Nissha Pulp-Injection for the Package Tray of a Self-Injection Medical Device From Janssen Pharmaceuticals

Against the backdrop of increasing regulations and awareness of ESG in various countries, there is a growing movement towards environmental-friendly packaging for pharmaceutical containers. As a pioneer in this area, Janssen Pharmaceuticals (hereafter, Janssen) chose Pulp-Injection of Nissha ecosense molding for the trays of their self-injectors.
Based on this case, we will introduce the reason why Nissha's Pulp-Injection was chosen and its background.

Switching to sustainable packaging is an urgent issue

Janssen is the pharmaceutical division of the Johnson & Johnson Group, a total healthcare company that provides pharmaceuticals such as cancer, immunological diseases, infectious diseases, and vaccines in about 150 countries worldwide.

For more than 20 years, Johnson & Johnson has been working on climate change measures aimed at zero carbon emissions. They have set ambitious goals, such as reducing carbon emissions from business activities by 60% compared to 2016 levels by 2030, and each company in the group is promoting these goals.*

*Our Approach to Climate Action | Johnson & Johnson (jnj.com)
reference:Global Environmental Sustainability | Johnson & Johnson (jnj.com)

In line with Johnson & Johnson’s policy, Janssen has been considering sustainable measures for self-injector trays over the years.

Performance required for self-injector trays

Self-injectors are injection devices that patients use on their own. Therefore, trays used to package them must have both protective properties that can protect the injector firmly from the time patients receive it at medical institutions until they use it and a shape that takes into account ease of removal when opening, ensuring both safety and convenience. In addition, as a packaging container for pharmaceuticals, a hygienic and clean appearance and quality are also required.

In switching the tray, Janssen focused on “reducing carbon emissions,” “packaging performance suitable for self-injector trays,” and “application to existing packaging manufacturing lines.” They conducted comparative studies from a range of technologies and materials worldwide and concluded that Pulp-Injection, a pulp injection molding product from Nissha, met the required standards at a high level.

Distinctive features of Pulp-Injection evaluated by Janssen

Pulp-Injection is a technology that combines the ability to reproduce free-form shapes with thinness and hardness.
With the same level of shape reproducibility and strength as plastic, it can accommodate three-dimensional shapes that cannot be achieved with paper. By incorporating fine ribs and flanges, it has functionality and can reproduce free and user-centered designs (UCD=design that considers patient convenience) that cannot be achieved with paper.

Additionally, despite its thickness of around 1mm, Pulp-Injection is stiff like plastic and can protect products from impact during transportation, making it possible to create sturdy and lightweight packaging.

Another advantage is its high compatibility with existing packaging lines. The ribs on the outer perimeter allow for stacking, enabling it to be handled like conventional plastic trays.

Made primarily from natural materials such as pulp, starch, and water, Pulp-Injection results in a clean appearance with a low amount of paper, even though it is made of paper. In Europe, it has been confirmed that it can be recycled into cardboard after use.*

  • *Evaluated as recyclable*1 as paperboard by the PTS method at a third-party European institution*2.
  • *1 Can be blended up to 10% for paperboard
  • *2 KCL Oy

Leveraging Nissha’s global network and extensive expertise

In the development stage of this project, Nissha collaborated with Janssen to achieve the optimal product design by combining our expertise in pulp molded products with the design concept based on Janssen’s conventional plastic tray. Both companies worked together to create an excellent product.

In addition to reducing carbon emissions by eliminating plastic from the tray, Nissha also established a production system in our own factory in Germany, which is close to the delivery location, to reduce carbon emissions during transportation.

After several years of development, Janssen’s self-injection pens are now delivered to patients around the world in the new Pulp-Injection tray.

Expanding the potential of Pulp-Injection

Janssen aims to convert all self-injection pen platforms to Pulp-Injection tray by 2025, based on this achievement as stated on their website.*

* reference:Janssen Pharmaceuticals' web site

In the future, there is expected to be an increasing demand for Pulp-Injection, which offers free and precise shape design, as well as thin and rigid characteristics, in the global market.

Pulp-Injection can be used not only for trays for self-injection pens, but also for a wide range of products that require safety and convenience, such as combination products that contain both medical devices and pharmaceuticals.

For more information, please contact Nissha.

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