Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Melodea

A biodegradable coating for paper packaging 


Melodea has created recyclable oxygen, grease, and water barrier coatings to make paper packaging completely eco-friendly


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Spotted: Paper is often hailed as the perfect sustainable alternative to plastic packaging, with many consumers instinctively putting paper materials in their recycling bins without thinking. However, many paper-based products are laced with unrecyclable components, such as plastic coatings. 

Now, Israeli startup Melodea has a solution – bio-based coatings that protect against water vapour, oil, and oxygen. Made from wood pulp and waste side streams from the paper industry, these 100 per cent plant-based coating solutions are completely recyclable, compostable, and biodegradable. They are suitable for use on paper, paperboard, PET plastic, and bioplastic products, and are also completely non-toxic and FDA-compliant. 

Instead of absorbing water and disintegrating, or soaking up grease and becoming unrecyclable, the coatings act as barriers to keep the paper clean and dry. Melodea’s ‘VBcoat’ product resists both water and grease, as does its ‘VBseal’ coating, with the latter also providing heat-sealability to close up the packaging.

Video source Melodea

These can be used on their own or combined with the company’s ‘MelOx’ product to provide an additional oxygen barrier. Until now, most food packaging has relied on unsustainable materials like plastic because it stops the transmission of air, keeping produce inside fresher for longer. MelOx gives eco-friendly paper packaging the same essential oxygen-resistance.  

Because Melodea’s solutions can be applied using standard coating technologies, they can be scaled easily and quickly, with the coatings able to protect products from chocolate and cheese to detergent and cosmetics.

In the archive, Springwise has spotted other innovations using paper to make packaging more sustainable, including a paper alternative to bubble wrap and paper bags made from urban biowaste.

Written By: Matilda Cox



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