Brilliant White


Giving packaging the perfect look

Modern supermarkets can offer a huge range of choice, with hundreds of brands competing for space and attention on the shelves. How a product looks can have a huge effect on how it sells, from the biggest brands in the world to start ups looking to make their mark.

Boosting attention

One area where this has been especially true is in the world of craft beer. For years consumers stuck mainly to large, recognisable brands. These brands changed little over decades, with small updated here and there. However, in recent years the public has begun to enjoy craft beers, brewed by small companies, more and more. Eager to make their mark, these brewers made the most of their labels with some unorthodox tactics. 

A new look

By making bright, audacious logos and labels, often accompanied with unorthodox names, the brewers were able to stand out from the crowd on shelves. This new tactic meant that they could compete against established brands and are now more popular than ever. All of these labels relied on bright colours, which in turn rely on bright inks. And bright inks rely on one pigment, titanium dioxide.

Brewing success

Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a pigment which makes thing white. More than that though, it makes other colours brighter, and more durable when exposed to sunlight. All of this makes it perfect for packaging that wants to stand out. It’s no wonder then that it’s present in almost all of the packaging you see when you walk through the supermarket.

While the quality of a product is of course essential when trying to get repeat customers, it’s getting them to take that first sip that is often the hardest part. By using TiO2 in their packaging, small businesses managed to take on the big brands and, in many cases, succeed in establishing a market where many thought it was impossible. It’s amazing what a pigment can do!!

The amazing way food packaging is being recycled, and what makes it possible

As we become ever more aware of our impact on the environment, people around the world have begun to recycle the materials we use as a matter of habit. Among the most reused materials we have is paper, as recycling it is a way to reduce deforestation and protect our precious forests. While you might be familiar with reading newspapers made from recycled paper, did you know that it can also be used to make high quality packaging – all thanks to the help of titanium dioxide!

Protecting your food

We’ve all bought food that comes in white boxes; everything from pizza to milk can come in cardboard packaging with a shiny white exterior. But what you may not be aware of is that this exterior is not just for looks. Coatings which use titanium dioxide can be used to create an effective barrier to oil and grease, all without impacting the ability to recycle the cardboard again. This is in contrast to emulsions and wax coatings which can also provide barrier protection, but will reduce the recyclability of the packaging.

It’s in the making

Recycled paper and cardboard is undoubtedly an excellent way to protect the environment. However, because of the inconsistencies that are inevitable when mashing together paper from lots of sources, it can be difficult to automate the manufacturing of things like boxes. Coating cardboard with titanium dioxide is one way to smooth this process, enabling high quality coated board made up with 100% recycled fibres. In this way fibres can be reused on average 6 times, while maintaining excellent coated board quality!

Brilliant white regardless of the source

When producing paper and board it is often important that it looks high quality, not only because it’s easier on the eyes but also because when displaying things like text a blotchy background can be a big problem! One way to reach this effect is to be choosy about your inputs, limiting the use of sources like newspaper. Another way is to use a prolonged chemical scrubbing process. However, titanium dioxide coatings provide an alternative which reaches the desired level of whiteness without respect to inputs.

Titanium dioxide is employed widely in paper recycling because it provides a low-impact and effective way to maximize the recycling potential of a material we use and discard all the time. It’s clear that without titanium dioxide, we would be far more limited in how we produce, use and reuse coated board every day. 

Why a good book doesn’t just need a plot

We all love books. How they look, how they feel, how they smell… all of these things are what make books so brilliantly charming. But what makes a good book? Words are always a start. It’s certainly true that all of the good books have words. A good plot is also necessary, as are engaging characters. Oh, and it needs to contain titanium dioxide. Confused? Read on!

Titanium dioxide is commonly used in everyday objects to make things white. It’s in everything you love and need, from cars to plastics. What few people know is that titanium dioxide is in books. It’s not responsible for the actual content – that’s still down to the author – but it is for pretty much everything else. First up, the colour of the page. You remember that fourth Harry Potter book? You know, the one where Hermione was in love with Viktor Krum and Ron got jealous. I’ll always remember that book as having unbelievably white and smooth pages. At the time I thought that it was down to some sort of wizarding magic (Expecto whitepaperonum) but it turns out that it is all down to titanium white. 

Why is that? Because it makes the page opaque. Instead of coating the paper under layers and layers of white paint (which would just make your books three times heavier), titanium dioxide is incorporated in the paper itself. It actually reflects light better than any other pigment and because of this, it increases opacity, allows for thinner paper to be made and makes for a better reading experience.

Thinner paper, better reading experience: all this thanks to tiny chemicals packed with great properties. This doesn’t solve the reading on paper vs tablet divide, but at least it shows books aren’t a thing of the past.

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