In the media

PulPac forms Blister Pack Collective to fight pharma industry waste

By Sabine Waldeck

Packaging Insights

Dec 07, 2022

PulPac has developed a Blister Pack Collective to reduce manufacturing rates and limit non-recyclable plastics’ use in over-the-counter and prescription drug packaging. The company has partnered with PA Consulting to call upon organizations in the pharma, consumer health and FMCG industries to implement its Dry Molded Fiber solutions.

Following an initial proof of concept, industry players are encouraged to sign up and accelerate the development of Dry Molded Fiber blister pack solutions.

“The pharma industry is working on a range of big issues at the moment. For packaging, regulation is a real challenge, and we hope the Blister Pack Collective will provide a helpful solution to problem plastics,” Jamie Stone, Dry Molded Fiber design lead and sustainability design expert at PA Consulting, tells PackagingInsights.

The tablet packaging is expected to provide a versatile, like-for-like, and scalable solution for pharma and healthcare companies to replace the common and wasteful polyvinyl chloride (PVC) packaging. PulPac states its product is the “world’s first planet-friendly DMF blister pack.”

PulPac’s packs

Blister packs for tablets are required to ensure product protection and usability. Therefore, the packs need to be strong enough to withstand impact and have a high sealability to keep out air while maintaining enough softness to be easily visible and separated.

PulPac and PA Collective aim to bring in major players from the pharma industry with its Blister Pack Collective. “The innovative tablet blister packs designed by the PA team demonstrate a viable fiber-based concept of a circular solution in cellulose that can solve a global challenge,” says Sanna Fager, chief commercial officer at PulPac.

“Leveraging the benefits of our Dry Molded Fiber technology – instead of single-use PVC – these packs would be circular in paper streams and still be functional, scalable, but most importantly affordable.”

PulPac states that the partnership with PA Consulting is about working collaboratively to ensure that brands are supported as they seek to replace single-use plastics across their products and packaging.

“By partnering with consumer health and FMCG, we can find faster routes to market with smaller regulatory hurdles that will ultimately help the Pharma companies get the evidence they need to prove this technology out,” continues Stone.

“Partnering with just one customer would be costly and would slow the route to market. Inviting a range of customers to join the collective means that each customer will pay less and learn faster. The sooner we can get [environmentally] sustainable solutions to the problem of plastic Blister Packs, the better for us all.”

PA Consulting provided an end-to-end manufacturing solution to scale the technology to build a prototype manufacturing platform for PulPac’s patented IP. PA Consulting will continue to aid PulPac with its “history of successfully accelerating new product and packaging concepts to market.”

Dry molded fiber

Stone adds that PulPac and PA Consulting “have found a solution to tackle one of the major plastic waste issues across industries reliant on tablet blister packs. We now need industries to join us and help accelerate the development of this ingenious solution and help remove tons of problem plastic waste from the planet.”

Dry Molded Fiber is a unique fiber-based product as an alternative to plastics. During its manufacturing, no water is needed. PulPac pioneered the technology of cellulose molding and enabled high-speed manufacturing of fiber and cellulose-based products.

This process leaves an 80-90% lower CO2 footprint at the same or lower cost as plastic. The company states that the world produces more than 400 million metric tons of plastic annually, and only 9%of all plastic waste is currently recycled.

“Industry players that seek to be a force for sustainable change in the packaging industry are very welcome to join the collective in support of this transition to sustainability with rapid adoption and global impact,” says Fager.

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