By CurTec International
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CurTec introduces bio-based pharma packaging
Rijen, Netherlands: – Specialty pharma packaging manufacturer CurTec International is reinforcing the eco-friendly and sustainable advantages of its high performance drums and containers by offering them in bio-based plastics.
CurTec’s new Biobased Packaging range provides an attractive option for pharma and fine chemicals companies looking to increase their sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint of their shipping and storage operations
“As leading companies increasingly incorporate social responsibility into their business models, they are striving to make their business more sustainable and reduce their environmental impact,” commented CurTec MarCom Manager Marc Martens.
“We can now increase their options by manufacturing plastics from renewable bio sources. This contributes both to reducing carbon emissions and meet their customers’ own environmental expectations,” Mr. Martens explained.
“Sustainability and security are engrained in CurTec’s ethos, and are not only reflected in our high quality products but also our commitment to staff development, recycling and energy efficiency,” said Mr. Martens.
CurTec’s new bio-plastic shipping and storage containers are sourced from sugarcane, a renewable raw material that also absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during its growth, further contributing to CO2 reduction.
Biobased Packaging is made of greater than 90% Bio-HDPE (high density poly ethylene) verified by the ASTM D6866 standard) and retains the same high performance in pressure and impact resistance as previous CurTec pack materials sourced from petroleum.
CurTec’s bio-plastics are supplied by one of the world’s largest bio-polymer producers, Braskem, which annually produces some 200,000 tonnes of polyethylene from sugar cane.
Marco Jansen, Braskem’s Commercial Director for Renewable Chemicals, points to additional environmental benefits from using bio-based plastics, derived from the production process itself in which sugar cane saps are fermented and distilled to create ethanol which is then hydrated to obtain ethylene, with residual fibers burned to generate bio energy.
“The factory uses some of the energy released, with the remainder sold into the national electricity grid. When everything is added up, the difference in CO2 reduction compared to traditional sources is around 4 kg for each kg of PE produced,” said Mr. Jansen.
Mr. Jansen acknowledged that bio-fuels had raised fears that of loss of rain forests and food-growing areas but said these were not issues with Braskem’s sugar cane, which is grown on drier grasslands around the state of São Paulo.
“Brazil currently uses only 20% of its available farmland for cultivating crops. Less than 0.02% of this land is used for the production of bio-polyethylene. Unlike in Europe, this does not have a negative impact on food production. There is still great potential here”, said Mr. Jansen.
While green polyethylene made from sugar cane can be recycled, it does not biodegrade and is therefore as stable as polyethylene made from oil or gas, with similar long shelf life.
Green PE is steadily gaining acceptance in the food industry, with Tetra Pak® already using 100% bio-based HDPE for its bottle caps and recently moving to use bio-based materials for the protective layer in their drink packaging as well.
“In terms of migration, bio-based materials are just as safe as materials from traditional sources”, said Marco Jansen.
About CurTec International
CurTec International is a specialist manufacturer of high performance plastic packaging optimized for the needs of industries like pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals where hygiene, moisture control, UV protection, hazmat compliance, barrier control and tamper-proof security are critical factors.
The privately owned Netherlands-based company develops, manufactures and distributes a range of niche-designed drums, containers and crates that add value through quality, user-friendliness, security and reusability. Today CurTec drums and packs are widely used throughout the pharma and fine chemicals industries for shipping and storing fine chemicals, APIs and intermediates as well as finished powder, tablet and paste products.
The company maintains a quality assurance program that includes HACCP and ISO certification and a Drug Master File for all packaging products.
CurTec adds value to the supply chain of companies producing active ingredients, excipients, solid dosage forms such as tablets and capsules and specialty chemicals. It not only supplies off-the-shelf packaging but also designs customized packaging solutions to meet the needs of individual clients.
Marc Martens, MarCom Manager, CurTec international B.V.
Tel: +31 88 808 2000