Paper: A Sustainable Alternative for Packaging

sustainable foodservice packaging

Although plastic has been one of the most suitable materials for food packaging, the recyclability of plastic-based packaging is a significant challenge, and it often accumulates in landfills. Paper has gained popularity since it can be recyclable and is environmentally friendly, renewable, and biodegradable. Other drivers toward paper packaging include:

  • Replacement of polyethylene (PE)
  • Government regulations
  • Environmentally conscious consumers

However, paper packaging has several limitations compared to plastic packaging, including insufficient grease and moisture barrier properties. Improving paper's barrier properties is crucial in increasing its viability as a packaging material, and water-based barrier and functional coatings can impart the needed performance.


Water-Based Functional Coatings for Food-on-the-Go Packaging

With the push towards sustainability, repulpability, and recyclability, water-based technologies are gaining acceptance. Michelman's water-based coatings can impart the needed oil & grease resistance to paper used for food packaging applications such as disposable takeaway boxes. The final packaging combines the best aspects of two materials, environmentally friendly paperboard and good barrier properties of water-based coatings. These solutions are recyclable and repulpable, impart the needed oil & grease resistance, and are safe for direct food contact.


Solution Highlight

Michem® Coat solutions are superior all-around coatings known for their grease and oil resistance.  They also offer several other benefits including stain control, abrasion resistance, ease of off-line application, good gluing, surface sealing, and priming for subsequent applications.  Typical packaging applications include bakery products, fast foods, pizza boxes, adhesive packaging, electrical components, and metal parts. The following performance benefits provide versatile and responsible packaging solutions for product manufacturers, retailers, and consumers.

  • Recyclable & repulpable
  • PFAS-free
  • Excellent water, oil, & grease resistance
  • Heat sealable & cold set gluable
  • Replaces polyethylene
  • Safe for direct food contact


Collaborative Innovation with Michelman China’s Sustainability Center

Michelman has a long tradition of innovation and sustainability with water-based chemistry. Because of this, our technology experts offer all members of the packaging value chain the ability to collaborate and decrease the time it takes to commercialize improved and environmentally friendly packaging.

We invite businesses to leverage our application & formulation expertise to create sustainable fiber-based packaging:

  • Recyclable structures
  • Brand appeal and enhanced graphics
  • Increased shelf life, food safety
  • Increased productivity and efficiency


Learn More at PACKCON 2021

Michelman will showcase various proven, innovative, and forward-thinking packaging coating solutions at PACKCON 2021, which will help all members of the value chain solve their packaging challenges and work toward their circular economy initiatives.

Visit our exhibit to see a range of paper and film samples produced with our barrier and functional coatings.

  • Fiber-based food packaging samples such as cups, bowls, and takeout containers showcase our PFAS-free, repulpable, and recyclable coatings that provide oil and grease resistance, water-resistance & repellency, and heat seal.
  • Folding carton samples such as frozen food containers and confectionery boxes include Michelman coatings that offer water resistance & repellency, and oil & grease resistance.
  • A variety of samples featuring our digital print technology, including film and paper pouches and labels, folding cartons, and brochures, will feature our in-line digital print primers, UV overprint varnish (OPV) strengtheners, and UV curable overprint varnishes for water-based inkjet overprint varnishes.

Featured brands at the show include VaporCoat® and HydraBan®, used for water vapor and moisture resistance; Michem® Coat, for a range of benefits including oil and grease barrier; and DigiPrime® and DigiGuard® IJ for excellent adhesion & print receptivity and enhanced print appearance for a range of tailored surface finishes.


Visit us at PACKCON 2021 July 14-16, 2021 at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, Shanghai, China. Booth W1B50, Hall W1.