Looking for a plastic free coating
The whole world is currently looking for the ‘holy grail’ in packaging. A plastic free coating for food packaging. A coating that has grease and moisture-resistant characteristics and makes packaging recycling easier. As well as more economically interesting. This coating will also ensure that cardboard packaging does not fall under the SUP-regulation. Therefore it will become even more interesting for companies.
So the whole world is on a quest and what claims do we see every week? “We have the plastic-free coating.” Or “Look no further, this is it,” and “ Absolutely plastic-free, the world can breathe again”. Many plastic-free paper coffee cups are offered with a ‘plastic-free’ certificate. When we approach these companies, we ask them about research methods and test the cups ourselves, we see many cups that do contain a polymer (plastic). Often an alternative for PE or PLA has been chosen as a barrier.
For example, synthetic rubber, latex is used or plastics in any form whatsoever are being used. Water-based coatings are used in cups more and more. These coatings are a mix of plastics with water, which is applied to the cardboard. The water vaporizes and it leaves 100% plastic particles on the surface of the paper. So the cups are not plastic free, but there is less plastic used.
Micro plastics in human blood
The micro and nano plastics are small particles that pass through the filters in the pulper during recycling and are not filtered out. They end up in the pulp and during the recycling process or end up in the wastewater and go back into nature. Recent research that is named ‘Immunoplast’ has even shown that micro and nano plastics can be found in our human blood, a shocking discovery and proof of the enormous consequence of the way we deal with plastic.
We are therefore looking for possible alternatives to the barrier with PE, PLA or other plastics all over the world. The difficult part of this quest is finding the combination of grease and moisture resistant properties, resistance to various temperatures and easiness to recycle.
With paper coffee cups there is another challenge. Sealing by heat seal. The coating also plays an important role here. In our next blog we will take a closer look at certificates and our vision on sustainable coffee cups