Disposable paper cups are a significant sustainability issue because contrary to common belief; they are not recyclable. Their plastic lining ensures that they almost never make it to a recycling plant (regardless of what bin you put them in), and they are not biodegradable. They are currently the second largest litter waste product, second only to plastic bottles.

Current paper cups are made out of paper and are coated with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) or wax to prevent liquid from leaking out or soaking through the paper. The team of experts at the MICC have successfully developed and tested a new coating solution, which not only eliminates the plastic lining used in conventional paper cups but also eases the recycling and repulping process. The solution replaces the LDPE/wax with a 2 stage coating process that has a base coat and a top coat, with a coat weight of 4 gsm. Along with its recyclable and repulpable properties, it also provides excellent water, oil & grease resistance, and very high seal strength. It has been tested successfully for hot, cold, and deep freeze applications. Coating application is through gravure or rod.  This solution is suitable for frozen foods, hot and cold beverages, fried snacks, and other foods that require high-performance materials.

Nylon or EVOH Replacement in Edible Oil Packaging

India consumers are shifting from traditional “loose oil” sold at local grocery stores to packaged oils because of increased food safety and healthy lifestyle practices. The use of flexible pouches in edible oil packaging has made it possible for brand markets with smaller SKUs and refillable pouch packaging that takes up less storage.

five layer film solution with nylon/EVOH

Five Layer Solution with Nylon / EVOH

Typically, these pouches are a 5-7 layer coextruded film that is a combination of PE, tie-layer, nylon or EVOH.  Nylon’s incorporation in the structure provides puncture resistance & moderate oxygen barrier. However, the presence of nylon or EVOH prevents this structure from easily being recycled. Michelman, well known as an innovator in the development of environmentally conscious barrier and functional coatings, has successfully developed a water-based coating solution that eliminates the need for nylon or EVOH, but still provides for freshness. Oxygen barrier plays a vital role in preventing the oil from going rancid and extending its shelf life.

two layer film solution with michelman oxygen barrier

Two-Ply Solution

Michelman's objective is to optimize the coating to match or exceed existing oxygen barrier values to improve product shelf life and reduce the chances of rancidity. Elimination of nylon / EVOH will make this a mono-material structure easily recyclable and compliant with the impending Plastic Waste Management Rules. Additionally, Michelman has been working with and supporting leading edible oil brands in India by conducting trials and tests at the MICC.

Shailesh Nema (16 January 2019).  An excerpt of 'Eco-friendly Barrier Packaging Solutions' article published by Packging  360.  For the complete article, please visit Packaging360in.