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Some examples of flexible packaging used in the pharmaceutical industry are blisters, pouches, sachets and stick packs. These shapes can be adapted to the specific needs of pharmaceuticals, such as unit dose packaging to ensure medication adherence, or child-resistant packaging to ensure safety.
Flexible packaging is gaining popularity in the pharmaceutical industry due to its many advantages over traditional packaging formats.
Some of the advantages of flexible packaging in pharmaceuticals are:
Protection: provides excellent protection against light, moisture, oxygen and other external factors that can degrade or contaminate pharmaceutical products.
Convenience: convenient features such as tear notches and resealable zip-closures.
Portability: This makes flexible packaging highly portable and easy to carry and store, ideal for use in healthcare settings such as hospitals and clinics.
Cost-effective: Flexible packaging is generally more cost-effective than rigid packaging as it requires less material and energy to manufacture, transport and dispose of.
Sustainable: Flexible packaging is more environmentally friendly than rigid packaging as it generates less waste and is often recyclable.
Materials used in pharmaceuticals:
Polyethylene (PE): is a thermoplastic polymer widely used in flexible packaging due to its moisture resistance, durability and ease of processing.
Polypropylene (PP): is a thermoplastic polymer used in flexible packaging due to its high strength, chemical resistance and heat resistance.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): is a thermoplastic polymer used in flexible packaging due to its excellent barrier properties and transparency.
Polyester (PET): is a thermoplastic polymer used in flexible packaging due to its excellent tensile strength, barrier properties and dimensional stability.
In addition to these individual polymers, flexible packaging films used in pharmaceuticals can also be made from composite materials, which are combinations of different polymers or other materials. Some common composite films used in pharmaceutical packaging include:
PET/PE: this composite film combines the barrier properties of PET with the flexibility of PE.
PET/ALU/PE: this composite film combines the barrier properties of aluminium foil with the strength and flexibility of PET and PE.