Georgia, US-headquartered bioplastics producer Danimer Scientific and Kemira, a chemicals company based in Finland, have entered into a multi-year license and supply agreement,to commercialise biobased barrier coatings for paper and board products. The agreement expands on the companies’ existing partnership, originally announced in December 2020. That collaboration aimed to develop a coating and surface treatment that would ensure paper and board items, such as single-use coffee cups, were home and industrially compostable, as well as biodegradable in soil and water environments - and it was ultimately successful. The companies developed a coating material using Danimer’s biopolymer, biodegradable PHA, which is produced from vegetable oils using modern biotechnology.
Under this new agreement, the companies will seek to introduce this in the markets of North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa over the coming years.
“This new, exclusive agreement is a major step in realising our biobased strategy to deliver high-quality, sustainable and circular packaging solutions to our customers,” said Antti Matula, SVP, Global Product Lines & Business Development for Kemira Pulp&Paper. “We’re excited to expand our partnership with Danimer to harness the full potential of PHA globally. Together we will bring new biobased and circular products to markets, an important milestone in reaching our biobased growth targets and differentiating from competitors.”
The new PHA-based aqueous barrier coatings are heat sealable and offer an excellent oil, water and grease barrier. Additional benefits include repulpability, which enables the paper to be recycled without special equipment for full fiber recovery. These attributes further enhance the sustainability of the material and enable brands to provide products that contribute to a circular economy and reduce the impact of plastic waste on the environment. The PHA coatings can replace polyethylene and provide a viable alternative to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” are increasingly being phased out in food packaging around the world due to potential health risks associated with their use.