Packaging R&D and Innovations

New Bio-Based Thermoplastic Adhesive

For the bonding of compostable plastic coatings, Follmann and its subsidiary Sealock have developed a sustainable adhesive made of bio-based raw materials.

In order to make disposable paper cups completely compostable, it is necessary to switch to an environmentally friendly material for the internal coating, which also applies to the adhesive. Follmann and its subsidiary Sealock have been working on the development of such an adhesive.

George Thomas, Technical R&D Manager at the Sealock Group, dealt in detail with various organic raw materials, the associated supply chains and the innovation potential. “The challenge was to find suitable renewable raw materials that could also be used for adhesive applications and industrial-scale adhesive production,” explains George Thomas. “Based on intensive research and work on this topic, we finally succeeded in developing a new biobased thermoplastic adhesive that is suitable, among other things, for bonding the environmentally friendly inner coating of paper cups. This sustainable alternative replaces the previous environmentally harmful bonding of coatings.”

Further application in paper drinking straws and food packaging

The bio-based polymers contained in the adhesive are produced from regenerative sources such as sugar cane or corn. The advantage is that bio-based, renewable raw materials can reduce CO2 emissions compared to fossil raw materials in the supply chain.

However, the use in coffee-to-go cups is only one of many possible applications. As a result of the legislative proposal passed by the European Parliament in October 2018 to ban certain plastic products from 2021, such as drinking straws and disposable crockery and cutlery, manufacturers are under pressure to develop and manufacture environmentally friendly alternatives. The new sustainable adhesive can also be used for these, such as paper drinking straws, but also for different types of packaging, such as breakfast cereals.

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