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Demand for antimicrobial materials surges

A groundbreaking overprint varnish allows packaging converters to address consumer hygiene

The demand for hygiene products exploded in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world and sent everyone washing their hands and sanitizing high touch surfaces. Online sales of hand sanitizer and wipes alone grew by a mind blowing (and this is not a typo) 5,687 percent in the early days of the pandemic.

Major brands and consumers are looking at packaging that offers germ fighting benefits, leading the market for antimicrobial materials to surge.

For better or worse, the health crisis changed our behaviors when it comes to hygiene, and this market is not expected to decline as the vaccine becomes readily available. According to Market Data Forecast, the size of the antimicrobial coatings market is expected to grow at a double-digit rate, eventually reaching $1.34 billion USD by 2025. The UK makes up the largest consumer base for antimicrobial coatings in Europe, and much of the current growth is attributed to demands from health care and packaging industries.

To meet this growing demand, S-OneLP has partnered with Varcotec to bring Lock 3 to the European market. Lock 3 is a revolutionary water-based overprint varnish that reduces viruses, germs, and bacteria on printed surfaces, such as labels and flexible packaging.

How it works

The antimicrobial properties of Lock 3 are activated by visible light that transfers energy to create what’s called a singlet oxygen, which kills germs and viruses by oxidation on dry and humid surfaces.

The highly reactive singlet oxygen has been used routinely in medicine for over 20 years and has been clinically tested for its antimicrobial effects at the Fraunhofer Institute in Munich. There currently are at least 34 scientific studies that demonstrate that singlet oxygen can efficiently destroy a wide variety of viruses, including Ebola, SARS, influenza, herpes, norovirus, and HIV.

It’s important to note that Lock 3 has not been tested to kill the COVID-19 virus. Similarly, neither has hand sanitizer or antibacterial wipes that health experts say are effective in preventing the spread of germs and infections. Lock 3 is another tool in that toolbox.

Lock 3 is certified for both direct and indirect food contact and is effective against viruses, bacteria, spores, and fungi for up to three years. This varnish is currently the only fully effective antiviral OPV on the market. Lock 3 varnishes are free from heavy metals, are odorless, and have no impact on the recycling process of respective products or packaging.

For more information on Lock 3, or on getting started with antimicrobial solutions with S-OneLP, contact our experts at labelsandpackaging@sone.com or call +31 43 799 5005.