As part of an EIT-funded project, Syntegon has developed paper-based trays and cups for sensitive food products. Together with partners from industry and research, namely Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging in Dresden, Colruyt Group, Strauss Group and the University of Reading, Syntegon is implementing the EIT project PACK4SENSE (Paper packaging for SENSitive foods) to develop a sustainable packaging concept.
The aim of the project is to pack sensitive products with high barrier properties in more sustainable materials. Syntegon uses a special paper, which it claims is particularly stretchable and tearproof owing to its long cellulose fibres, which enables the production of sealed trays and cups with a depth of up to 30 mm.
A recyclable barrier layer made of 95% mono-materials provides product protection, while the paper and the barrier layer, as well as the cover film can also be separated, ensuring its recyclability.
While this helps consumers separate components for waste sorting, paper and film must not be detached from each other unintentionally. To prevent this from happening, the TPU paper forming, filling and sealing machine from Syntegon forms paper and barrier layer in a common process by thermoforming and pressing.
“With the paper-based trays from the “PACK4SENSE” project, we have further developed our previous paper packaging solutions like the shaped paper pods – structured paper trays for the packaging of cosmetics and confectionery,” said Matthias Klauser, Project Manager and Sustainability Expert at Syntegon.
The TPU was recognised with the German Packaging Award in 2020. For the PACK4SENSE trays and cups, the paper runs directly from the roll into the feeder – the barrier layer required for sealing is applied and joined to the paper without any further conversion step. Alternatively, manufacturers can use a converter to connect paper and protective layer of mono-material without heating.