EVONIK Industrie AG
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  • BASF’s ecovio offers solution for the use of recycled cardboard in fast food packaging


    BASF and Schuster Karton, a Germany-based recycled cardboard manufacturer, are working jointly on a solution for a combined migration and grease barrier on recycled cardboard.

    Research efforts undertaken by the two companies have yielded a technology in which BASF’s biopolymer ecovio PS 1606 is applied to recycled cardboard in an extrusion coating process. The coating enables the proportion of recycled paper fibers in fast food packaging to be increased, while simultaneously making it industrially compostable. Cardboard packaging produced on this basis is more than 90 percent biobased, recyclable and industrially compostable, says the companies

    Traditional barrier coatings are fast losing acceptance among customers because of the difficulties they pose in the recycling or composting of used fast food packaging. The use of recycled cardboard for fast food packaging, however, is limited by the fact that substances can migrate from the packaging into the food. Many printing inks contain mineral oils, plasticizers or even residues of UV printing ink components. Since the printing ink residues are not removed completely when recycling the paper fibers, residues remain. When these substrates are used for food packaging, residues can migrate from the cardboard into the food especially when the foods are packaged hot or if they are greasy or liquid as shown in a study from the Cantonal Laboratory of Zurich in 2011. Researchers demonstrated at that time that significant amounts of undesired substances could migrate into food from fast food packaging with migration potential. For this reason, fast food packaging has thus far mainly been produced from fresh fiber materials.

    Ecovio PS 1606 provides outstanding protection as a coating for the fast food packaging produced from recycled fibers. Measurements at an independent food laboratory have shown that there is no leaching of contaminants from the recycled fiber-based packaging into hot, greasy or liquid foods.(KL)


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