Michelman’s sustainability solutions at PaperEx 2022

Barrier & functional coatings for food service applications

Andrew Michelman, executive vice president at Michelman addressing the audience at the PaperEx Conference. Photo PSA

Michelman highlighted its sustainable, water-based barrier and functional coatings for paper, paperboard, and corrugated boards at its stand at the PaperEx exhibition held at India Expo Center in Greater Noida from 10-13 May 2022. Andrew Michelman, executive vice president at Michelman, also spoke at the 15th International Exhibition & Conference on Pulp, Paper & Allied Industries in a seminar session titled, “Achieving sustainability goals with water-based barrier coatings,” on 11 May. 

A global developer and manufacturer of environmentally friendly materials, Michelman provides solutions for coating, printing, and packaging for the food and beverage industry. It is an innovator for the advancement of barrier and functional coatings, as well as digital printing-press primers used for the production of consumer as well as industrial packaging, paper products, labels, and commercially printed products. 

Nestle’s YES! Bars were recently launched with a recyclable paper wrapper. Photo Michelman

Consumer awareness, conscious capitalism, regulatory and legislative compliances, extended producers’ responsibility, recycling and biodegradability fuel the burgeoning demand for sustainability. Leading food brands such as Nestlé are now committing to the adoption of sustainable packaging. Nestlé plans to make its entire packaging operations recyclable or reusable by 2025. Recently, the company’s YES! Bars were launched with a recyclable paper wrapper. 

Paper-based packaging alternatives for packaging

The Plastic Waste Management Regulations have been amended and a ban imposed on ‘single-use plastic’ is set to come into effect from 1 July 2022. This ban prohibits the manufacture, sale, and use of plastic, polystyrene, and expanded polystyrene single-use products including glasses, cutlery, carry bags, and packing films. This has, in turn, led to accelerated and serious consideration of paper-based packaging alternatives for plastics. Though the use of paper has its own set of limitations including porosity these can be effectively addressed by adding specific chemistry through Michelman’s wide spectrum of barrier and functional coatings to paper substrates. 

Barrier and functional coatings can lead to the amplification of sustainability through the reduction of waste and the use of fewer raw materials to improve the performance of paper-based packaging. The coatings not only enhance barrier properties on repulpable and recyclable paper but also ameliorate the shelf life of food products while reducing the carbon footprint from farm to consumer and increasing the compostability of paper-based packaging.

Certified coatings – compostable, recyclable, and repulpable

Michelman offers a range of oil and grease resistant coatings, water repellent coatings, and PE replacement products for paper and paper board packaging targeting fried food products, fruit and vegetables, and semi-solid food offerings including ice creams and gelatos respectively. The coatings are certified compostable by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI), in compliance with ASTM D6400 and D6868. Being PFAS-free, recyclable, and repulpable, they have also been honored at national and international packaging recognition platforms such as Star Awards from the Indian Flexible Packaging and Folding Carton Association (IFCA) as well as Packcon. The coatings are presently available in North America with global development in progress.

Nestle’s YES! Bars were recently launched with a recyclable paper wrapper. Photo Michelman

The company also offers environmentally friendly eCommerce paper bag solutions under its brand portfolio which are FDA compliant. The bags are heat-sealable, water-repellent, oil and grease-resistant, and also provide oxygen and moisture barriers for efficient and reliable delivery of an assortment of food products. 

Paperex leads to MICC visits for product development

The Michelman Innovation Centre for Coatings (MICC), located at Michelman’s Mumbai office assists customers in producing sustainable and responsible solutions enriched with 70 years of water-based coating expertise. The focus of MICC is a sustainable packaging incubator specifically designed to provide to the needs of India and neighboring markets to allow for speedy, organized, and efficient development of sustainable packaging solutions for home-grown as well as international brands and converters. 

The center offers rapid prototyping for reduced concept-to-commercialization time while Michelman’s technical experts also dish out advice to help Indian brands become plastic waste management compliant. Several paper manufacturer-converters that Michelman met at the Paperex show have already visited the MICC in Mumbai before the end of May to explore the development of new products with the use of Michelman’s coatings and its assistance in the technical coating, testing, and measuring lab there.

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