Say Goodbye to Plastic: Game-Changing Bio-Coating Set to Revolutionize Packaging!

Say Goodbye to Plastic: Game-Changing Bio-Coating Set to Revolutionize Packaging!


Researchers from Mae Fah Luang University in Thailand and Queen Mary University of London in the UK have recently developed a shellac-based coating intended to enhance the sustainable products market by improving molded pulp packaging. The new coating enhances the recyclability and compostability of packaging materials, ensuring they maintain their environmentally sustainable properties.


Enhancing Barrier Properties in Molded Pulp Packaging

Traditionally, molded pulp packaging has faced challenges with gas barrier properties and resistance to water and oil, making it less ideal for preserving the quality and shelf life of products. This newly developed coating is designed specifically to address these issues, making it suitable for a variety of foods, including instant, dehydrated, frozen, and chilled items.



The Benefits of Shellac in Packaging

Shellac is derived from a resin secreted by lac bugs and is primarily produced in regions like India, Thailand, and China. Known for its non-toxic nature and thermoplastic behavior, shellac offers excellent oil resistance and moisture barrier properties, which are crucial for packaging applications. However, its brittleness and high oxygen permeability have limited its use in the past. The innovative use of shellac in the new coating aims to mitigate these downsides while providing excellent barrier properties.



The Role of Nanocomposite Layers in Eco-Friendly Packaging

In their study, the researchers applied a nanocomposite layer combining nanofibrillated cellulose (NFC) and shellac to improve both the barrier and surface resistance of the molded pulp inserts. This combination was enhanced through an esterification reaction to improve its compatibility and increase its effectiveness against water.


Water vapor and oxygen transmission tests showed results comparable to conventional food packaging materials, such as LDPE, oriented PP, and polyethylene terephthalate, proving the efficacy of this new approach.



Addressing Cost Challenges in Biodegradable Boxes

The primary focus of ongoing research is to reduce the cost of this sustainable coating to make it economically viable for large-scale production. The current cost is estimated to be three to ten times higher than traditional materials, presenting a significant barrier to widespread adoption.


This new development in biodegradable boxes and bagasse fiber applications marks a significant step forward in addressing plastic pollution and resource depletion through innovative, renewable, and environmentally friendly materials. The team continues to refine the process, aiming to make this a scalable and affordable solution in the eco-friendly packaging market.


This research not only supports the reduction of plastic waste but also opens new possibilities for luxury cosmetics, 3C products, and clothing packaging, where sustainability is increasingly demanded by consumers.




OtaraPack specializes in pulp molded packaging solutions, emphasizing eco-friendly, durable options for our customers. We're dedicated to sustainability, making use of materials like bagasse and molded fiber to create versatile packaging. As we move forward, OtaraPack aims to lead the way in sustainable packaging, contributing to a greener future.

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