The innovative solution enables the production of PE-free, compostable and recyclable packaging for direct food contact.
What exactly is SiOPack® ?
The SiOPack® product innovation is a plastic-free, ultra-thin protective layer that is applied to natural raw materials such as paper, cardboard, moulded pulp and natural fibres such as hemp, or even to finished containers made of these materials, providing them with new, functional properties. This makes the packaging material repellent to liquids, oils and microorganisms. The barrier layer can be formed on the outside as well as the inside of the packaging and reliably protects even edges.
Not only the high effectiveness of SiOPack®, but also the fact that a compostable raw material retains this important criterion of sustainability in functionalisation is related to the ingredients of the coating: The SiOPack® base material is a biologically inoffensive element from nature, which is also the basis for the production of glass. Put simply, it is nothing more than "sand". A pure natural product that can be returned to nature without further ado. Hence the incredible environmental compatibility of this solution.
How does the SiOPack® barrier work?
SiOPack® for the environment and corporate reputation
Reducing plastic waste and improving the carbon footprint should be top priorities for future-oriented companies, from an ecological as well as an economic point of view:
On the one hand, it goes without saying that we must do everything possible to protect the planet earth in the interest of all of us. On the other hand, for precisely this reason, both legislators and customers are placing ever higher demands on the sustainability of products and services as well as on the actions of corporations. Thus, manufacturers and businesses that do not act sustainably or merely engage in greenwashing will lose their position in favour of environmentally conscious competitors in the long run.
The advantages of the SiOPack® barrier layer
The SiOPack® barrier coating is an effective and versatile tool for creating the next generation of packaging: It provides materials, packaging and cup materials with a superior barrier without the use of polyethylene! Food-safe, leak-proof cups - for example for dairy products - can thus be fully composted or recycled without any separation.
Until now, recycled fibre material from packaging could only be reused to a very limited extent. Until now, it was more realistic to speak of "down-cycling" instead of the expected "recycling" in this context. Furthermore, the proven migration of colours, adhesives and other chemicals prevented the large-scale use of conventional recycled materials as primary packaging materials. And even as secondary packaging materials, previous recycled products were evaluated very critically.
In terms of the functions to be fulfilled, some of the materials qualified as regenerative have matured in the meantime and in some cases offer a safe solution with still limited availability on the market. Most of the products are PLA/PBS-based.
However, all these solutions have one thing in common: their still very limited availability and a purchase price per tonne of raw material that is between 50 and 80% higher. The market is therefore still desperately looking for solutions!
With the SiOPack® coating, reliable barriers and additional edge protection can now be created that can even achieve qualification for use as recycled primary packaging.
Quality control by means of Mobile Surface Analyzer (MSA)
Properties in connection with the SiOPack® barrier layer
Characteristics in combination with the SiOPack® technology
Production & Application
Industrial production and application
The application of the coating can be integrated into any standard industrial process during or after the packaging production.
For the technical implementation, Nanopool found the ideal partner in the internationally active packaging specialist Van Genechten Packaging (VGP): As a pioneer for environmentally friendly coatings, the cardboard specialist with headquarters in Belgium has special expertise in food packaging and has been working on new sustainable solutions and technologies for years.
Together with Nanopool, the company's team of experts developed the machine implementation of SiOPack® coating on cardboard packaging for industrial production. In practical use at VGP, the material is coated with SiOPack® and can then be further processed for any packaging application without any problems.
"We are pleased that through the cooperation between Nanopool and Van Genechten Packaging we can make a further contribution to protecting the environment, especially in terms of food safety, for which it has not yet been possible to completely dispense with the classic barriers," says Marc Büttgenbach, CCO and Sales Director at Van Genechten Packaging.
This enables inline production in the manufacture of containers, either directly on the machine or in an application tunnel, which can be integrated directly behind the moulding machine or in front of the filling lines, as required.
Flexible design without compromises
The performance and aesthetics of the SiOPack® coating are not only equivalent, but superior to traditional PE-laminated containers: In contrast to plastic coatings, the barrier coating does not alter the natural raw material either visually or haptically, but equips it with protection of all pinholes and edges better than previous, environmentally harmful coatings.
Since the SiOPack® solution can be applied both before and after printing, as well as to finished products, there is almost unlimited flexibility in the design of the packaging.
Increased product safety
The special charm of this combined solution of SiOPack® is the additional protection of the inner, otherwise open edge of the containers. Until now, sensitive products such as dairy products required elaborate edge protection: Folding over the edge, known as skiving & hemming, or application of an adhesive strip, known as the stripe process.
