New barrier coatings for enhanced sustainability in the packaging industry
von Ansgar Wessendorf,
The harmful impact of packaging on the environment is caused not only by single-use plastics, but also by paper and board items with a film coating, because this makes the recycling process difficult if not impossible. In order to offer packaging manufacturers an environmentally compatible alternative to plastic coatings, Follmann has developed water-based coatings that provide effective barrier protection against oils, greases and water.
In 2019, with the objective of substantially reducing environmental pollution caused by plastic waste, the EU approved a directive on certain single-use plastic products. Consequently, there is a ban on marketing numerous single-use plastic items, including plates and cutlery, drinking straws and beakers, as of this year. This is resulting in a change of thinking in the food and packaging industries. The intention is to replace plastic film, which greatly complicates the recycling process or even makes it impossible, by more sustainable alternatives.
Water-based coatings ‒ an alternative to plastic film
“To provide a concrete remedy and offer the industry an environmentally acceptable alternative to plastic film, we have developed water-based coatings with effective barrier protection against oils, greases and water specifically for paper and board packaging,” said Tim Schwier, Team Leader New Business Development at Follmann. “Our new Folco LAC barrier coatings, which are suitable for gravure and flexographic printing, not only make a key contribution to sustainability and meet the regulatory requirements, but also fulfil the most rigorous standards demanded of high-quality prints.”
The new barrier coatings are already being successfully used by a French company that has recently switched from single-use salad bowls to sustainable paper ones. “A machine test has shown the coating we developed for salad bowls to be effective, and the required barrier protection against water (COBB values), oil (KIT values) and vinegar has also been demonstrated in the relevant tests,” explained Tim Schwier.
New Folco LAC barrier coatings from Follmann are suitable for numerous different products and can be adapted for further applications. “The development and manufacture of sustainable products is a priority for our company, in keeping with our focus on environmental protection and our sense of responsibility towards current and future generations,” emphasizes Dr Jörg Seubert, Managing Director of Follmann. “We are therefore continuously expanding our portfolio through the addition of new, environmentally acceptable products and are convinced that we can always offer our customers suitable solutions, for example when composite systems containing film need to be replaced to allow recycling and re-use.”
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