Syntegon develops paper-based food packaging as part of EIT Food project, ‘PACK4SENSE’

EIT Food combines industry and research for environmentally friendly packaging solutions

Syntegon develops new paper-based packaging concept for “PACK4SENSE” project

Optimized recyclability thanks to easier separation of all packaging components

Waiblingen/Germany, December 16, 2021. Aspart of an EIT-funded project, Syntegon has developed paper-based trays and cups for sensitive foodproducts. Together with partners from industry and research, namely FraunhoferInstitute for Process Engineering and Packaging in Dresden, Colruyt Group,Strauss Group and the University of Reading, Syntegon is implementing the EITproject “PACK4SENSE” (Paper packaging for SENSitive foods) to developa sustainable packaging concept. EIT Food, the world’s largest and most dynamicinnovation community, is supported by the European Institute of Innovation andTechnology (EIT), a body of the European Union.

Optimal recyclabilitythanks to paper und mono-material

The aim of the project is to pack evensensitive products with high barrier properties in more sustainable materials.Syntegon uses a special paper, which is particularly stretchable and tearproofthanks to long cellulose fibers, thus enabling the production of sealed traysand cups with a depth of up to 30 millimeters.

A recycable barrier layer made of 95percent mono-materials provides optimal product protection. The paper and thebarrier layer, as well as the cover film can be easily separated, ensuring fullutilization of its recyclability.

This sustainability advantage,however, also poses challenges for packaging manufacturers. On the one hand, consumersshould be able to separate all components for waste sorting. On the other hand,paper and film must not be detached from each other unintenionally. To preventthis from happening, the TPU paper forming, filling and sealing machine fromSyntegon forms paper and barrier layer in a common process by thermoforming andpressing. “With the paper-based trays from the “PACK4SENSE” project, we havefurther developed our previous paper packaging solutions like the shaped paperpods – structured paper trays for the packaging of cosmetics andconfectionery,” explains Matthias Klauser, project manager and sustainabilityexpert at Syntegon.

TPU brings paper and barrier layertogether

The TPU hasalready been honored with the German Packaging Award in 2020 and is Syntegon’s flagship machinefor paper forming. For the PACK4SENSE trays and cups, the paper runs directlyfrom the roll into the feeder – the barrier layer required for sealing isapplied and joined to the paper without any further conversion step.Alternatively, manufacturers can use a converter to connect paper and protectivelayer of mono-material without heating. A forming station presses the materialsinto shape before the trays are filled and sealed. In addition to using a particularlystretchable paper that can withstand wrinkling during the forming process, itis important to preserve the separability of the materials: a specially adaptedgeometry of the forming tools reduces the tension on the materials during themanufacturing process.

Syntegon iscontinously working on further developing its paper-forming technology. EITFood enables the company to work closely with important partners and to testproducts together with consumers and food manufacterers. This cooperation makesit possible to develop prototypes and solutions that meet product requirementsand optimize the sustainability of packaging step by step.

To find outmore about ecofriendly packaging solutions and the broad consulting servicesfrom Syntegon, please visit our website.