Packaging producers seeing better plastic availability, EVOH still tight

Author: Zachary Moore

2021/09/30

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Producers of plastic packaging commented that supplies of many of the commodity resins used to produce packaging are slowly improving after several months of tightness while adding that the market is currently facing difficulties obtaining adequate supplies of ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH), based on conversations with attendees at this year’s PACK EXPO, which was held on 27-29 September at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

EVOH is frequently used as an oxygen barrier in plastic films used in food packaging, helping to extended the shelf life of products covered by the films. EVOH supplies have tightened in response to persistent supply tightness in feedstock vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), supplies for which have faced lingering issues since Winter Storm Uri.

Packaging producers have been investigating EVOH-free film products, as monopolymer polyethylene (PE) films are more recyclable than films which include an EVOH layer between PE layers. However, EVOH resins remain popular as oxygen barriers given the advantages provided in extending the shelf life of foods and minimising food waste.

Participants in the industry note that the ability of plastic packaging to extend the shelf life of supermarket food is a great contributor to minimising food waste, helping packaging companies and their clients to reduce wastage in food supply chain and thereby contribute to sustainability goals.

PACK EXPO ran through Wednesday.

Thumbnail image shows a red lid made of PE.