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Recyclable materials with vapor barriers for paper-based food packaging
The current paper-based packaging for dry and wet foods; like coffee, powdered infant formula, chips, cookies, dough, or sour cream; are complex multi-component structures. They have foil and/or layers of different materials, that work well for protecting food freshness during transport and shelf life, but they are not widely recyclable. The packaging materials can impact sortation in a materials recovery facility to a paper stream, but more importantly, they can limit the amount of useful recovered fiber and contaminate repulping processes.
Packaging structures with high paper content can be recycled, repulped or composted but may not provide the food enough barrier protection to stop oxidation due to oxygen or degradation from moisture in hot and humid environments. It is challenging to achieve the very high moisture and oxygen packaging barriers required to preserve food freshness through transportation, shelf life and home use.
Sonoco is seeking barrier materials, coatings, films, structures or components therein, for paper-based rigid can and flexible food packaging. The barriers must reduce oxygen and moisture vapor transmission while maintaining food freshness during transportation, shelf life and consumer use. Technology that improves surface or coating characteristics of the paper for subsequent barrier materials is also of interest.
Deadline: March 31, 2022
Up to $100,000 for a 6-12 month project with the potential follow on funding for 1-2 years.