NETHERLANDS - Restaurants can now select a more sustainable paper cup to serve their cold drinks in, thanks to a new coating technology made from plant-based oils and recycled PET bottles.
Developed by AkzoNobel, EvCote Water Barrier 3000 barrier coatings are made of up to 95% sustainable or renewable content, and protect paper surfaces against water, grease and moisture. They can be used in numerous applications, including corrugated packaging, folding carton board, beverage carrier board and foodservice packaging.
When used in, for example, foodservice paper cups, the cups do not require any modification in the current recycle stream or special handling and are fully compostable and recyclable.
When paper coated with EvCote is recycled, the quality of the paper fiber remains intact – which means the paper can be reused in the production of other paper products. In some cases, due to the fibers being strengthened by the coating, paper produced from the waste can even achieve higher strength than the original, uncoated paper.
"This is an industry-changing innovation which could have a significant impact in terms of providing economic and environmental benefits along the value chain. The new coatings technology will help restaurant owners and cup producers to reduce their waste," explained Conrad Keijzer, AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee member responsible for Performance Coatings.
"There has already been strong interest in our product and 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," added AB Ghosh, Managing Director, Industrial Coatings.
An additional advantage is that EvCote enables paper mills to recapture 100% of the paper waste from the production process that is currently sent to landfill, claims AkzoNobel, resulting in significant financial savings. The amount of paper waste in the production process is so vast that it could be used to completely wrap the Empire State Building 6300 times.
"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,” said Gil Sherman, Market Development Manager at AkzoNobel’s Paper Coatings business.
“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."