Takeaways from the[PACK]out 2023

June 09,2023 Category: Cold Chain, Packaging Development, Quality Optimization, Regulatory Compliance
Takeaways from the[Pack]out 2023
Members of the Adept Group team attended the[Pack]out in Austin, Texas from May 9 to 11. Beyond our participation in The Path from Distribution to Validation session on May 10, our life science packaging experts had the opportunity to speak with and learn from a variety of other industry experts.
If you missed the event or just want to learn more about some of the big topics of conversation there, our team identified a pair of interesting topics they learned a lot about over the course of the conference.

Chemical Recycling
As we mentioned in our recap of Sustainability in Packaging US 2023, chemical recycling is going to open new doors for sustainable packaging. Companies including Eastman Chemical Company, Johnson & Johnson and Exxon were all on hand to discuss their work in the chemical recycling space and its potential benefits.
While applications for traditional, mechanically recycled plastic are limited for packaging in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries due the high bar for sterility and barrier protection that materials need to clear, chemical recycling may make post-consumer recycled materials more viable. Because plastics are so important for sterile packaging used in the healthcare space and plastic is such an important focus for sustainability initiatives, finding recycling methods that yield high-quality materials is essential.
By breaking plastics down into their constituent molecules, chemical recycling methods can produce output that is equal in quality to virgin polymers. This makes them viable for applications in the healthcare packaging space and can help life science brands reduce the carbon footprint of their packaging operations by up to 30% when compared to the process of extracting and processing the materials for virgin polymers. Chemical recycling can also increase efficiency in the recycling stream because it can accommodate mixed plastics and a wider variety of plastic types, keeping more material out of landfills.

Nitric Oxide Sterilization
Nitric Oxide (NO) sterilization is a recently announced alternative to Ethylene Oxide (EtO) sterilization. The use of EtO has recently been a cause of concern because it has been linked to cancer diagnoses, prompting scrutiny from the EPA. NO sterilization can be done without the need for PPE and the process is viable in ambient conditions. It is added to the product-facing layer of poly laminate and is activated by ambient room temperature or white light in a process that takes about 4 hours.
The NO gas sterilizes the device and keeps the product sterile for as long as the gas stays in the pouch. This requires an impermeable outside layer to keep the gas in and the product sterile, but this should already be the case with products that require a sterile barrier system. NO sterilizations viability under ambient conditions eliminates the need to keep packaging in cold storage until its ready to be activated, saving on costs and energy use.

If you’d like to discuss how these and other life science packaging topics featured at the[Pack]out might affect your packaging operations, get in touch. The life science experts at Adept Group have experience helping brands in in your industry create packaging that meets regulatory standards, optimizes costs and improves sustainability.