Toppan develops paper-based tube-pouch 

Easy to squeeze pouch reduces plastic

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Toppan
Toppan's new paper-based tube-pouch Photo: Toppan Japan

In April 2020, Toppan Printing, a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, announced its paper tube-pouch, a new paper-based version of the existing tube-pouch. Shaped like a tube and easy to squeeze like a pouch, the new product has improved user-friendliness while reducing resource use to achieve enhanced environmental performance. The paper tube-pouch is ideal for use in the food, toiletry, and pharmaceutical sectors. Full-scale launches and sales of products using the new paper-based tube-pouch are expected in Japan in fiscal 2020.

Due to the use of thinner film material, the conventional tube-pouch is easier to squeeze and uses 30% less plastic than the type of laminated tube widely used for toothpaste. The new paper tube-pouch maintains the tube pouches’ functionality while demonstrating even better environmental performance by employing a paper-based material for the body, making possible a 50% reduction in plastic volume. Plastics can be reduced by a total of 65% when the plastic parts of the head section are also redesigned. 

Although much of the plastic is replaced with paper, the tube-pouch still maintains its shape even when the volume of content inside decreases. The use of Toppan’s proprietary GL Barrier film on the inner surface ensures the world-class and complete barrier performance required for such items as food and cosmetics.

The body of the paper tube-pouch has a thickness of just 0.1 mm and a special folded structure. Together with the horizontal design of the plastic spout, the unique folded structure makes it easier to squeeze out the contents completely.

The redesigned plastic head together with a unique fold of the tube allows complete use of the packaged contents Image & Graphic Toppan Japan
The redesigned plastic head together with a unique fold of the tube allows complete use of the packaged contents
Image & Graphic Toppan Japan

The use of paper for the exterior surface also means that design and sales promotion can fully exploit the advantages of the material’s feel and texture. The paper tube-pouch is ideal for effectively communicating more natural and organic product concepts to consumers.

“The paper tube-pouch represents a new solution that can meet the needs of manufacturers, consumers, and society as a whole by reducing the impact on the environment, enhancing user-friendliness, and also offering new possibilities for design,” said Shingo Wada, general manager of business strategy in Toppan’s western Japan division. “It is another example of Toppan’s efforts to tackle such issues as marine plastic and the need for efficient circulation of resources by developing eco-friendly packaging and containers that sacrifice nothing in terms of functionality while making use of more sustainable materials, such as recycled and biomass plastics, monomaterials, and paper.”

About GL Barrier

GL Barrier is Toppan’s range of transparent films providing excellent barrier performance. The multilayer structure of these films combines unique coating and vapor-deposited layers to enable outstanding, stable barrier performance relied on for a wide range of items in the food, medical, pharmaceutical, and industrial materials.

Based on inputs from Toppan and edited by Naresh Khanna