To reduce plastic waste, people are increasing looking to paper-based material as primary barriers for packaging. Tetra Pak, one of the world’s most famous multi-layer carton manufacturers, recently called for collaborative innovation with partners to create the world’s most sustainable package that secure food safety and availability while reducing the impact on the planet. This includes removing the traditional layers of plastic and aluminum and replacing them with plant or wood fiber-based barrier materials. According to The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) 2020 Sustainability Report, the paper industry continues to demonstrate leadership in sustainability across the entire value chain with essential products for everyday life.
Due to their porous nature, paper products by themselves are not considered to be good barrier materials for product shelf life. By applying a thin layer of polymer coating or laminate plant-based barrier layers to the paper, it can become a reasonable barrier material. To assess the barrier properties of coated paper, a permeation study for Oxygen Transmission Rate (OTR) and/or Water Vapor Transmission Rate (WVTR) needs to be conducted. This is commonly an iterative process through the development of new paper-based barriers.
However, coated paper barriers can be challenging to get accurate transmission rate test results from. With over 50 years of experience in this industry, the experts and MOCON have solutions to overcome these challenges with special laboratory guidance on how to prepare coated paper samples for accurate testing and unique tools to simplify sample preparation. You can learn more about this in the Applications News portion of this newsletter.