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Initially proposed as the Safe Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, Prop 65 is a California law that provides California residents with information about compounds in their environment that might be harmful. Polystyrene is one of over 800 chemicals and compounds that made the unsafe list, which motivated some brands to seek alternatives and replace polystyrene (PS) in their products. PS has long been the default polymer choice for form-fill-seal-thermoforming processing in food packaging. You don’t have to live in Cali to want carcinogens out of the plastic that holds your food, but until recently, there wasn’t a really good solution. Fortunately for brands looking to make the switch, the Impact Consumer Products Group (ICPG) just came up with a drop-in substitute. Introducing… XXP polypropylene.

The new XPP polypropylene is a drop-in replacement for out-of-favor PS and can be used for a variety of processes from thermoform-fill-seal to retort. ICPG’s XPP Enhanced Barrier Polypropylene was “created as an optimized drop-in replacement in applications for yogurt multipacks and single-serve cups for creamers, pudding, condiments, dips, shelf-stable beverages, and more,” said Mike Moren, Commercial Director of ICPG. Some key performance attributes that are not observed in traditional PP solutions include enhanced stiffness and controlled shrinkage. This more sustainable, recyclable solution eliminates Proposition 65 health and safety concerns for food packaging while also offering enhanced barrier protection over PP and PS without the use of specialty barrier materials and coatings.

The drop-in nature of the solution means that brand owners save when it comes to capital expenditure compared to replacement or significant modification to existing equipment required by alternatives. Also, compared to alternative materials, PP has the lowest density, which translates to an increased part yield in thermoforming and FFS. There is a significant material savings and yield improvement due to the reduced density of the material when compared to PS and PET.

As a child born and raised on Captain Planet– I am here for this solution! I appreciate the laws like Prop 65 that enforce transparency on corporations to share when they are using harmful materials. Americans confidently make choices that we know are bad for us all the time. In fact, we do it with pride! It’s kind of our thing; cheeseburgers are our worldwide trademark, for Pete’s sake. We at least deserve to have all the information up front so we can make bad choices intentionally! (This is a joke.) Little by little, we will have a healthier culture, and I appreciate ICPG for creating an environmentally friendly solution.

Does your food company have a problem you aren’t sure how to solve? You should call us- that’s kind of our thing.