Dispersion coating spells greener future for packaging

Author: Isabelle Kliger

Dispersion coating spells greener future for packaging

As the world continues to seek more sustainable packaging solutions, dispersion coating is emerging as one of the most promising green alternatives. Dispersion-coated materials are compostable and easy to recycle, making them a viable substitute for conventional plastic-based packaging.

Earlier this year, Walki acquired Finnish Plastiroll, a leading producer of dispersion coating. The acquisition has further enhanced Walki’s ability to deliver a wide range of environmentally sound packaging solutions to its customers.

So what is dispersion coating? Mikko Linkala, Walki’s sales manager and product manager for dispersion consumer packaging, explains:

“Dispersion coating is a type of barrier coating, which provides barrier properties to fibre-based materials such as paperboard, paper and liners,” he says.

The major advantage of dispersion-coated base materials is that they are compostable and easier to recycle, since there is no need to separate the coating from the base material prior to recycling.

Replacing PE for food applications

“Dispersion-coated base materials are so-called ‘mono-materials’, and can be recycled as they are,” Linkala continues, adding that dispersion coating could potentially replace standard plastic-based coatings, such as polyethylene (PE), across a variety of applications, including fast food, take-away food and on-the-go food.

Some of the dispersion coatings used by Walki are also easy to heat seal, giving them a significant advantage over other, similar types of barrier coatings, which do not offer heat-sealing properties. Dispersion coatings can also be adapted for a longer shelf life, or even as a barrier for ovenable solutions, where they could be used instead of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) board.

“Going forward, there are several other application areas in which dispersion coatings could be used – for example for frozen food, such as ice cream, and even applications requiring high barrier materials,” says Linkala.

Compostable and recyclable

It is no secret that, every day, more and more manufacturers are looking for ways to differentiate themselves by adopting greener solutions. Dispersion-coated packaging sets itself apart by being both compostable and recyclable.

Mikko Linkala believes dispersion coating has an important part to play as both manufacturers and consumers become increasingly planet conscious.

“People everywhere are becoming aware that, if we don’t start making the right choices now with our packaging materials, we’re going to face major global waste-handling problems in the future. As a result, everyone from brand owners to packaging material producers and consumers are demanding more environmentally friendly packaging materials.

“At Walki, we’re enabling them to take a significant step in the right direction with our dispersion-coated materials,” he concludes.

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