Plastic materials (such as child proof cap) are one of the most widely used options in the packaging industry today. For this type of material, as for any other used in the packaging sector, it is necessary to guarantee that the packaging fulfills the functions for which it has been designed, which can be summarized as containing and protecting the product it contains.
Specifically, in the pharmaceutical industry, the main requirement to be met by materials and packaging intended to come into contact with drugs and/or medical and surgical devices is to ensure the safety of these products.
To this end, it is necessary to carry out a series of controls to ensure that when a packaged product is placed on the market, it is completely safe for consumers and has been subjected to the relevant quality controls.
Likewise, as in any other sector, there is a continuous need to innovate, both from the point of view of the products and their packaging, either to respond to increasingly demanding needs or to include other factors such as environmental aspects or packaging design.
Advantages of plastic as a packaging material
Freedom of design and ease of integration. Thanks to the different plastic transformation processes, great versatility is achieved, which makes it possible to obtain packaging in a wide variety of shapes and designs.
Great versatility of materials and additives, allowing to obtain containers with different and often extreme properties, for example completely flexible or completely rigid containers, transparent or totally opaque containers, etc.
Low density, which means low specific weight and minimizes product transportation and distribution costs.
Economy. Both the raw material and the production process provide products with relatively low costs, very acceptable in consumer products.
Hygiene and safety. Proper selection of raw materials and correct design make plastic containers (such as child proof cap) highly hygienic. Moreover, they are very safe materials against breakage, minimizing possible injuries or cuts, unlike other materials such as glass or crystal.
Sustainability. Plastic materials are recyclable, so they can be efficiently collected and recycled within the current waste management system.
Within this framework, pharmaceutical companies need support for their activities related to packaging.
Applied to pharmaceutical product packaging
At present, one of the trends that is progressively spreading within the industry in general is to make products more and more ecological and natural, so that they are much more environmentally friendly. In the packaged products sector, the aim is to make packaging more and more sustainable, using the tools currently available.
Within the plastic packaging sector, the main current trends in sustainability are as follows:
- Use of recycled plastic
- Use of biodegradable materials or materials from renewable resources.
- In the plastic materials sector (such as child proof cap), the main actions that have been developed from the point of view of eco-design are those mentioned below, although it is a field where work is still being done to achieve environmental improvements:
- Elimination of polluting additives.
- Elimination of heavy metals.
- Reduction in the thickness of parts with the same performance.
- Increased recyclability of products.
- Use of recycled and/or biodegradable materials.
- Use of natural fillers/fibers.
- Use of paints, inks and adhesives with lower solvent content.