Sustainable barrier coatings for paper-based food packaging

High-performance coating solutions to enable full packaging recyclability and repulpability

Single-use, fibre-based food packaging has traditionally been difficult to recycle. But a new wave of sustainable solutions has arrived, with Barriertec by Stahl at the forefront. Offered under the Stahl brand, Barriertec’s water-based coating solution for packaging makes disposable items such as coffee cups and sandwich wrappers fully recyclable and repulpable – so they don’t end up in landfill.

Here’s how…

Making fibre-based food packaging 100% recyclable and repulpable

Traditional fibre-based food packaging is difficult to recycle because of the coatings typically used on it. For example, most paper-based cups are coated with a transparent layer of PE, which means they cannot be recycled together with standard paper and cardboard. After years of research, Barriertec has developed a solution to this problem.

The solution enables the application of sustainable barrier coatings onto paper, providing packaging with excellent barrier properties for oxygen, water, oil and grease. Importantly, the coating does not interfere with the recycling process, meaning that treated food packaging can be recycled alongside untreated paper and cardboard and repulped to make new products. This offers significant benefits to food packaging manufacturers.

Barriertec’s solution is FDA-approved, PFAS-free and can be used to treat a wide range of fibre-based food contact packaging. For example, it can be used on paper cups for hot and cold drinks, sandwich wrappers, fast food containers, frozen food bags, ice cream tubs and salt sachets. It provides excellent barrier properties for:

  • Water vapour

  • Oxygen

  • Carbon dioxide

  • Oil and grease

  • Freshness

  • Aroma

 In addition to its important environmental benefits, the solution provides several process-related advantages: it enables fast film formation, has good substrate adhesion and achieves excellent barrier properties with a low coating weight. This can result in a more cost-effective process than coating methods that use materials such as PE.

Towards a sustainable packaging future

This exciting new addition to Stahl’s Packaging Coatings portfolio delivers both performance and sustainability, supporting the industry’s transition to recyclable paper-based packaging. Combining excellent barrier properties, process efficiency and cost-effectiveness, we can help customers reduce the life-cycle impact of packaging to address the growing problem of packaging waste.

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Complete the form on the sidebar to download the new brochure or watch this video to discover more about our sustainable barrier coating innovation.

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