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Emballators first rigid water-soluble packaging to reduce plastic waste

Is it possible to produce our packaging in a material that can dissolve and, in that way, reduce plastic waste?” That was the main question when Emballator Innovation Center started to test water soluble polymer for new applications.

The polymer PVOH is not new, for example it’s already used in dishwasher tablets that dissolve in the dishwasher. Emballator Innovation Center wanted to find a new area of use and see if PVOH is possible to use in one of Emballators’ applications.

“Many naturally occurring microorganisms have the ability to degrade PVOH, when it´s put in soil, sea or wastewater, without leaving any harmful residues, such as microplastics, but only carbon dioxide, water and biomass”, explains Christian Olsson, Material Specialist at Emballator Innovation Center.

A packaging made of this soluble material would be designed to keep the environment clean and litter-free and, by that, reduce the plastic waste. The first injection moulded container from Emballator holds 60 ml and filled with water it is completely dissolved in a refrigerator overnight, a great result according to Emballator Innovation Center.

“With a great barrier that extend shelf-life and the ability to dissolve in low temperatures the main use is for dry products. This material can keep spices and dry goods fresh. Also, other applications with mainly dry content with a need for a more rigid packaging for a one-use dose it’s perfectly suitable”, says Mats Jeppsson, Innovation Manager at Emballator Innovation Center.

Since PVOH is available in a wide range of grades, from those that are soluble in cold water to those that are soluble in hot water, Emballator will be able to customise this rigid container to respond to each customer´s specific need.

FACTS:
Polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) is a polymer based on three elements – carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The PVOH material is considered unharmful and is widely used as a food additive. Once in contact with water it is completely dissolved and can easily be converted into water and carbon dioxide by bacterial microorganism.

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