Metric analysis

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

GL BARRIER film (left) is used for packaging such as autoclave pouches. © TOPPAN INC.

Discount calculated from GL BARRIER shipments for autoclaved food packaging and mono-material packaging with spouts. Launch of an automated calculation system for the volume of CO2 emissions based on product life cycles.

Tokyo – Toppan, a global leader in communication, security, packaging, decorative materials and electronics solutions, provides packaging that uses GL BARRIER, a leading brand of transparent barrier film that helps reduce emissions of CO2 when used as an alternative to aluminum foil.

Toppan has quantified the CO2 emission volume reduction and, to reinforce its efforts in the area of ​​environmentally friendly packaging that contributes to decarbonization, has calculated the CO2 emission volume in fiscal year 2020 from shipments of autoclaved food pouches and mono-material food pouches with spout that use GL BARRIER. The results indicate a reduction in the volume of CO2 emissions of approximately 63,000 metric tons compared to packaging using aluminum foil.1 This is equivalent to the volume of CO2 emitted annually by approximately 23,000 households.2

To accelerate efforts to deliver optimal packaging that minimizes CO2 emissions and delivers exceptional functionality, Toppan has also developed SmartLCA-CO2™, an automated lifecycle CO2 emissions volume calculation system. individual product packaging based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA).3 The system will be launched at Toppan’s main plant for flexible packaging in Gunma, Japan in November this year. Toppan will take advantage of the system to offer packaging specifications that minimize CO2 emissions to manufacturers in sectors such as food, toiletries and pharmaceuticals.

Targeting a decarbonized society, Toppan aims to increase the visibility of CO2 emission volumes and contribute to the reduction of emissions by advancing the transition to GL BARRIER, including mono-material packaging, and optimizing packaging design. .

Background and product overview

With growing global momentum in the areas of environmental friendliness and resource conservation, driven by initiatives such as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), attention is focused on packaging that reduce environmental impact. Toppan’s medium-term plan, announced in May this year, sets out a vision for contributing to a sustainable society and enhancing the company’s value as a leader in providing solutions globally through digital transformation (DX) and sustainable transformation (SX). One of the priorities identified is environmental initiatives, and Toppan is responding to this through its business.

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

Demand for polypropylene (PP) barrier films is growing in North American and European markets, where a transition to mono-material packaging is underway, and aluminum foil used for items such as food pouches with spout pourer is replaced by GL-BP, a PP version based on GL BARRIER. Toppan aims to contribute to a sustainable society by accelerating initiatives based on quantifying and visualizing the reduction in the volume of CO2 emissions from these and other products with increasing demand.


GL BARRIER is Toppan’s line of transparent films offering world-class barrier performance. The multi-layer structure of GL BARRIER films combines a unique coating and vapor-deposited layers to enable exceptional and stable barrier performance to rely on for a wide range of items in the food, medical, , pharmaceuticals and industrial materials. GL BARRIER makes it possible to replace the aluminum foil and to rationalize the structure of the layers by combining the functions of the printing substrate and the barrier substrate and also makes it possible to heat the packaging in microwave ovens.

About GL-BP

Heat and humidity adversely affect the performance of conventional barrier films using oriented polypropylene (OPP). With GL-BP, Toppan has improved water vapor barrier performance, reduced the impact of heat and humidity changes, and achieved superior oxygen barrier performance over conventional barrier films based on of OPP, even in high humidity conditions. When used in combination with other OPP-based materials, it allows for more easily recyclable mono-material packaging. Toppan will strengthen sales of GL-BP globally and help mitigate environmental impact by reducing the volume of CO2 emissions and improving recyclability.

About SmartLCA-CO?™

SmartLCA-CO2 uses LCA to calculate the volume of CO2 emissions over the entire life cycle of a package. Emissions can be calculated for each product supplied by customers, allowing Toppan to offer specifications that minimize the amount of CO2 emissions while maintaining the required functions of the packaging.

About TOPPAN S-VALUE™ Packaging

With TOPPAN S-VALUE™ packaging, Toppan aims to contribute to a better society as well as a fulfilling and comfortable life through packaging that offers more value. SMART LIFE-VALUE Packaging™ brings value to people, SOCIAL-VALUE Packaging™ generates value for society and SUSTAINABLE-VALUE Packaging™ creates value for the Earth.

People / Packaging SMART LIFE-VALUE™
Solutions that work as a means of communication to maximize the customer experience. Toppan offers optimum value for various aspects of everyday life, enabling smooth shopping, efficient storage, tasty food preparation, easy disposal, safety, peace of mind, and more.

Company / SOCIAL-VALUE Packaging™
Value-generating packaging and services that help support business operations by improving supply chain efficiency, increasing productivity, optimizing sales and providing solutions to large-scale challenges.

Earth / SUSTAINABLE-VALUE Packaging™
Solutions that help reduce environmental impact and create a circular economy. Toppan offers packaging using recycled plastic, mono-material packaging that improves recyclability, and packaging using plant-based materials such as paper and biomass plastic.


1. Comparison of GL BARRIER and aluminum foil (PET film/aluminum foil). The scope of the calculation is raw material packaging, manufacturing, shipping and disposal. Calculations were made assuming production at manufacturing sites in Japan.
2. Based on the results of a statistical study by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment on household CO2 emissions in 2019. (in Japanese)
3. Life Cycle Assessment is a method of quantitatively assessing the resource input and environmental impact of emissions throughout the life cycle of a product, from raw materials (resource extraction to the manufacture of raw materials) to the manufacture, use, recycling and disposal of the product.