Packaging and Containment
What is textile packaging?
Packaging textiles include all textile packing materials for industrial, agricultural, and other goods. Textile packaging is used to contain, carry, store, and protect goods. One of the most important uses of textiles is the manufacturing of bags and sacks, traditionally from cotton, flax, and jute. It consists of synthetic bags used for industrial packaging and jute sacks used for packing food grains. Packaging is a long-established application for textiles. The demand for packing material is directly proportional to economic growth, industrial production, and trade as goods are produced and then distributed both locally and globally.
The textile packaging market is growing at a rapid pace, owing to the increasing demand for textile packaging over plastic packaging. The textile packaging is not only resistant to tear but also offers eco-friendly, bio-degradable, and durable solutions. Nowadays, the high consumption of textile packaging can be seen in the medical, retail, food & beverage, and clothing industry. Additionally, stringent regulations passed by the governments to stop the use of plastic and switch to eco-friendly solutions will also help the adoption of textile packaging.
Textile packaging applications
There are some essential uses of technical textiles as packaging and containment such as the manufacturing of sacks and bags, mainly from cotton, ﬂax, and jute. In the modern packaging market especially in the food industry, lighter weight non-wovens and knitted structures for a variety of wrapping and protection applications. On the other hand, tea and coffee bags use wet-laid non-wovens. Besides these, vegetables, meats, and fruits are now more frequently packed with a non-woven insert to absorb liquids, whereas fruits and vegetable products are supplied in knitted net packaging.
A number of market trends for the textile packaging sector have been identified, including:
- hydrocarbon-free jute sacking to reduce the contamination occurring from oils applied during the processing of jute moves toward bulk handling are leading to the replacement of small and medium-sized sacks by “big bags”
- growth of non-woven products used as durable synthetic papers, such as for shipping envelopes, medical packaging, and industrial bags nonwovens for food packaging, such as tea bags, coffee filters, and absorbent pads to reduce leakage
- narrow-woven polypropylene strappings are now growing in popularity as a replacement for metal straps
- growth of net packaging owing to the overall movement of food as well as pre-packaging of food
- intelligent packaging, including functional packaging such as temperature, freshness, and traceability markers
Textile packaging materials
Textile materials can be modified by altering the polymer, fiber, and textile structures. Over the years many techniques have been developed in the polymer and textile industries, with many related technologies developed in chemical engineering, bio-engineering, material processing, and medical sciences. Many unique properties can be obtained by applying chemical, physical, and biological treatments to polymers, fibers, textile materials and composites. This makes it possible to further enhance the performance of textile materials.
The raw material from which textiles made is called filaments or fibers. The textile raw materials can be organized into the following groups:
- Natural raw materials
- fibers of vegetable origin
- fibers of animal origin
- Artificial raw materials
- fibers with a natural origin
- fibers with a synthetic origin
The use of textile materials in consumer packaging is exhibited in the following products: FIBC
- Big bags, for powdered and granular materials
- Laundry bags and other bulk packaging products
- Sacks for storage
- Net packaging for storing, packing, and transporting
- Twine and string for tying packages
- Woven fiber strapping, lightweight mailbags
- Food soaker pads
- Non-paper tea bags and coffee filters
Sustainable packaging is packaging that, over time, reduces its environmental footprint. This can happen in a number of ways: Ingredients: Using raw 100% recycled or raw materials
Production process: By minimizing the production process, supply chain, and carbon footprint re-usability: Creating a circular economy around the packaging, extending its life cycle and usability.
It is simple to say that eco-packaging is entirely about the environment. It also should take into consideration economic and social factors.