Eastman introduces styrene-free alternative to HIPS to Europe's medical packaging community


Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, TN) introduced its Eastalite copolyester for opaque rigid medical packaging to the European market today at Compamed in Düsseldorf, Germany. Eastman teamed with Carolex, an extruder of plastics for packaging applications based in Longué, France, to showcase what it describes as a sustainable, cost-effective, styrene-free alternative to high-impact polystyrene (HIPS). The material was introduced to the North American market earlier this year at the Medical Design & Manufacturing event in Anaheim, CA.

A foamed copolyester, Eastalite was engineered in response to customer feedback, Ferdi Faas, Market Development Manager, and Ian Fearnley, Associate Application Development Engineer, told PlasticsToday. "From a safety and sustainability standpoint, styrene packaging has been identified as a concern under many healthcare enterprise Environmentally Preferable Purchasing guidelines. Although sheet extruded from Eastalite can be processed with the same thermoforming, trimming, and sealing equipment as HIPS, its lower process temperatures offer greater opportunities for sustainable packaging," they said. Also, from a safety perspective, the material is used in a cleanroom environment with controlled levels of particles, a process that creates less dust than HIPS. "This makes Eastalite easier to produce and cleaner than HIPS," they added. Other advantages of the material communicated by Eastman include reductions in processing, inspection, and cycle times, compared with HIPS.

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