Antimicrobial Profiles

Antimicrobial Profiles

Pathogens are everywhere. There are growing concerns about our daily exposure to bacteria, molds, mildew and fungi. Environments where air circulation is limited (airplanes), and in buildings that are climate controlled and well insulated, this concern is heightened. These types of environments create favorable conditions for the growth of pathogens. There are also places where hygienic conditions are a “must” — hospitals and food processing plants.

The beauty of using Antimicrobial plastic rather than other solutions is that the Antimicrobial properties are embodied within the plastic itself rather than just topically applied, so that the Antimicrobial benefits cannot be washed away. Antimicrobials can help protect plastics from odor development, staining, discoloration, and microbial transfer by cross contamination. Eliminating microbial transfer is an attractive property for articles handled by many people.

How does it work? Antimicrobials are either natural or synthetic materials that kill molds, bacteria and/or fungi. Since Antimicrobial plastic compounds are directly incorporated into the thermoplastic materials, it makes it impossible for allergens, bacteria, molds, and mildew to survive on the surface, yet these compounds have no known effect on humans and some are FDA approved for contact with food. There are a number of Antimicrobial materials available for use in just about any type of extruded plastic profile.

We can help you choose the right material to enhance your product line with Antimicrobial properties.
Major markets for Antimicrobial Extrusions include: aerospace, medical, food services, military, consumer goods, building and
construction, and office supplies, just to mention a few.

Antimicrobial Plastic Material Benefits

With plastic waste and microorganism growth due to improper disposal threatening the global environment and public health, a collective effort has been made to urge different industries to use antimicrobial profiles. Activists, companies, and manufacturers are coming together to make the world more environmentally friendly to combat the problem. In the industrial sectors, such as food packaging, antimicrobial profiles are one of the most sustainable and reliable solutions.

Utilizing antimicrobial plastic is becoming a standard for several industries worldwide. It is safe and effective in resisting contamination and pathogen growth. Since antimicrobial additives prevent microbial growth, it extends the longevity of the plastic as a result. We will cover the antimicrobial basics, including what it is and its benefits.

What Are Antimicrobial Plastics?

Production of antimicrobial plastics incorporates polymer materials for protecting food and products. The components we use are synthetic organic materials. In the food packaging sector, manufacturers process plastics containing multiple chemicals, including ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid, fungicide, or paraben chemicals.

Between inorganic and organic synthetic materials, the most preferred are organic and synthetic antimicrobial agents. One reason is that antimicrobial for plastic is easy to produce and provides effective protective performance. We incorporate the agents with polymers to prevent the decay of products and illnesses caused by E-coli, listeria, mold, and salmonella.

Polymer Materials Types

Biodegradable and non-biodegradable are the two types of polymer materials used in various industry sectors. According to a study, biodegradable products hold a promising future in reducing pollution and litter since degradable polymer materials are environmentally friendly and recyclable.

How Does Antimicrobial Plastic Work?

For antimicrobial plastic to work effectively in protecting against bacteria, it must contain the cell functions of the microorganism. Cell functions include cell membrane, nucleic acid, cell wall synthesis, and protein synthesis. Using antimicrobial plastic additives, such as polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), or polylactic acid, enables antimicrobial to work.

Polylactic acid is a polymer used as an antimicrobial plastic material. It has compatible and degradable bio-properties. Another polymer that has similar effects is cellulose containing all-natural properties.

We offer solutions for custom antimicrobial profiles, plastic extrusions & extruded products, hollow profiles, and recycled profiles.

What Is The Benefit Of Antimicrobial Plastic?

There are eight benefits of using antimicrobial materials, including:


  • Environmental Protection



According to a 2019 review, approximately 350 to 400 million tons of plastics are found in marine environments yearly. Plastic accumulation harms ecosystems and our health. Environmental research is continuously addressing the degree of degradable plastic.

Research shows that microbial degradation of polymers is a slow process. Studies conducted included the following synthetic polymers:

  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVP)
  • Polyurethane (PUR)
  • Polyethylene (PE)
  • Polyamide (PA)
  • Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET)
  • Polystyrene (PS)
  • Polypropylene (PP)

The commercial polymers and films containing additives, plasticizers, and other biodegradable impurities are easier to break down.

As biodegradable plastic continues to rise, manufacturers are discovering its benefit. It reduces plastic waste and protects the environment. Environmentalists believe drinking containers contribute to all litter found in landfills and the ocean. Antimicrobial plastic additives in reusable cups can reduce litter and pollutant problems.


  • Reduces National Economic Burdens and Human Fatalities



In the United States and Europe, researchers have seen the financial impact on both economies due to microbial infections. The US experienced an economic burden in direct microbial infections amounting to over $6 billion. Additionally, indirect costs totaled approximately $45 billion. Overall costs of healthcare-associated infections (HAI) to hospitals were between $28 billion to $45 billion.

Acute hospitals admitted seven percent of patients in Europe due to healthcare-associated infection (HAI). In Europe, a study showed that hospitals admitted seven percent of patients with HAIs. There were approximately 100,000 fatalities which included indirect deaths and 37,000 direct fatalities. Using antimicrobial plastics can help reduce economic burdens, human sicknesses, long-term effects, and deaths.


