Lactips launches its Plastic Free Paper
Founded in 2014, Lactips has recently launched ‘Plastic Free Paper’, a unique coating solution to replace plastics and chemical treatments for sealable packaging papers that is suitable for industrial use in food and non-food applications.
In October 2021, Lactips, a company specialising in the design of 100% biosourced plastic materials based on casein, which are biodegradable with water and compostable at home, developed this solution designed to improve the preservation of foodstuffs in paper and cardboard packaging, without impacting the recyclability of the latter.
This innovation was developed in collaboration with the CITEO organisation in order to offer an alternative to the world of industrial packaging, allowing total control of the end-of-life of packaging, whether food or non-food.
Lactips removes additives and improves durability
It would not be unreasonable to say that paper and cardboard packaging is on the rise, mainly because of its attractiveness to consumers and its very strong integration into the circular economy. However, they are not a panacea because of their permeability to water, oxygen or even grease. And although they have the highest recyclability rates in Europe, i.e. around 74% for the year 2020, paper and cardboard are very often combined with plastic coatings, sometimes even metallized, in order to compensate for the preservative weaknesses of these materials and to ensure the preservation of foodstuffs.
These additions drastically complicate the recycling of paper, whose almost impossible sorting limits the possibilities of treatment to either incineration or landfill. This is why Lactips has developed its first generation of “Plastic Free Paper”, in order to provide manufacturers with a paper and cardboard solution that is both effective and sustainable.
Tests carried out at the Centre Technique du Papier (CTP) in France and at the German Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS) have validated the absence of impact of this solution, which replaces sealable plastic layers and the perfluorinated compounds traditionally used for paper and cardboard packaging.
A first generation of paper packaging that is both recyclable and biodegradable
This new solution, developed in association with CITEO, consists of a new process for coating cellulose matrices, to which the thermoplastic designed by Lactips is added, in order to ensure the total recyclability of the result obtained: a 100% biosourced solution, compostable at home, heat-sealable and suitable for contact with foodstuffs due to its resistance to water, oxygen, fats and the mineral oils necessary for preserving foodstuffs.
This set of characteristics makes it compliant with current European standards concerning food contact in view of Directive 2019/904/EC, which limits the use of single-use plastics in industry: the material used by Lactips will not even be considered a plastic under European standard 1907/2006 (REACH), but rather a natural polymer, which exempts it from the obligations and prohibitions usually attached to plastics.
Laurent Lyannaz, project manager at the CTP, says that the centre has conducted tests that have confirmed the good abilities of this bio-based product to maintain the preservation of products, whether food or non-food, and has also ensured its recyclability. His colleague at the CPT, Alain Cochaux, also adds that the paper packaging has a good visual appearance and that the Lactips coating does not hinder the recycling of paper and cardboard within the meaning of the European Directive 2018/852/EC on packaging and packaging waste.
Marie-Hélène Gramatikoff, CEO and co-founder of Lactips, concludes that her company is extremely proud of this first generation of “Plastic Free Paper”, which fully meets its objectives and will be marketed in the coming months.