May 2015 – Pharmaceutical products can be highly sensitive to external influences. Packaging therefore needs to have the longest possible shelf life while also ensuring that the pharmaceutical product complies with all legally specified hygiene and sterilisation standards. Another increasingly important aspect is the sustainability of the product throughout the supply chain, from the raw material production to waste disposal. This is why nonwovens are becoming more and more attractive as packaging material, both for manufacturers and users.
Robustness and low cost of materials
Increasing industrialisation and improved medical care on emerging markets are accompanied by an equal amount of growth in machine-made packaging. Throughout the world packaging manufacturers in different industries are therefore stepping up their endeavours to ensure the best possible sustainability for the production and waste disposal of their products. Two aspects are particularly important in disposable outer packaging: volume reduction and reusability.
Nonwovens are considered to be ideal packaging for this purpose, both for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. They are exceptionally lightweight fabric, and they also warrant energy-efficient production, shipping and storage. Moreover, due to their long life and robustness, these raw materials are ideally suited in protective packaging for sensitive drugs.
Nonwovens are now becoming extremely popular in the health sector. Being light and soft in structure, they are highly suitable for disposable applications in absorbent hygiene products as well as for hot and cold compresses. The material is dermatologically safe and complies with German industry requirements (DIN standards) on sterilised packaging.
But the popularity of nonwovens as packaging material is also rising in the luxury segment. Tear-resistant bags can be given the required dimensions and material thicknesses, while also allowing colour printing and customised embossing for the right touch and feel. The only area which has not been conquered by nonwovens is dentistry, where special techniques are required for the wrapping of dental instruments. This would take a considerable amount of time in the manufacturing process, and preference is therefore still given to transparent bags and to flexible bags made from combinations of paper and plastic.