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Antimicrobial packaging helps stop spread of infection

By Katie Bird , 29-Jan-2008

M&H Plastics is launching an antimicrobial packaging product aimed at personal care and pharmaceutical product manufacturers to help stop the spread of infection.

The product is an antimicrobial additive that can be incorporated into a wide range of M&H's plastic packaging products and will not affect either the appearance of the packaging or the formulation contained within. The antimicrobial action of the resulting packaging will kill the majority of bacteria that land on its surface, therefore helping to stop the spread of infection from individual to individual, according to the company. The additive is based on silver ions, an antimicrobial that works against a wide range of microbes including E. Coli, MRSA, Salmonella enteritides and two types of bathroom mould. The silver ions are incorporated into the surface of the moulding. When a bacteria attempts to consume something on the surface of the packaging it will also ingest a silver ion. When ingested by the bacteria the ion stops the cell wall from closing, thereby disrupting the cell's metabolism, inhibiting respiration, cell division and reproduction, according to M&H. The company said the bacteria fighting effect will last for the life time of the packaging. In addition, the antimicrobial action of the packaging does not affect the formulation of the product inside in any way. It is ideal for a wide range of products, from antibacterial products such as hand soaps and sanitizers to bath care, skin care and hair care products, said M&H. Currently products available from M&H that incorporate the additive include the company's PET, SAN, Polyethylene and Polypropylene ranges. The UK-based packaging company hopes the innovation will be popular with companies trying to find the extra edge in a highly competitive market, particularly due to the continuing media coverage of health and hygiene issues. The product is being launched globally and interest has been high from a large and varied range of manufacturers, marketing manager Vicki John told Interest has come from some of the big players in the industry, and been particularly high in the US, said John. Late 2007 M&H Plastics launched a range of green packaging in collaboration with naturals brand Naked in response to consumer demand for environmentally friendly packaging. The bottles are made from Post Consumer Regrind (PCR), which is plastic that has been recovered from landfills and then ground down and recycled.

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