Insights .Food & Beverage
Eco-friendly Barrier Packaging Solutions
By Shailesh Nema . 16 Jan, 2019
By Shailesh Nema . 16 Jan, 2019
Disposable paper cups are a major 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. This is important because they are the second largest litter waste product, second to only 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 dry. Along with its recyclable and repulpable properties, it also provides excellent water, oil & grease resistance and a very high seal strength. It has been tested successfully for hot, cold, and deep freeze applications. Coating can be done by a gravure or rod coater. This solution is suitable for frozen foods, hot and cold beverages, fried snacks etc.
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 coextruded flexible pouches in edible oil packaging has made it possible for organized brand owners to penetrate rural markets with smaller SKUs and refillable pouch packaging that takes up less storage.
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 oxygen barrier for freshness. Oxygen barrier plays a very important role in preventing the oil from going rancid and extending its shelf life.
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.
Michelman is a global developer and manufacturer of environmentally friendly advanced materials for industry, offering solutions for the coatings, printing & packaging and industrial manufacturing markets.
MICHELMAN INNOVATION CENTRE FOR COATINGS (MICC)
Michelman’s dedication to innovating a sustainable future is well represented in its investment in the Mumbai-based Michelman Innovation Centre for Coatings (MICC). Dedicated to developing recyclable and sustainable solutions, this state-of-the art packaging incubator is strategically designed to serve the needs of India and its surrounding markets to allow for the fast & efficient development of sustainable packaging. Their holistic approach of dedicated space, collaborative innovation and technology allows all members of the packaging value chain, including brand owners, film producers, and converters to access the tools needed to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for the natural environment and their businesses.
Michelman’s state-of-the-art packaging incubator provides the opportunity to evaluate new technology, prototype innovative structures and quickly commercialize superior packaging. Their application and materials experts are ready to help develop solutions when new opportunities arise. The Centre allows for hot tack testing, Gelbo testing, and has an Ultrasonic Stirrer. Although equipped with 4 Mocon®s for OTR/MTVR testing, the centerpiece is a Dual-Station Pilot Coater Laminator that allows packaging manufacturers to test new concepts without stopping their production lines.
• Multifunctional coating heads for various coating methods or adhesive application
• Multiple printing process
• Ability to coat a wide range of substrates up to 400-micron thickness
• UV Top and Heat Nip Lamination capability
• Application testing lab
Michelman has a long tradition of innovation and sustainability with water-based chemistry. Because of this, their technology experts offer all members of the packaging value chain the ability to collaborate and decrease the time it takes for the commercialization of improved and environmentally-friendly flexible packaging.
Businesses can partner with their technology experts to become Plastic Waste Management compliant. Collaboration with Michelman’s technical and market experts accelerate the concept-to-commercialization cycle with innovations can produce packaging that offers:
• Recyclable structures
• Brand appeal and enhanced graphics
• Increased shelf life, food safety
• Increased productivity and efficiency
• Waste reduction and down gauging
Technology for India
They also have deep application and water-based formulation expertise that supports the packaging incubator. Optimized for India’s ever-changing packaging market, their technology is a complete product portfolio enabling environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging solutions.
Our coatings are developed to work together, but flexible enough for individual technologies to work with existing coating systems to create superior packaging.
With its significant investments in world-class talent, state-of-the-art equipment for testing and prototyping, along with proven, water-based technologies, the MICC has helped companies produce compliant solutions for numerous packaging applications including edible oils, frozen and refrigerated foods, lightweight dry foods, and many other mono-material applications.
Michelman’s advances in coating technology are designed to help all members of the packaging value chain increase food shelf life and safety compliance, reduce waste through down gauging/light weighting and improve the overall consumer experience with packaging.
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