FINLAND – UPM Specialty Papers, a unit of UPM, and chemical company Henkel have co-created a new recyclable, heat-sealable barrier paper packaging material.

According to UPM, the barrier papers offer a high level of grease resistance and are compatible with existing packaging lines. The material also provides a tried and tested concept for converters.

The concept intends to support brand owners and converters meet increasing consumer and regulatory demands for easy-to-recycle packaging.

The material eliminates the need for the traditional plastic coating that makes the recycling of the final product difficult.

Henkel paper solutions market strategy manager Christin Noack said: “In line with our 2030 sustainability ambitions, our water-based Loctite Liofol HS 2809-22 RE heat seal and Aquence Epix BC 6134 grease barrier coatings are easy to recycle, helping to recover more fibers and supporting a more circular economy.

“Together with UPM Specialty Papers, we have moved one step closer to bridging the gap between sustainable fiber-based packaging and traditional plastic packaging to support brand owners and converters in the transition to paper.”

The concept originated from the prevailing UPM Asendo and UPM Asendo Pro barrier papers range. The papers are made with fibers from sustainably managed forests and provide grease and moisture resistance without the need for a conventional plastic coating.

The latest offering, which is food-safe and heat-sealed, is made from paper-based packaging that can be recycled in existing fiber recycling streams.

Germany-based Henkel has used its expertise to optimize the coatings specifically for the UPM papers by reinforcing their original barrier properties to deliver more grease resistance.

The resulting packaging concept is said to be suitable for a vast range of dry foods that needs grease resistance like party snacks and bread sticks.

UPM Specialty Papers product portfolio management senior manager Mika Uusikartano added: “This solution demonstrates what we can achieve with co-created fiber-based materials.

“Packaging converters can select from a ready tested and approved ‘off-the shelf’ combination of paper and coatings, quickly finding the right solutions for their end-use without the need for trial and error.

“For brand owners, it represents yet another co-created product aimed at supporting the transition from fossil-based materials to renewable, recyclable packaging.”

Early this month, UPM Raflatac added new paper label materials intended to improve the recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

The label materials have received European certifications of recyclability from Institut cyclos-HTP for PET and HDPE packaging, and they are part of UPM Raflatac’s SmartCircle portfolio.

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