Haydale Has Food Packaging All Zipped Up
07 September 2022
Haydale, (AIM: HAYD), the global advanced materials group, has started to supply South Korean plastics developer NeoEnpla Co., Ltd with functionalised graphene nano-platelets (GNPs) for use in food packaging.
Functionalised using Haydale's patented HDPlas® technology, the GNP-enhanced thermoplastic has been used to manufacture an initial sample range of food storage zipper bags and biodegradable plastic bags.
Keeping Food Fresher for Longer
The graphene zipper bags have shown an increase in tensile strength of 31% compared to non-graphene LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene) zipper bags¹.
LLDPE and LDPE (low density polyethylene) are widely used in food packaging and are ideal for food storage due to their high resistance to moisture, tearing and chemicals. The increased mechanical strength of the graphene zipper bags allows light weighting of the plastic, reducing the film thickness from 90µm to 60µm per bag.
Food packaging primarily acts as a barrier to moisture and gases (including contaminants) that ordinarily lead to a reduction in the shelf-life of food.
The new graphene-enhanced food storage bags keep the food fresher for longer thanks to the anti-bacterial, UV and barrier properties of functionalised graphene, resulting in less food waste. The graphene-composites polymer bags demonstrated their own oxygen blocking effect keeping food such as bread, cake and rice containing carbohydrates fresher for longer compared to non-graphene bags.
Plastic packaging is necessary to maintain the shelf life of fresh food items, reducing food waste by spoilage before use. By ensuring barrier performance is delivered in products that can be recycled or composted, there is the potential for a more sustainable approach to the challenges often faced by producing recyclable materials.
Improving Sustainability of Plastics
With the increasing demand to reduce single use plastics and increase recycling rates, getting the performance characteristics demanded by the industry is a challenge. To address this, both recyclable LLDPE and LDPE were evaluated in addition to PBAT (Polybutylene Adipate Terephthalate), a biodegradable polymer that is already seeing increasing demand for its biodegradable properties.
The new biodegradable bags contain a blend of PLA (Polylactic Acid) and PBAT, and enhanced with GNPs, offer increased strength without affecting the compostability of the films.
Haydale believes to be at the forefront of graphene and other nanomaterials being used in food packaging through the HiBarFilm2 project, which aims to develop the next generation of high barrier films for food packaging using plasma functionalisation.
The project, which started earlier this year, aims to redesign multilayer films into 100% recyclable and compostable mono-material solutions for the food industry. The funded project focusses on using HDPlas® functionalised barrier additives including graphene, to maximise barrier performance and improve dispersion of the additives within the chosen matrix. Key project deliverables are intended to reduce the environmental impact of packaging plastics and offer more sustainable barrier solutions to combat food waste.
For further information:
Haydale Graphene Industries plc
Keith Broadbent, CEO Tel: +44 (0) 1269 842946
Sarah Thomas, Marketing Manager Tel: +44 (0) 1269 507026
finnCap (Nominated Adviser & Broker)
Julian Blunt / Edward Whiley, Corporate Finance Tel: +44 (0) 20 7220 0500
Andrew Burdis, ECM
Notes to Editors
Haydale is a global technologies and materials group that facilitates the integration of graphene and other nanomaterials into the next generation of commercial technologies and industrial materials. With expertise in graphene, silicon carbide and other nanomaterials, Haydale can deliver improvements in electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties, as well as toughness through its state-of-the-art functionalisation. Haydale has granted patents for its technologies in Europe, USA, Australia, Japan, and China and operates from five sites in the UK, USA, and the Far East.
For more information please visit: www.haydale.com
About NeoEnpla Co., Ltd
NeoEnpla Co., Ltd was established in 2017 and aims to realise a future-oriented company where customers and employees develop together based on the trust of its customers. The business specialises in polymer-graphene composites technology with applications in products such as LED masks, medical fabrics, EMI shielding, memory-foam and PBAT biodegradable cosmetic containers and make-up brushes. For more information visit www.neoenpla.com.