Plastics Today

Halftime breaks in sports and in business designate a time to review what's happened so far and use that information to make or adjust plans for the second half.

At the Packaging Channel at PlasticsToday, we used this opportunity to check metrics for the first half of 2017. It’s one way to check the pulse of the industry as to what packaging issues, news and developments at our website drew the most interest and presumably were the most important to our audience of plastics and packaging professionals.

Without further ado we present the Top 5 articles of 2017 (so far) in reverse order, starting with the #5 entry that covers one of the largest and fastest-growth segments in packaging, flexibles. Globally, the flexible packaging market is valued at $98 billion in 2016 and is projected to reach $132 billion by 2022 at a CAGR of 5.2% (Source: MarketsandMarkets). That’s tied to the fact that flexpacks bring the highest product-to-package-ratio to the packaging table, making this type of packaging highly efficient.

5. Sustainability of Flexible Packaging

That’s an often underappreciated aspect that's put squarely in the spotlight in this article, Flexible packaging is more sustainable than people realize . The fact that it was posted recently (late April) indicates the powerful lure of the article written by long-time PlasticsToday reporter Clare Goldsberry, who drew on input from a Dow Chemical (Midland, MI) expert. In short, four aspects were identified that are necessary for flexible packaging to gain a better reputation: Increase waste collection; embrace technology; educate and engage consumers; and create new opportunities for recycled flexible packaging. You can read the article here.

 #4 New plastic alloy

4. Plastic Alloy

While news and developments in biomaterials are advancing at a blurring pace, one article took a different approach in pointing to an entirely new material that combines the best properties of two tried-and-true polymers. The saying that two are better than one certainly holds true in research conducted at MIT whereby polypropylene and polyethylene are blended together along with a miniscule amount of a special ingredient—a tetrablock (four-block) polymer. According to the researcher, by “adding just one percent of our additive, and you get a plastic alloy that really has super-great properties."

You can read about it here.

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