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Sep 25, 2012

Toppan Printing develops a laminated packaging material
using biomass polyethylene film with a thickness of less than 40µm
- New product in the biomass plastic "BIOAXX" series
can be used for applications such as food and medicines -

As a new product in its series of BIOAXX products that use biomass plastics, Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (hereafter Toppan Printing; head office: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; President & Representative Director: Shingo Kaneko) has developed a laminated packaging material that uses biomass polyethylene film (biomass PE) with a thickness of less than 40µm. As a flexible packaging material for items such as food and medicines, the launch of mass production is targeted for the spring of 2013.

This product is the first laminated packaging material in Japan to use biomass PE with a thickness of less than 40µm, which has been achieved through the use of laminating technology that differs from conventional techniques. The product uses plant-derived raw materials but maintains performance equivalent to conventional petroleum-based products in terms of properties such as seal strength and laminating strength.

Samples of the laminated packaging material that uses biomass PE with a thickness of less than 40µm
Copyright 2012 TOPPAN PRINTING CO., LTD.

Background to development
Biomass plastic is a renewable resource that uses plant-derived raw materials and can be used sustainably. It contributes to the establishment of a sustainable society because it enables a reduction in the volume of oil and other fossil resources used. It is receiving attention as an environmentally friendly material because CO2 in the atmosphere is absorbed when the plants are growing, and because the CO2 absorbed during plant growth is considered to offset any CO2 released if the product is incinerated, meaning that it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions when compared with petroleum-based products.
In 1991, Toppan Printing began efforts to develop and commercialize packaging materials using biomass plastics as part of its initiatives to mitigate global warming and reduce the use of oil. In 2011, the company was the first in Japan to develop a laminated packaging material using biomass PE with a thickness of more than 100µm. This has been commercialized as a flexible packaging material for liquids and is used in applications such as refill standing pouches for toiletries. Using a laminating technology that differs from conventional ones, Toppan Printing has developed a laminated packaging material that uses biomass PE with a thickness of less than 40µm. It will be possible to expand the use of this material as flexible packaging in wide ranging fields including food and medicine.

Features of the product
- A thickness of less than 40µm has been achieved with biomass PE
Previous laminated packaging materials using biomass PE have been manufactured using dry lamination where the films are laminated using an adhesive.
With this product, it has been possible to produce biomass PE with a thickness of less than 40µm by establishing a biomass PE processing technology where extrusion laminating technology is used to produce a thin coat of PE that has been melted to one side of a substrate film.
- Biomass ratio of more than 10% achieved
With the establishment of the biomass PE extrusion processing technology, Toppan Printing has been successful in developing flexible packaging material that has a biomass ratio of at least around 10%.
- Seal qualities and laminate strength equivalent to conventional products
This product maintains quality equivalent to conventional products in terms of properties such as seal and laminate strength.

Future targets
Toppan Printing will continue research and development on this product and aim to begin mass production in the spring of 2013. The company is aiming for sales of 3 billion yen in fiscal 2015 for this product and related orders.

Toppan Printing will also promote the expansion of the BIOAXX series to other applications such as plastic molded products and plastic cards.

* The names of companies, products and services featured in this press release are the trademarks or registered trademarks of the respective companies.
* The information in this press release is current as of the date of publication and is subject to change without notice.

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