Foods Sdn. Bhd.
Principal businesses:  Manufacturing sauces, pastes and seasonings
Head office:  PMT 1238, Lorong PSPN 5, Penang Science Park North, 14100 Simpang Ampat, Penang , Malaysia.
Website:  www.itpfoods.com
Establishment:  2020
Representative:  William Koh Hai Min, Executive Director

1.  Volatile organic compounds include toluene, xylene, and ethyl acetate, and are in organic solvent-based paints. In this news release, something is free of volatile organic compounds if there are zero emissions from those compounds in the drying process.
2. Source: The future of global flexible packaging to 2025, published by Smithers, a multinational testing, consulting, information, and compliance services provider.
3. IMPRIMA is the brand name for a Toray waterless printing plate that is free of dampening water containing volatile organic solvents during printing process and does not discharge alkaline processing liquid waste during plate making.
4.  P4E™ mark is an environmental mark that indicates zero VOC emissions in the printing process by, for example, not using inks containing organic solvents or offset printing dampening water containing VOCs, regardless of the method used.
5. Butterfly mark is an environmental mark operated by Japan Waterless Printing Association that clearly indicates the use of the most environmentally friendly offset printing method in the printing process (no organic developer waste during plate making, no dampening water or IPA, and low VOC emissions).