  • Broad Uses Of Polymers



Since the beginning, polymers have been naturally around us, such as starch and cellulose. The polymer industry is speedily developing internationally. It is the largest industry than the combined aluminum, copper, steel, and other industries.

Uses of polymers comprise:

  • Auto Parts
  • Containers
  • Fiberglass
  • Glue
  • Medications
  • Nylon Bearings
  • Paints
  • Plastic Bags
  • Plastic Films
  • Polyethylene Cups
  • Polyurethane Foam Cushion
  • Teflon Cookware
  • Synthetic Fiber Clothing

We can produce polymer products used in communication, clothing, nutrition, highways, buildings, and water irrigation industry sectors. Manufacturers use polymers organically and inorganically. Both forms comprise coatings, adhesives, plastics, and ceramics, to name a few.

In different industry sectors, polymer uses are in high demand. Food packaging, toy manufacturers, hospitals, and auto part makers rely on antimicrobial profiles. The medical industry sector, including pharmaceutical, uses polymers as manufacturing requirements. The use of antimicrobial additives helps prevent medical equipment and supplies from causing HAIs in patients.


  • Antimicrobial Additives Longevity



Antimicrobial materials increase the shelf-life of food and products. The additives reduce and prevent bacteria and mold that can cause food to degrade and spoil quickly. Food processors use antimicrobial packaging to protect food surfaces.

The food industry sector uses antimicrobial material films to keep food fresh and prolong its shelf life. Incorporating natural or synthetic agents into the antimicrobial films is proven effective based on research and tests to increase the shelf life of food. A study on nisin, an antibacterial peptide, on packaged Korean seasoned beef showed only a slight increase in microorganisms growth after 60 days at low and room temperatures.

Organic acid food packaging films show promising results in keeping fish fillets fresh, with an extended shelf life. Starch-based films are proven effective when utilized as antimicrobial packaging materials. When applied to frozen cheese in research, the shelf life extended by 21 percent.


  • Numerous Hygienic Uses



Storing plastic products can enable harmful bacteria to grow and cause health risks. A study revealed reused plastic grocery bags in households can transfer dangerous bacteria. It found that 10 percent of reusable bags contained E-coli, a fecal bacteria.

The bacteria can cause complicated illnesses and fatalities in humans. With antimicrobial for plastic, it can reduce the growth of harmful microorganisms. What causes the bacteria to grow is unhygienic conditions in the manufacturing environment.


  • Fight Against Infectious Diseases



The primary benefit of using antimicrobial profiles is the ability to provide protection against harmful microbes, such as pathogens, mold, mildew, algae, and yeast. The microorganism can grow on untreated plastics resulting in discoloration, foul odors, and polymer degradation. We incorporate antimicrobial additives with plastic resins during the compounding or molding process then provide a biochemical treatment to control microbes.

We incorporate antimicrobial additives into most standard plastics, such as thermoplastics, engineering, and high-performance. Our high-performance solutions consist of PE, PP, PVC, and Ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). We can provide antimicrobial liquids, compounds, powders, and pellets based on the preference of the selected method for manufacturing products.


  • High-Quality Production Processing Utilizing Antimicrobial Technology



Our technical experts have knowledge and expertise and provide numerous antimicrobial plastics to various industry sectors. We use applications with the best grade for all production processes, enabling us to meet the requirements and standards of manufacturing products.

Utilizing our antimicrobial solutions will not interrupt the production processes or supply chains. Finished plastic products are clear with no dull colors or cloudiness. Antimicrobial additives don’t wear off over time and becomes a part of the material permanently.

Incorporating additives provide long-lasting effects in controlling harmful microbes. Untreated plastics will produce unpleasant odors, discoloration, and degradation. Antimicrobial plastic material controls the release of active ingredients that provide long-lasting protection of plastic products.


  • Adherence To US EPA Regulations



Making public health claims for antimicrobial profiles must receive approval from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). We stand by standard hygiene practices proven to prevent the transmission of dangerous microorganisms.

EPA strictly regulates public claims and labeling requirements as with drugs. For us to claim that a product kills, reduces, or controls microorganisms, tests are necessary. Following the Environmental Protection Agency regulations helps protect us from false public health claims.

Industries We Serve

  • Aerospace
  • Agriculture & Horticulture
  • Automotive
  • Building & Construction
  • Consumer Goods
  • Flexible Packaging
  • Food Packaging Processing
  • Military
  • Office Suppliers
  • Rigid Packaging
  • Textiles
  • Toy Manufacturers

Microorganisms are a threat to the global environment and the public health of humans. With antimicrobial plastic material applications in food packaging and medical equipment & supplies, there can be a reduction in health fatalities. Antimicrobial is effective in killing viruses and bacteria harmful to human health.

Keller Plastics offers biodegradable and non-biodegradable plastic solutions designed to meet the needs of different industry sectors. Our non-biodegradable solutions include high-density and low-density polyethylene and other materials. Antimicrobial films are most useful for food packaging. We have a variety of solutions for food packaging, including biodegradable materials. Contact Keller Plastics for high-quality antimicrobial profiles today!

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