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Applications Sustainable

Applications Sustainable Shrink - Solutions for the Shrink Sleeve Label Market Article contributed by Plastics Suppliers, Inc., Columbus, OH, USA Apple juice bottle sleeved with 50µ EarthFirst PLA TDO shrink sleeve film; printed by Folienprint, Germany Today’s label market is facing challenges as well as great opportunities. With a push on being “green” as well as offering sustainable options, wouldn’t it be nice to have an alternative shrink sleeve label that is compostable, made from an annually renewable resource and reduces your environmental footprint? To achieve that goal, EarthFirst ® PLA TDO shrink sleeve label film is the solution. EarthFirst films are as good and often times better than petrochemical-based films when it comes to an economical environmental solution. EarthFirst is a biopolymer film made from PLA resin. Biopolymers are not new to the plastics’ industry. When they were first introduced, the cost to manufacture them was prohibitive. In the last five years, the cost has come down, making it a viable film to manufacture. One of the most common biopolymers used today is NatureWorks ® Polymer, made from # 2 field corn. The biopolymer shrink film, EarthFirst PLA TDO, has been on the market since October of 2005. Plastic Suppliers, Inc is the first company to manufacture this sustainable shrink film alternative changing the shrink sleeve label market. With impressive mechanical and thermal properties, EarthFirst shrink films are available as a viable replacement for most petrochemical-based shrink sleeve films. EarthFirst has many attributes that make it attractive to the shrink sleeve label market. EarthFirst has a natural dyne level of 38, is clear and rigid, and has direct food contact compliance. It shrinks at a lower temperature than for instance PET and is capable of shrinking up to 75 percent In addition, EarthFirst shrink sleeve film can be stored up to 40° Celsius. Therefore this film is extremely stable and can perform on all types of shrink label tunnels regardless if steam or hot air is used. All of these features and a great upside; it’s made from corn, an annually renewable resource. Plastic Suppliers, Inc. is committed to a strong environmental leadership role in protecting our planet. The world is going “green” and the trend toward biopolymers and environmentally friendly films continues to expand. Nationally, Plastic Suppliers and its’ European subsidiary Sidaplax play active 24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/07] Vol. 2

oles as members of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), European Bioplastics, Belgian Biopackaging and UK compostable group. EarthFirst has been certified by the Biodegradable Products Institute and DinCertco stating it is a compostable film under the ASTM 6400 and EN 13432 standards. Plastic Suppliers is committed to understanding the impact of such products upon the environment and will continue to seek out opportunities to participate in environmental research and associations to create an understanding of how biopolymers may be used in the future. There are many different biopolymers out in the marketplace today that are produced by various manufacturing means. The revolutionary EarthFirst TDO is the only film targeting the shrink sleeve label market. It is paving the way in this high profile industry. Soda drink bottle sleeved by PackStar, USA for Plastic Suppliers Inc. with a 50µ EarthFirst PLA TDO shrink sleeve film. bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/07] Vol. 2 25

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