Laser coding for compostable NatureFlex™ films

Futamura Ltd is pleased to announce that its range of renewable and compostable films can now be laser coded to enable additional consumer communication, without the need for traditional printing. This exciting development follows the global firm’s successful collaboration with Domino Printing Sciences (Domino), a leading global developer and manufacturer of coding, marking and printing technologies.

Following its launch in 2002, Futamura’s NatureFlex™ range of films has been adopted by many brand owners. The materials are designed to meet the growing demand for environmentally responsible packaging. Not only are they derived from renewable cellulose, they also meet all the global standards for industrial composting, including BS EN13432, and are certified home compostable.

Using a renewable and compostable film gives brand owners an unparalleled opportunity to speak proudly about their packaging. The challenge then, is to ensure that consumers are aware of the special nature of the packaging used.

Brands typically look to display information like the final packaging’s certification, traceability and disposal information to keep their end users well informed. They may also want to add dates and additional codes. For many clients, this is done with the addition of ink i.e. a print on the substrate that carries the various messages. Other clients may prefer to avoid the printing stage and instead look favourably at the addition of a simple message on the film in a single colour.

This is where Domino’s technology can be very effective. Domino’s assessment of the NatureFlex™ films proved that excellent laser coding can be achieved on the compostable flexible films. All the films achieved a clean, crisp white code. This means that clients can easily add simple codes onto the films – such as best before dates and batch codes – as well as more complex designs and messaging including graphics and scannable 2D codes.

Dr Stefan Stadler, Team Lead at the Domino Laser Academy, says: “We spend a lot of time analysing new packaging materials. We predict that, in the future, requests for compostable solutions will become more prominent. We want to ensure that we are ready to advise customers and provide a solution for these new materials.’’

‘’Based on our analysis, we can see that NatureFlex™ films can be coded effectively with the DI20i when operating at very high production speeds, when required.’’

Amaia Cowan, Business Development Manager at Futamura, added: “The results from the project are very positive. Brand owners are always looking at innovative ways to communicate with their consumers on our renewable and compostable films. This new method of coding will enable the inclusion of a simple message to consumers on the film itself, without the need for printing.”

Futamura’s NatureFlex™ films are used in over 100 countries worldwide. The films have become part of the packaging, labelling or overwrap solution for some of the world’s best-known brands across a wide variety of everyday consumer goods from fresh produce to tea and coffee, sweets to cereal bars and personal care.

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