IDE magazine wrote about the sustainable solutions for packaging of GCR Group
Here you find the English version of the article "Sustainable packaging with Granic" which was published in IDE magazine (Spanish version on here):
Nowadays there is more plastic in the packaging than in the bag used to carry the goods itself. Food packaging protects the product and extends its shelf life but generates plastic waste. Due to this factor, some companies have created sustainable plastic with alternative materials, like Granic, which provides more sustainability while improving production rates and reducing costs.
GCR Group, located in Spain, manufactures Granic, a range of sustainable mineral masterbatches for the plastic industry. Granic works with all types of polyolefins and styrenics.
Mineral fillers are widely used in films, BOPP, paper-like, bottles, packages or sheets for thermoforming. Granic has an excellent polymer dispersion which allows it to be added in high percentages, depending on the final application. Its formula is only 25% dependent on oil – minerals (calcium carbonate or talc) – is the remaining 75%. Therefore, the price is cheaper than virgin polymer and more stable in time. Due to the mineral high thermoconductivity, the material heats up and cool down easier, reducing energy consumption and cycle time, which improves the production. Finally, mechanical properties remain invariable or even enhanced, as with strength, for instance.
Better barriers and high transparency with Granic
Water vapour (WVTR) and oxygen transmissions (OTR) are important factors regarding food packaging because they have a direct impact to the contained food shelf life. As it is seen in Figure 1, barrier properties are better when mineral fillers are used because the particles constrain water vapour and oxygen on its way through the packaging. The example of the Figure 1 is a film with 30% of Granic® in middle layer which means an 18% of the total. Granic® has achieved a decreasing of 31% the OTR and 37% WVTR.
Another important factor in food packaging is migration. GCR Group has developed different masterbatch talc-based Granic® products. Talc is a chemically inert mineral that does not react with acid or alkaline liquids and does not generate migration problems.
However, the biggest issue about mineral masterbatches in food packaging is the lost of clearness due to the particle insertion, as many of them are transparent. To avoid that opacity, GCR Group has developed a high-transparency special range of products in which mineral particles are placed in such a way that light diffusion coefficient is increased. The results – in figure 2 – prove how the same film as in Figure 1 (18% of Granic) has a similar haze as virgin polymers.
Inspired by nature
GCR Group also produces Ciclic, polyethylene and polypropylene post-industrial and compounds that can be fully used in film production, alveolar sheets and other package without food contact.
GCR Group’s developments are not only good for producers and products but also for the environment. The raw materials, the low energy consumption technology, the renewable energy used and the company location – less than 30 km from 95% of suppliers – converts Granic and Ciclic in the lowest carbon footprint materials of all the petrochemical compounds.