Milliken & Company, a specialist in plastics additive and colorant technology, has partnered g with Finnish flexible packaging company Huhtamaki Group to develop a mono-material laminate for use in tubes targeting cosmetics, toothpaste and other personal-care applications.

Milliken said they were able to improve the barrier properties of HDPE film by up to 50 percent thanks to their UltraGuard Solutions that slow down the transmission of oxygen and moisture in polyethylene.

Lighter and more recyclable

According to the manufacturer, these improved barrier properties contribute to packaging sustainability by enabling more mono-material construction of popular products — such as stand-up flexible pouches and tubes — and making them ultimately more recyclable. In addition, they allow for downgauging of the polyethylene (PE) film, resulting in a lighter-weight end product and a reduction in the amount of resin needed to achieve the desired result.

The tube resulting from this joint development work is opaque with a silver shine, making it ideal for beauty product applications,” said Dr. Detlev Schulz, Senior Manager - Sustainability and Business Development for Huhtamaki’s Global Tube Laminates business. “White would work as well, offering outstanding moisture barrier and improved oxygen transmission for all who don’t need a shiny silver option."

Milliken thinks the most likely end uses will be in 40 to 200 ml tubes.

The results of this joint effort will be on display at the K 2022 trade fair in Dusseldorf from October 19-26. Milliken will display high-density polyethylene (HDPE) tubes produced using Huhtamaki laminates optimized with the UltraGuard Solutions technology.