UK packaging company Visican has invented a novel self-sealing ‘ring pull tube’ in both cardboard and plastic formats that it says provides a 'ground-breaking' alternative to metal cans.
Sales executive Matt Gough told FoodProductionDaily.com that the products – launched late last year – had been developed to complement, rather than replace metal products, and were different to existing tubes on the market due to their self-sealing properties.
He said: "There are companies out there that produce plastic ring pull tubes, but they require complex machinery to package the products and seal the tube.
"With our ring-pull tube, the customer is provided with a tube (cardboard or plastic) with a ring pull lid already seamed on. All they then need to do is insert the contents and put the base plug in.
"As the base plug is a well-fitted clip-in plug, it is very difficult to take out once inserted (hence the fact that it is tamper proof)."
Major brand tests
Gough said the company had been working on the products for a while, had launched them onto the market and tested them with a few major brands.
"We think it’s got huge potential, and are really pushing it now with what the market’s demanding. We’re really pivoting the company around these types of new products now,” he added.
Visican (formerly Braythorn) said the product was fully biodegradable and recyclable in both formats, with customer branding available for both small and large production runs, produced at the firm’s 40,000 sq ft facility.
Gough said the company anticipated interest in the products from the UK, Europe and the US.
Visican said its plastic product (PET or PVC) had been designed with aesthetics in mind.
“[This] means the innovation of having a metal ring pull lid on top of a plastic tube is practical and visually pleasing,” the company said in a statement.
Visican predicted that the product would appeal to many different markets, including food and drink, novelty and cosmetic, and were also reusable when supplied with plastic lids.
Beverages ruled out
Discussing potential applications for the products, Gough said: “They're not watertight, because with the plastic you’ve got a seam that isn’t watertight, and obviously neither is cardboard. So they're for holding drier products.
He added: “We can use a metallised foil in a lining in cardboard, which provides some moisture resistance, but obviously you can’t fill it with water – that’s not going to happen.”
Gough added that the photo (right) featured a Carling tube that actually contained a can inside, used for promotional purposes.
But in light of the claimed invention of a cardboard beverage can produced by German firm Kelenburg last year, did Gough think beverages could provide a future application area?
“With cardboard that would be an impossibility, unless you had some sort of totally water-resistant lining. With the product as it stands, that’s not a route we’ll be going down,” he said.