Recyclable food packaging transparent film comes out
The British journal Nature Communications published a materials science update on the 11th: scientists at Oxford University in the UK have developed a fully recyclable and very safe transparent film that could even replace existing metal-coated composites used for food packaging. The film uses a new environmentally friendly manufacturing process and is more easily recyclable than materials currently used by the industry.
One of the key requirements in today's economy is to extend the shelf life of food products as long as possible while meeting food safety requirements. Unfortunately, however, current food packaging methods present serious environmental problems. Given the need for a sustainable future, packaging must not only be "recyclable" but also "recoverable and recyclable", something that the currently common composite materials containing metal coatings are woefully inadequate for --It provides a barrier, which is essential for the preservation of food, but the material is extremely difficult to separate and recycle.
Oxford University scientist Dermot O'Hare and colleagues have therefore developed a recyclable, environmentally friendly film that can replace the metal coating currently used in food packaging, while providing a similar level of protection for food.
The film, synthesised by the research team, consists of layered double hydroxides (an inorganic material) in a cheap and green production process that requires water and amino acids. The resulting film is transparent, insulates against oxygen and water vapour like a metallic coating, and is at the same time stronger. Because the films are synthetic, their composition is fully controllable, which greatly increases their safety when in contact with food.
The research team says that the films now meet the safety standards for food contact materials and further testing is needed at this stage before they can be used in commercially available food packaging.