Breakthroughs in radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, colour changing film and packaging designed to extend shelf life are some of the latest innovations highlighted by the Active & Intelligent Packaging Industry Association.
One recent launch is RFID labels to track bags of recyclable materials from ACT Systems, used by packaging waste recycler Norsk Resirk, based in Oslo, Norway.
The company processes used plastic bottles and aluminium cans. It has completed the first stage of a scheme using passive ultra high-frequency RFID tags attached to bags containing bottles and cans for recycling.
The technology will enable Norsk Resirk to know when and where bags are picked up and delivered and to track them should they go missing. It launched the system at its Alnabru plant as a pilot project and plans to roll out the same technology for all its sites.
Oxygen absorbent packaging film
Elsewhere, Kyodo Printing has introduced OxyCatch oxygen absorbent packaging film. OxyCatch incorporates a high concentration of celium oxide lineage oxygen absorber and activates without the involvement of water to help prevent product deterioration.
It is suitable for food, cosmetic or pharmaceutical uses. The oxygen scavenging process is indicated by colour changes in the inner functional surface of the packaging film.
The film colour starts out as a navy blue, indicating that the oxygen absorber is active. When it reaches a grey tone, it is inactive.
Kyodo claims the saturated absorption amount of oxygen for OxyCatch is 600ml/m2, more effective than dessicants used in conventional packaging. It said these tended to work only in the immediate area they are located in a pack’s interior.
Meantime, Wapo Corporation has developed a nylon-based vacuum-pack bag, which allows fresh foods to be stored at room temperature, while extending their shelf life.
Flexible plastic bags and pouches are often used to pack a variety of food products and offer protection to the products packed. However, items such as seafood, meats, fruits and vegetables still had to be stored in refrigerators, said Wapo.
Wapo vacuum bags use plastic materials from Japan’s Unitika. They had good oxygen barrier properties that allowed for moderate oxygen transpiration so fresh food products were not attacked by caustic gases or exposed to premature oxidation, added Wapo.
The bags are puncture resistant, water resistant and vapour resistant, the company added.