ICPG reveals its portfolio of enhanced polypropylene solutions intended to replace polystyrene in rigid form-and-seal food packaging applications, in our latest Spotlight. 

Replacing Traditional PS Structures with a More Sustainable Alternative

For years polystyrene has been the material of choice for a vast range of rigid food packaging applications from single-serve condiments and coffee pods, to yoghurt multi-packs, creamers, shelf-stable beverages and more. But pressing sustainability concerns and lack of recycling options, coupled with health and safety concerns, have resulted in initiatives to replace polystyrene - the favored material for Form-Fill-Seal processing - in food packaging on a global scale.

With many corporations making the commitment to transition packaging solutions out of PS by 2025, brands have been in search of an alternative material structure only to be presented with solutions that fell short on performance, cost more, or required significant capital expenditure to replace or modify existing form-fill-seal equipment and processes.


Not Your Typical Polypropylene: PS Replacement Made Easy with Drop-In XPP Solutions

But what if a solution exists that maintained all of the positive attributes of current materials - processing, function, barrier protection, quality, and cost - but in the form of a new packaging material that yields a more sustainable product and offers drop-in process compatibility on existing form-fill-seal equipment?

ICPG’s XPP™ Materials Portfolio offers enhanced polypropylene solutions meticulously engineered for PS replacement in rigid form-fill-seal food packaging applications:

1. Enhanced barrier protection: XPP solutions offer inherent barrier properties in the form of a monomaterial solution, providing:

  • 90%/90% improved OTR/MVTR barrier protection vs traditional PP
  • 100/150% improved OTR/MVTR barrier protection vs PS.

This improvement to barrier performance is achieved without the use of functional barrier materials such as EVOH or Nylon, however coextrusion with EVOH is available for high-barrier protection.

2. Improved sustainability attributes: XPP solutions are produced from light-weight polypropylene, offering downstream sustainability advantages over heavier materials like PS & PET including less solid waste by weight, less CO2 equivalents by weight, lower fuel consumption and fewer emissions. In addition, the low density of this material XPP results in reduced material consumption and improved part yield:


Estimated Application Part Yield

3. Recyclable: XPP provides a simplified mono-material solutions that can be recycled through the polypropylene recycling stream. Incorporation of post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials into XPP structures is currently under development to help brands comply with upcoming guidelines and regulations for the inclusion of recycled content.

4. Snap-ability: A key feature of many PS form-fill-seal packaging applications is the characteristic “snap” provided by the rigidity of the material – for example in yoghurt multi-packs. While traditional polypropylene materials have typically been too soft to achieve a ‘snap,’ XPP offers increased stiffness allowing for snap-ability and score-ability in form-fill-seal processing. 


Watch the SNAP video here!

5. Compatibility with Existing Process & Equipment: XPP offers enhancements to key functional properties including enhanced stiffness and controlled shrinkage, allowing for processing on existing thermoforming and form-fill-seal platforms. This means that minimal capital expenditure or modifications to existing equipment is needed for successful processing. In addition, use of XPP on equipment traditionally used to process PS have shown to result in no reduction of cycle times or through-put, and result in no trimming issues.

Finally, a solution that checks all of the boxes!

  1. For more information on our XPP Polypropylene solutions visit our website or download the XPP Form-Fill-Seal Polypropylene Product sheet: XPP Enhanced Barrier Polypropylene Product Sheet (icpg.co)

Contact: icpg@impactgroup.co


This content was sponsored by ICPG.