Japan-based Toppan adds light-shielding GL-ME-RC films to its GL BARRIER range of transparent barrier films; the GL-ME-RC films are produced using aluminum vapor deposition, have applications for pharmaceutical goods and foods

Sample article from our Packaging Industry

April 11, 2022 (press release) –

New GL BARRIER film grade produced using aluminum vapor deposition delivers outstanding barrier performance and light-shielding.

Toppan (TYO: 7911), a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, has bolstered the market-leading GL BARRIER1 series of transparent barrier films by developing “GL-ME-RC,” a new grade that provides high-barrier performance combined with light-shielding. Expanding the scope of applications for GL BARRIER films, GL-ME-RC is available for markets in Japan and overseas from April.

GL-ME-RC takes advantage of GL BARRIER vapor deposition and coating technologies and demonstrates outstanding flex-resistant barrier performance, which has been challenging to achieve with conventional aluminum vapor-deposited films. It can therefore be used for the packages of pharmaceutical goods and food that require high-barrier performance, light-shielding, and flexibility, something which until now has necessitated the use of aluminum foil. This also means that the volume of CO2 emitted during packaging manufacture can be reduced by 15% in comparison with flexible packaging using aluminum foil (calculation by Toppan2).

With growing global momentum behind consideration for the environment and resource saving, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), attention is focused on reducing the environmental impact of packaging. Sustainability efforts are now essential, and packaging is required to preserve content and extend shelf lives while also lowering impact on the environment by, for example, reducing CO2 emissions or enhancing recyclability. In 1986 Toppan developed GL BARRIER, a barrier film with the potential to address social issues such as the need to reduce food loss and save resources. Offering world-class barrier performance and an extensive lineup for varied purposes, GL BARRIER is today recognized for its eco-friendliness and contribution to resource saving and enjoys a leading share of the global market for transparent vapor-deposited barrier films.

The development of GL-ME-RC, providing high-barrier performance and light-shielding, enables GL BARRIER to be used for the packaging of pharmaceutical goods and foods that need to be protected from light to preserve content quality. Toppan has leveraged its proprietary vapor deposition technologies and applied special coating techniques to enhance GL-ME-RC’s light-shielding and flex resistance, meaning that it can be used as an alternative to aluminum foil for this purpose.

GL-ME-RC’s outstanding barrier performance is achieved by a two-layer structure, consisting of an aluminum vapor-deposited layer and a barrier coating. It provides approximately five times the oxygen barrier performance of conventional aluminum vapor-deposited films. It also has excellent stretch-resistant barrier performance, demonstrating roughly 500 times the oxygen barrier performance level of conventional films of its type after stretching.3

“With GL-ME-RC, we have taken advantage of our unique technologies to develop a compelling alternative to packaging that uses aluminum foil to protect contents that are sensitive to light,” said Masahiko Tatewaki, Managing Executive Officer of Toppan’s Global Packaging business. “It not only delivers the required functionality, but also offers greater environmental performance for packaging as we work to contribute to sustainable societies throughout the world.”

1. GL BARRIER is Toppan’s proprietary range of transparent barrier films. With world-class barrier performance enabled by unique vapor deposition and coating technologies and an extensive lineup for diverse applications, GL BARRIER is a leading transparent barrier film brand recognized in markets throughout the world, including Japan, Europe, the Americas, and Asia.
For more information, visit https://www.toppan.co.jp/living-industry/packaging/english/products/barrier_film/.

2. Scope of CO2 emission volume calculation is (1) procurement and manufacture of raw materials, (2) manufacture of packaging materials, (3) shipping, and (4) recycling and disposal in relation to packaging.

3. Comparison of barrier performance
・Oxygen barrier performance (oxygen transmission rate)
Conventional aluminum vapor-deposited film=0.30
(Measurement conditions: JIS K7126-2 method; 30℃70%RH; unit: cc/m2・day・atm)

・Stretch-resistant barrier performance: Measurement of oxygen transmission rate after 6% stretch in machine direction
Conventional aluminum vapor-deposited film=100
(Measurement conditions: JIS K7126-2 method; 30℃70%RH; unit: cc/m2・day・atm)
The values provided above are examples of values obtained under Toppan’s measurement conditions and are not guaranteed values.

About Toppan

Established in Tokyo in 1900, Toppan is a leading and diversified global provider committed to delivering sustainable, integrated solutions in fields including printing, communications, security, packaging, décor materials, electronics, and digital transformation. Toppan’s global team of more than 50,000 employees offers optimal solutions enabled by industry-leading expertise and technologies to address the diverse challenges of every business sector and society and contribute to the achievement of shared sustainability goals.

For more information, visit https://www.toppan.com/en/ or follow Toppan on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/company/toppan/.

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