As we adjust to the new normal with packaging playing an ever greater role in our lives, fears around packaging safety are front of mind. Six in ten consumers now claim to wash their hands thoroughly after touching packaged groceries and household products.
These fears could be eased today following the announcement that DS Smithis exclusively partnering with Touchguard to develop a new range of bacteria and virus-safeguarded sustainable cardboard packaging across its operations in Europe and North America.
While there is no evidence of virus transfer from cardboard, the easily identifiable touch-safe zones can be applied at scale across a range of industries and applications meaning the anti-viral and anti-bacterial packaging provides an additional layer of protection as consumers and workers throughout the supply chain remain wary.
Not surprisingly, the importance of products ‘packaged in hygienic packaging’ among consumers with more than half (57%) saying they wash their hands thoroughly after touching e-commerce packaged products and 30% throw packaging away more quickly. DS Smith’s research, conducted with Ipsos MORI, suggests packaging hygiene will continue to be a priority in years to come.
The new patented technology is effective across a range of bacteria and viruses including envelope viruses, of which COVID-19 is a member. This virus family requires its envelope and spikes to attach and replicate to host cells, but Touchguard® disrupts the envelope to prevent the virus from replicating, effectively mitigating the risk of person-to-person transfer. It has a proven kill rate of 99.5% in under 15 minutes on bacteria types and envelope viruses and eliminates the risk of person-to-person transfer of infections such as MRSA and E.coli.
The new range promises to support the sustainable packaging market with potential scope across a variety of areas including e-commerce and food packaging, while still being 100% recyclable. The Touchguard coating and packaging will hold certification to AATCC100 (MOD), ISO18184:2019 (MOD) and also complies with BfR36 recommendations for food-contact materials.
As part of its recently launched Now and Next Sustainability Strategy, DS Smith has committed to closing the loop through better design and by 2023, it will manufacture 100% reusable or recyclable packaging.