While antimicrobial coatings for packaging have been used in the food industry before, a US-based branding agency has launched one for a broader application. Designsake Studio developed this antimicrobial coating, called Matter, in an effort to protect packages, delivery handlers and the end-user from harmful microbes, bacteria and viruses. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Matter is a groundbreaking step towards reducing the spread of the virus.
It is said to be 99.9% effective against a number of microbes that may land on the surface of a parcel, product or packaging item. Matter uses silver ions to neutralise these harmful microbes and it can be applied to almost any surface. The coating can be solvent- or aqueous-based and work on papers, cards, plastics, glass, metals and textiles. Its applications for the packaging and e-commerce industry are particularly important.
Matter was developed to minimise the spread of infectious diseases
The idea behind this antimicrobial coating was to protect workers in the e-commerce, retail, storage and delivery sectors, as well as the end-user. Anyone who interacts with parcels and packaging can find themselves at risk of touching contaminated surfaces. Many microbes can survive on these surfaces for a number of hours.
Matter works to prevent these harmful viruses and bacteria from metabolising and living. If an infected worker handles a box, then Matter will ensure that the next person to pick up the package is protected and unlikely to catch the illness. This means that antimicrobial coatings can play a role as a major defence in the Covid-19 pandemic.
In addition, the coating does not affect the recyclability of packaging substrates. Matter is environmentally-friendly and works for the duration of a product or parcel’s lifetime. It also has no impact on the usability or aesthetic of the product. In a world so fixated on sustainability and preservation of the environment, these properties had to be at the forefront of Matter’s development.
Antimicrobial coatings can reduce need for sanitiser
Amid the pandemic, hand sanitisers and pocket disinfectants have become an absolute necessity. However, this has also caused a surge in plastic waste and, in countries with minimal recycling facilities, a massive increase in plastic bottles that end up in landfills or the environment. Rubber glove waste has also seen a spike in the last year.
Antimicrobial coatings may be the solution to this waste. They reduce the need for sanitisers and rubber gloves. These coatings can also reduce the need for laborious disinfecting routines on parcels and groceries. Many people spend a lot of time cleaning their products and purchases when they get home. Matter can completely cut the need to do this.
An effective antimicrobial coating will instill trust in a brand that uses it on its products and packages. Packaging is a high-touch surface, so ensuring its safety for consumers and delivery workers is vital. While Matter isn’t a magic solution nor a cure to Covid-19, it does address certain challenges in the e-commerce, retail and consumer goods industries.
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