Toppan Reduces CO₂ Emissions by 63,000 Metric Tons in 2020 with Barrier Packaging

Reduction calculated from shipments of GL BARRIER for retort food packaging and mono-material packaging with spouts. System for automated calculation of CO₂ emission volume from product life cycles to be launched.

Tokyo – October 27, 2021 –Toppan (TYO: 7911), a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, provides packaging that uses GL BARRIER, a leading brand of transparent barrier film that enables reduction of CO₂ emissions when used as an alternative to aluminum foil.

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Toppan has quantified reduction in CO₂ emission volume, and, to strengthen its efforts in the area of eco-friendly packaging that contributes to decarbonization, calculated CO₂ emission volume in fiscal 2020 from shipments of retort food pouches and mono-material food pouches with spouts that use GL BARRIER. The results indicate a reduction in CO₂ emission volume of approximately 63,000 metric tons when compared with packaging that uses aluminum foil.1 This is equivalent to the volume of CO₂ emitted annually by about 23,000 households.2

To accelerate efforts to supply optimal packaging that minimizes CO₂ emissions and provides outstanding functionality, Toppan has also developed SmartLCA-CO₂™, a system for automated calculation of CO₂ emission volume across the entire package life cycle of individual products based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).3 The system will be launched at Toppan’s core plant for flexible packaging in Gunma, Japan, in November this year. Toppan will take advantage of the system to propose packaging specifications that minimize CO₂ emissions to manufacturers in such sectors as food, toiletries, and pharmaceuticals.

Targeting a decarbonized society, Toppan aims to drive greater visibility of CO₂ emission volumes and contribute to emission reduction by advancing a shift to GL BARRIER, including mono-material packaging, and optimizing package design.

Background and product overview

With growing momentum globally in the areas of eco-friendliness and resource saving driven by initiatives including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), attention is focused on packaging that reduces environmental impact. Toppan’s Medium Term Plan, announced in May this year, sets out a vision of contributing to a sustainable society and enhancing corporate value as a leader in providing solutions on a global scale through Digital Transformation (DX) and Sustainable Transformation (SX). One of the priorities identified is initiatives focused on the environment, and Toppan is addressing this through its business.

With the TOPPAN S-VALUE™ Packaging range at its core, Toppan’s packaging business is accelerating provision of SUSTAINABLE-VALUE Packaging™, which is based on the concept of generating value for Earth. The adoption of GL BARRIER as an alternative to conventional aluminum foil materials for retort food packaging has expanded significantly because it enables reduction in CO₂ emissions and can be used in microwave ovens.

Demand for polypropylene (PP) barrier film is growing in North American and European markets, where a shift to mono-material packaging is underway, and aluminum foil used for such items as food pouches with spouts is being replaced with GL-BP, a PP-based version of GL BARRIER. Toppan aims to contribute to a sustainable society by accelerating initiatives based on quantifying and visualizing reduction of CO₂ emission volume in relation to these and other products seeing increased demand.


GL BARRIER is Toppan’s range of transparent films providing world-class barrier performance. The multilayer structure of GL BARRIER films combines unique coating and vapor-deposited layers to enable outstanding, stable barrier performance relied upon for a wide range of items in the food, medical, pharmaceutical, and industrial materials sectors. GL BARRIER makes it possible to replace aluminum foil and streamline layer structure by combining the functions of the printing substrate and barrier substrate and also enables packaging to be heated in microwave ovens.

About GL-BP

Heat and humidity negatively affect the performance of conventional barrier films using oriented polypropylene (OPP). With GL-BP, Toppan has enhanced water vapor barrier performance, reduced the impact of changes in heat and humidity, and achieved oxygen barrier performance superior to that of conventional OPP-based barrier films even under high humidity. When used in combination with other OPP-based materials, it enables mono-material packaging that is more readily recyclable. Toppan will strengthen sales of GL-BP globally and contribute to mitigating environmental impact by reducing CO₂ emission volume and improving recyclability.

About SmartLCA-CO₂™

SmartLCA-CO₂ uses LCA to calculate CO₂ emission volume over the entire life cycle of a package. Emissions can be calculated for each product provided by customers, enabling Toppan to propose specifications that minimize CO₂ emission volume while maintaining the functions required of the packaging.
About TOPPAN S-VALUE™ Packaging
With TOPPAN S-VALUE™ Packaging, Toppan aims to contribute to a better society as well as fulfilling, comfortable living through packages that offer more value. SMART LIFE-VALUE Packaging™ provides value for people, SOCIAL-VALUE Packaging™ drives value for society, and SUSTAINABLE-VALUE Packaging™ creates value for the Earth.
GL BARRIER film (left) is used for packages such as retort pouches. © TOPPAN INC.
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