Micro Pak® Dri Clay® - The Bentonite Clay Advantage

This All-Natural & Sustainable  Desiccant Outperforms Silica Gel

Bentonite Clay Being Mined

Bentonite clay desiccants are the all-natural, sustainable desiccant solution for enhanced moisture controlled packaging protection along supply chains.

Moisture is the natural enemy of product quality inviting mold, mildew, rust and corrosion. To offset potential moisture damages, industrial desiccant packets are placed inside sealed cartons, jars, bottles or bags to prolong and preserve product quality along global supply chains.

Desiccant absorbers are critical to maintaining product quality and shelf life. Two of the most widely employed and well-known desiccants are bentonite clay and silica gel, which are used to protect products ranging from textiles, leather goods, electronics, metal components, and foods to pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, and medical devices.

Packaging engineers responsible for ensuring the quality and shelf life of packaged products face a range of considerations when it comes to sourcing the desiccant that is right for their applications. This article will explain why bentonite clay is superior to silica gel.

Material Composition

Bentonite clay is an abundant and naturally-occurring mineral that results from weathering and sedimentation. Its principal ingredient is calcium montmorillonite, a highly adsorbent, chemically inert and non-corrosive substance. When mined from the ground, then processed and dried into the form of granules, bentonite clay attracts and binds water vapor readily within its complex and highly layered structure, making it a highly effective desiccant.

Silica gel is a synthetic material, a highly porous form of amorphous silicon dioxide that is typically produced in the form of transparent beads, about 2-3 mm in size. Silica gel adsorbs water vapor in an internal network of random, intersecting channels of various diameters. The current primary global source for silica gel is China and it’s manufactured on a large scale through a multi-step chemical process with severe negative environmental impact and a considerable carbon footprint. Silica gel desiccants are typically packaged in pouches made from plastic substrates such as Tyvek which do not biodegrade in landfill and can result in micro-plastic.


Although the adsorption properties of bentonite clay and silica gel desiccants are comparable on a unit-for-unit basis, tests show that bentonite clay offers higher adsorption capacity in the most common and relevant package conditions. The adsorption capacity of bentonite is substantial at low humidity levels and increases with increasing relative humidity. Silica gel behaves similarly, but becomes even more adsorbent at higher levels of relative humidity. At these higher humidity levels, it’s very high rate of adsorption can, at times, make silica gel more difficult to manage.


Bentonite clay is a naturally occurring, readily available mineral. The simple production process consists of extracting, drying and grading the minerals before packaging them. This process requires zero chemical inputs or additives, no water consumption, and uses minimal energy resulting in a small carbon footprint. The bentonite clay is responsibly extracted at partner-owned mines throughout the world and processed in partner-owned facilities. Once extraction is complete, the sites are restored and re-cultivated to an equal or better state than when operations began.

Environmental Impact

Increasingly, manufacturers of a wide range of products consider the environmental impact of their products and packaging materials, actively seeking alternatives that offer excellent performance together with greater sustainability, lower resource consumption, reduced carbon footprint, and reduced environmental impact. In this regard, bentonite clay represents a positive package desiccant solution with many environmental and sustainability advantages when compared to synthetic silica gel.

Micro-Pak® Dri Clay® Kraft

A Sustainable, Safe & Effective Alternative to Silica Gel

Micro-Pak® Dri Clay® Kraft Biodegradable Desiccants

You can easily strengthen your brand and protect valuable products longer while preserving the planet by converting to Micro-Pak® Dri Clay® all natural, plastic-free biodegradable desiccants.

Made with all natural bentonite clay packaged in a sustainable Kraft paper, these bleach-free, plastic-free and FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified biodegradable (ASTM D5511 and ISO 15985) desiccant packs meet US FDA requirements for contact with food, pharmaceuticals and offer the best possible protection to any product—especially those sensitive to moisture like textiles, home furnishings, wood, paper, electronic appliances, medical devices, metal components and many others. Dri Clay® has a clear chain of custody from the mine to the consumer package.

Regulatory Compliance:

  • REACH Exempt and passes all Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) tests
  • EPA compliant
  • US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requirements for contact with food and drugs
  • CHCC Washington and Oregon

*Certificates and test reports are available on request

Proven to Out Perform Synthetic Desiccants

Micro-Pak® Dri Clay® is the most sustainable and effective desiccant on the market, defending your goods from moisture and extending shelf life. Dri Clay®  sustainable moisture absorber packets are proven to reduce humidity faster and to lower levels than silica gel and calcium chloride. In addition, the production processes require zero chemical inputs or additives, as well as low energy and low water consumption resulting in a small carbon footprint. 

Micro-Pak® Dri Clay® bentonite clay desiccant packets are environmentally responsible, non-toxic, can be safely disposed in landfill where clay is returned to the earth in its natural state. Featuring water-based inks and adhesives, Dri Clay® does not release harmful or toxic chemicals into the soil nor does it contaminate water systems.

There is no risk of leakage—unlike other desiccants, the top-grade clay never changes size, shape, or texture, even when at full absorption capacity. The sachet is hard to tear, dust-free, has good breathability and does not contain binders or solvents.

Made with less packaging materials than other common desiccants, Micro-Pak® Dri Clay® is also available in five sizes to fit your packaging, allowing you to regulate or eliminate moisture economically.

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Your Desiccant Sourcing Decision

When it comes to making decisions about sourcing desiccants, there are many important issues to consider. In addition to the many performance similarities between bentonite clay and silica gel, consider the important differences and what they could mean to the success of your product, your supply chain, your customers, and the impact of your operations on the global environment.

Show your customers you care about the environment while protecting your brand.  Appreciated by consumers, implement these high-performing Dri Clay® biodegradable desiccant packets to your active packaging processes today.

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