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Sustainable sipping: AkzoNobel coatings used in recyclable paper cups

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By Jenni Spinner+

11-Aug-2014
Last updated on 12-Aug-2014 at 16:32 GMT

AkzoNobel has come up with a coating for paper beverage and food containers enabling them to be composted or recycled.
AkzoNobel has come up with a coating for paper beverage and food containers enabling them to be composted or recycled.

The packaging (suitable for retail and foodservice use) uses a coating derived from plant-based oils and recycled PET bottles.

The cups have been engineered to give food and beverage brands, and food service operations, increased sustainability in their packaging. According to AkzoNobel, the containers do not require any further handling in the current recycle stream or special handling to be recycled or composted.

Boosting sustainability

Conrad Keijzer, AkzoNobel’s executive committee member responsible in charge of performance coatings, said the coating stands to increase environmental profiles of beverage companies and their packaging partners.

"This is an industry-changing innovation which could have a significant impact in terms of providing economic and environmental benefits along the value chain," he said.

AB Ghos, managing director of industrial coatings at AkzoNobel, added the product will promote waste reduction, and the benefits stand to have a significant impact on the packaging business.

There has already been strong interest in our product,” he said. “We expect it to prompt a major transformation in paper cup production, much like the move from wax to the current polyethylene process around 40 years ago."

Stand-out solution

According to the manufacturer, about 200bn paper cups are used around the world every year, but until now, no packaging manufacturer has come up with a viable solution for creating recyclable cups that can be processed without increased cost or decreased quality.

EvCote, the company states, coats containers without compromising quality, or preventing recyclability. What’s more, the reported capability of the coating to strengthen the paper fiber could lead to higher strength.

Gil Sherman, market development manager for AkzoNobel’s paper coatings, said packaging manufacturers also can reap sustainability benefits from the ability to recapture 100% of the waste from manufacturing of the paper containers.

The cost of paper represents the highest single cost for cup makers, so recycling the industrial scrap means that there are both cost and environmental benefits,” Sherman said. “With the growth of bio-PET, EvCote provides us with options to completely disconnect from the petrol supply chain, because now we can offer our customers a replacement for petroleum-based PE films.”

EvCote coatings are composed of as much as 95% sustainable content. Protecting against water, grease, and moisture, they can be used to coat corrugated, cartonboard, beverage carriers, and foodservice packaging.

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