Cling film finds extensive applications in a wide range of end-use industries such as healthcare, consumer goods, industrial and food packaging sectors, owing to its highly durable nature, and ease of use in comparison to other alternatives. With an eye on the changing needs of the end consumers, manufacturers have increasingly developed and used new materials and production methods for achieving optimized results.
Improved Material Quality Boosts Preference for Cast Cling Film
Although blown cast films provide increased resilience, film memory, holding power, and durability, they are relatively more expensive, and often short on set quality standards. On the other hand, cast cling films which are made using a constant melting process on thermoplastic ingredients offer improved visual clarity, reduced noise, better stretch ability, and superlative resistance to wear and tear. Moreover, cast cling films are significantly cost effective, which are pushing its adoption for many end users.
Manufacturers Shift Attention to Eco-friendly Materials for Food Packaging Films
As per a recent study by Future Market Insights on the global cling film market, consumers have started to become wary of using cling film for food coverings, owing to the fact that heat may cause chemicals from the film to leak into the food, which may pose significant health risks, which is a key factor that is anticipated to restrict the proliferation of the material, worldwide.
As a result, leading cling film manufacturers have been observed to be experimenting with new eco-friendly materials. For instance, researchers at Tufts University have developed cling film made from water-based suspensions of silk fibroins. The film offers the benefits of reducing the diffusion of gases, permeability to oxygen, CO2 production, and dehydration, which results in longer shelf life and firmer structures of perishable foods.
Similarly, scientists from Georgia Institute of Technology School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have created a cling film variant from chitin and cellulose extracts from crab shells and trees, which reduce the penetration of gases, especially when used in alternating layers owing to the opposite charges from cellulose and chitin, and the crystalline structure of the film, which makes it ideal for packing foods that have uneven surfaces or fragile structures.
Moreover, U.S. based, FKuR, has introduced a new range of biodegradable cling film. The bio-plastic materials are resistant to moisture provide additional benefits of cost and durability as it avoids the use of starch based materials.
Researchers have also developed edible cling films made from mango peels and seeds, which improve significantly on food safety, increase shelf life, and lower permeability of gas and water, at a relatively low cost, encouraging the adoption and research on other such materials.
Anti-Plastic Initiatives Set to Constrain Cling Film Manufacturers
Environmental concerns and constant additions to plastic control regulations by governments around the world are anticipated to significantly restrict the demand for cling film in the near future. For instance, the UK government is aiming to eliminate all single-use plastic from schools by the end of 2022, and start the use of sustainable plastics instead. Schools and parents have been told to discourage the use of cling film food coverings for lunch in this effort. This move is anticipated to hit the local cling film businesses, as they look towards sustainable alternatives to maintain operations.
Cling Films for Environment Protection
Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the University of Melbourne have developed an ultra-thin cling film material that is estimated to be up to 50,000 times thinner than an average human’s hair. This innovation was developed with the aim of protecting the Great Barrier Reef of Australia from getting bleached through rising temperature by global warming, through breaking direct contact of sunlight from reaching the reef by up to 30%. Made from calcium carbonate, which is the same material that the reef is largely made off, the cling film is completely biodegradable, and poses no risk of additional contamination to the local aquatic life.
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