Industry News

Originally posted 30 April 2022

Coffee lids will be the first Dry Molded Fiber product using HSMG PROTĒAN® oil and water barriers. 

Bowls, cutlery, cups – any packaging that is in contact with food – needs a barrier to prevent water and oil from leaking through. Paper and molded fiber packaging have traditionally relied on a thin plastic film or the addition of fluorochemicals to hold out water and grease. Neither of these solutions is ideal, as plastic layers are not degradable and can be difficult to recycle. Fluorochemicals have been found to migrate into food and accumulate in our bodies, prompting them to be banned in many parts of the world. What is the answer, then, for transitioning to environmentally sustainable fiber-based packaging for food and beverages?

PulPac and HSMG have developed an innovative approach for water and oil barriers for PulPac’s Dry Molded Fiber technology. A thin, stretchable sheet of substrate applied with HSMG’s PROTĒAN® solution is layered onto the fiber mat as the article is formed. The heat and pressure of the forming process bonds the HSMG carrier sheet to the product. The result is a strong, recyclable, biodegradable non-fossil alternative to single use plastic that holds up to hot drinks.

HSMG and PulPac announced their collaboration to develop sustainable chemicals, barriers and materials for Dry Molded Fiber in 2021, and this year will first feature PROTĒAN® technology in a coffee lid for Sweden’s MAX Burgers quick service restaurant chain. Other Dry Molded Fiber applications such as hot cups lids and take-away items will follow and will be available for PulPac licensees.