Uncertainty about the availability and price of aluminum foil used for packaging applications, in response to the antidumping duty (AD) and countervailing duty (CVD) investigations led by the U.S. Department of Commerce, is prompting CPG companies and converters to consider alternative substrates and creative solutions for their packaging needs. Toray Plastics (America) Inc. (toraytpa.com) offers the industry assurance that proven, barrier-durable, cost-effective MET OPP and MET PET films, including several with advanced integrated sealant technology, are readily available to replace foil. Toray extrudes and orients its OPP and PET films, which include bio-based versions, and has the capability to metallize and coat many of them, including  “dialing in” barrier and unique seal-strength characteristics for customized applications. All the work is conducted at its headquarters in North Kingstown, RI. Vertical manufacturing ensures product quality control and provides customers with convenient, cost-effective bundling, ordering, and shipping.

Tammy Williamson, associate product manager of the Torayfan® polypropylene film division, notes that Fortune 100 companies, medium and small regional manufacturers, and converters have relied on Toray’s advanced metallized OPP and PET film technology for more than 30 years to protect product freshness and build brand loyalty. Regarding its metallized film for foil-replacement, Williamson explains that several forward-thinking customers were early adopters of MET OPP as a drop-in replacement in paper-polyethylene-foil-polyethylene (PPFP) packet and SUP packaging used for oatmeal, hot cocoa, seasonings, dried soup, rice, dried cheese, mixes, powdered beverages and nutrition/energy drinks. “They discovered that Toray’s advanced film technology could equal or surpass the moisture- and oxygen-barrier durability, yield and economics of traditional foil, while also helping to manufacture an attractive, resilient finished package.” Toray’s Torayfan® PC1, PC3, PC5 and M23 MET OPP films are designed specifically for drop-in foil-replacement and buried-barrier web applications. They offer excellent flex-crack and puncture resistance and deliver excellent moisture- and oxygen-barrier durability.  Torayfan PCFS, MH5C, and LGHX5 metallized films for PPFP applications have the additional feature of integrated sealant technology, allowing for the replacement of the foil and sealant layers.

Williamson adds that pouches for coffee, nuts, dried fruits and salty snacks that are made with foil are also ideally suited for foil-replacement. Toray’s Lumirror® MK61 and MK6HB MET PET films are robust alternatives to foil that offer outstanding oxygen- and moisture-barrier protection for those foods. They may be used as an outer layer in a two-ply lamination or as the middle layer in a three-ply lamination.

Toray’s MET OPP and MET PET have an industry-leading metal adhesion and greater bond strength between the non-metal lamination layer and extrusion laminations/coatings when compared with regular corona-treated films. Those characteristics eliminate the dissatisfying delaminated “pouch in a pouch” effect that can occur when a consumer opens a weaker package. Toray’s foil-replacement films are also the thinnest available in the packaging industry, delivering more film per pound than do thicker films and making them a smart, sustainable choice, yet they maintain strong package-processing characteristics. Increased footage also enables converters to lower the number of required roll changes, thus reducing the amount of scrap and providing even greater cost savings and another sustainability advantage.

Marketers prefer the physical properties of Toray’s MET OPP and MET PET films because, unlike foil, these films do not exhibit a “shop worn” appearance after packaging and handling. Packets make a positive impression when taken out of a box, and stand-up pouches maintain a fresh, eye-catching appearance on the retail shelf.