IPI - Multilayer carton packaging material

Multilayer carton packaging material: what it is and why it is sustainable

Multilayer carton packaging is a standard packaging solution mainly intended for beverages. It can be produced in many formats, mostly varying from single portion to family pack. Multilayer carton packaging for products with long shelf lives are traditionally composed of 7 layers - internal polyethylene, aluminium, polyethylene, paperboard, external polyethylene, plus a couple of layers made of resin and printing. Aluminium, whose thickness can go as low as 6 µm, is necessary for long-term conservation. 

Aseptic packaging: what it is and what it is for

As far as IPI is concerned, multilayer carton material is used to aseptically pack beverages and liquid food products. Aseptic, in this context, refers to the process, as it is carried out in an environment free from microorganisms, which involves sterilised, hermetically sealed containers. Sterilisation and multilayer materials are crucial to increase the product lifespan. 

Also, aseptic carton packaging has a plethora of advantages in terms of consumption and logistics. Consumption-wise, it offers the highest product protection and it is lightweight. It is easy to stow and to stack. Moreover, it excels in foldability for disposal. Plus, it features a large surface for information and graphics, and conveys the feeling of eco-friendliness to the consumer. Speaking of logistics, when it comes to space-saving, aseptic packaging’s efficiency of transport is maximum, as it is produced and supplied in reel. Finally, aseptic packaging doesn't need refrigeration, since the product can be safely transported and stored at room temperature.

The most significant perk of aseptic packaging, though, is its capability to preserve the product's organoleptic properties, allowing for a shelf life as long as 12 months at ambient temperature.

IPI’s 7-layer aseptic carton

IPI’s 7-layer packaging material is based on the following structure:

 

LAYERS

STRUCTURE

First

External low-density polyethylene to shelter from moisture and external agents.

Second

Printing (flexographic). Makes the packaging recognisable and appealing.

Third

Paperboard to ensure the recipient is sturdy and firm. Up to 72% of the pack is made of this layer.

Fourth

Low-density polyethylene, a lamination layer to favour adhesion between the carton and the aluminium foil.

Fifth

Aluminium foil working as a light, gas, and contamination barrier, it preserves nutritional value and the flavour of the liquid in ambient temperature.

Sixth

Adhesive resin, i.e. the ionomer located between the aluminium foil and the internal polyethylene to enhance adhesion between the two.

Seventh

Internal Polyethylene to enable alimentary use in contact with the product.

What makes IPI’s solution stand out is its attention to the environment. Indeed, IPI’s paperboard is FSC®-certified. What’s more, IPI's membership of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative testifies IPI’s commitment to aluminium waste reduction within the production process. In fact, part of polymers in IPI’s 7-layer structure is bio-based.

What makes IPI’s aseptic carton one of the most eco-sustainable solution on the market

Sustainability-wise, IPI’s aseptic carton is top-class. Its carbon footprint is the lowest compared to HDPE and PET. For starters, it is completely recyclable. Moreover, its supply chain is responsibly-managed and it can be made of up to 90% renewable sources. This significant achievement is possible thanks to IPI’s continuous effort to offset its carbon emissions. Besides the fact that aseptic carton is renewable per se, IPI has gone as far as to almost completely replace fossil fuels-based polymers in the multilayered structure of its packaging material and caps with sugar cane-based biopolymers.

In terms of preservation, the plant-based polymers employed by IPI provide performance on a par with their fossil-based plastic counterparts. IPI's bio-based polymer solution guarantees top-notch product freshness and preservation of the product's organoleptic properties, ensuring long shelf life at ambient temperature.

In conclusion, of the many packaging solutions available today, aseptic carton is one of the most sustainable and efficient. In this landscape, IPI's stands out for its FSC- and ASI-certified 7-layer structure, which grants freshness and product preservation in respect of the environment, employing bio-based polymers in addition to plastic-based polymers.

If you're looking for a packaging solution that can give you a competitive edge in the marketplace, IPI's aseptic cartons offer many benefits as regards marketing, costs, safety, and protection, all while walking the walk when it comes to sustainability.

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