In 1983, with the introduction of the first multilayer high barrier plastic bottle in the United States, a revolution was started in the food packaging industry. This revolution has gained momentum over the last five years so that today almost any type of food product is a candidate for packaging in a high barrier plastic container. Food products are not the only candidates, however; many nonfood products such as chemicals, health care products, electronic parts, etc. are taking advantage of the excellent cost/performance properties of high barrier plastics packaging. One of the primary reasons for the acceptance and functionality of this type of packaging is ethylene vinyl alcohol copolymer (EVOH) resins.
This paper will review multilayer plastics packaging applications, their markets and economics from 1983 to the present, and why EVOH resins play a very important role in the “packaging revolution.”
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