Eliminating plastic in food packaging calls for alternatives

There is a growing interest in replacing plastic packaging with paper/cardboard packaging, which Resino actively integrates in product development. When switching from plastic to paper and board, several difficulties occur regarding protecting food packaging and its content, and Resino has found solutions to this.

The world is facing several environmental problems from the heavy use of plastics and therefore, actions must be done. As a result, a new legislation has come into force within the EU, which bans the use of plastic for disposable tableware (European Union’s Single-Use Plastics Directive).

With the increased focus on reducing plastic consumption, there is also a great need in the market to reduce or eliminate plastic-coated food packaging. Many companies want to choose more environment friendly packaging and thus, they desire to switch from plastic to paper and board.

However, plastic offers protective features, which does not appear in paper and board packaging. For instance, plastic is a great barrier, protecting food and prolonging the shelf-life of the food. At the same time plastic is only rarely attacked by the food content, and plastic can act as a barrier allowing printing on the outside safely. Therefore, eliminating plastic calls for an alternative that can take on this protective function, and we support our customers in finding an alternative barrier.

Resino is proud to take on these challenges and has worked in close cooperation with customers to find solutions. As a result, we have developed varnishes, based on acrylic binders as well as natural materials, which can replace the plastic coating – both on disposable tableware and food packaging.

The varnishes of natural materials present an important milestone within Resino as they are also compostable. In this way, you avoid the issues regarding waste that is not biodegradable.

The varnishes protect the food packaging and its content in the following ways:

1. Protecting the packaging from being attacked by moist, grease of other components from the food content

Foods are often greasy or moist. Grease and water both attack paper and board, which will cause discoloration or dissolve the packaging.

This can be solved by applying grease resistant or water-repellent coatings, which are available at Resino. In this way, the paper and board packaging will be protected from the grease or moisture from food.

These packaging solutions can also be used for other direct food contact requirements, such as paper plates, paper cups, paper straws etc.

2. Protecting food content from components in the paper or migration of components from the outside coating or print

To protect the food in the packaging, a selection of water-based exterior and interior coatings are available. These protective coatings are specially developed for materials with direct food contact.

Similarly, inks can be selected with any desired degree of safety, from inks requiring a coating to protect the print and allowing direct food contact to inks where the nonvolatile components are all natural or food approved ingredients.

We also deliver solvent-based vanishes which can be used for the same applications.

It is important to match the packaging to the exact use because approvals and safe components differ for different food categories. Resino is happy to assist in regulatory matters ensuring compliance.

You can read more details about the protective coatings and inks here.

Website: www.resino.dk

V.P. Commercial Director Niels Nielsen

Written by Dominy Jones