Total Corbion PLA has demonstrated that paper-coated applications with Luminy® PLA can now not only be certified compostable, but also recyclable. The new development adds an additional, previously unattainable end-of-life option for applications based on coated paperboard/paper such as coffee cups and take-out containers, ensuring valuable resources can be reused as new products.
Paperboard applications coated with traditional, oil-based plastics had the drawback that the plastic needed to be separated from the paper before recycling can take place, otherwise the polymer can interfere with the recyclability of the paper. For this reason, many applications were not recycled but instead incinerated or landfilled as there was no other end-of-life option available.
Total Corbion PLA has demonstrated that paperboard coated with Luminy® PLA does not interfere with the pulpability or recyclability of the paper. Coating a paperboard application with Luminy® PLA therefore, not only enables the widely used industrial composting end-of-life option (EN13432), but now also supports mechanical/material recyclability within existing recycling streams. Mechanical recycling is featured higher up on the end-of-life waste hierarchy, as the valuable resources in the product are retained for further use. The recyclability of the PLA-coated paperboard was certified by Western Michigan University and the paperboard samples for the trial were provided by Metpack, who are specialized in extruded barrier coated food grade paper boards.
Luminy® PLA can be applied on conventional paperboard extrusion lines at competitive speeds. Using a PLA-coating allows for a fully biobased solution with excellent seal strength and printability that does not require pretreatment. As PLA is a polar material like paper, outstanding adhesion can be achieved. Applying a PLA-coating results in good flavour and aroma barrier and excellent grease and mineral oil resistance. Furthermore, Total Corbion PLA has demonstrated that Luminy® PLA-coated paperboard can now also be used for ready-to-eat containers that need to be reheated in the microwave or oven, thereby expanding the application window even further.
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