This reliable sealing of the edges increases the safety of the containers just as much as the fact that the SiOPack® process succeeds in forming barrier layers entirely without so-called micro cracks (possible tiny cracks) or pinholes (tiny holes). Germs and other harmful microorganisms therefore no longer have any points of attack.
In the past, these significantly increased uncertainties in cardboard packaging compared to injection-moulded or thermoformed plastic containers have prevented many envisaged applications of environmentally friendly containers. Previous efforts to combine the necessary safety with a reduction in plastic have only resulted in compromises.
Rethinking packaging materials: Low effort with high results
Many measures that are praised for achieving a better carbon footprint or less plastic waste go hand in hand with a great deal of effort for a comparatively small result. Other steps even turn out to be pure greenwashing on closer inspection.
Exactly the opposite is the case with the SiOPack® solution for plastic-free packaging: With minimal effort, the coating method achieves safe results that can reduce the amount of plastic used to up to a minimum.
SiOPack® rethinks packaging and combines the advantages of light, flexible and biodegradable paper or natural fibre with the benefits of food-safe, water-stable glass. This makes the use of plastic or PE coatings in packaging completely redundant.
SiOPack®'s unique, patented method gives environmentally friendly raw materials new functional properties. The packaging becomes superphobic! This means it can be used directly on food or liquids of all kinds without hesitation and without losing its recyclability.
Use in industrial application
Kraft paper coated/PET/laminating adhesive/transparent BX sealing layer (SEAS film).
Feuille mate en polypropylène avec couche barrière antimicrobienne/antivirale SiOPack®
Kraft paper coated/PET/laminating adhesive/ metallised BXM sealing layer (SAES film) (SAES-Folie)
Fast results with optimal ROI
With almost unbeatable environmental compatibility on the one hand and easy-to-integrate production processes and maximum safety on the other, SiOPack® packaging made of natural materials is a prestige product that reduces a company's ecological footprint ad hoc and thus contributes to the positive image of a brand.
However, the ideal ROI is only represented by those implementations that not only quickly and clearly measurably increase the sustainability of a company, but at the same time also create a market advantage by being several steps ahead of the current status quo.
The confirmation of a packaging specialist makes it clear that this is the case with SiOPack®: According to this, the packaging market currently has no other process that combines among other things the following relevant points:
Confirmed food safety
Long-term germ protection
✓ Safe edge protection
✓ Complete recyclability
Safe & Excellent
"Plastic-free barrier coating for food packaging"
Multiple award-winning technology
Nanopool GmbH has repeatedly been awarded high-ranking environmental, scientific and innovation prizes for its unique technology.
The particular relevance of the environmentally friendly coating for food packaging has been recognised, for example, by the jury of the Green Product Awards, who described SiOPack® as "an excellent, more sustainable technology for paper and disposable products" that also makes it easy for consumers to intuitively recognise that packaging with this natural coating is recyclable and compostable.
In addition to numerous other awards for the SiOPack® technology, the application for paper products also received a Green World Award and a CFI Award for "Best Green Alternative Innovation Europe".
Europe's Best Green Alternative Innovation 2020
Among other things, it was because of the revolutionary development of environmentally friendly and food-safe packaging, the economical production of NP liquid glass and its proven effectiveness in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 pathogens, that the jury of the CFI.co Sustainability Awards honored Nanopool with the prize “Best Green Alternative Innovation Europe 2020 “.
In der offiziellen Gewinnverkündung heißt es, dass von dem visionären Familienunternehmen darüber hinaus „weitere vielversprechende Entwicklungen“ zu erwarten seien.
Das CFI Award-Programm zeichnet Personen und Unternehmen aus, die durch Best Practices der internationalen Wirtschaft einen echten Mehrwert bieten.
Golden Green World Award 2020
Nanopool won Gold in the innovation sector of the Green World Award 2020 with its environmentally friendly packaging solution.
With its award-winning packaging protection technology, an ultra-thin protection barrier makes it possible to produce 100 % plastic-free and at the same time 100 % compostable packaging. For this, the company was awarded Gold at the “Green World Awards 2020” by the internationally operating Green Organization.
As part of winning the golden “Green World Award for environmental best practice”, the company was also named a Green World Ambassador for proven environmental best practices. Nanopool thus joins a group of well-known “Green World Ambassadors” from earlier years, including the McLaren Group, Toshiba Tec UK and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
Nanopool was the first company to receive the award for ultra-thin layers. In the past, the NP® solutions have repeatedly received the Green Hero and Green Apple awards from the Green Organization.
Highest award received at the Green Product Award 2022
Out of 1,500 submitted projects from 56 countries, Nanopool asserted themselves in the multi-stage process of the Green Product Award 2022 and won the highest award for their sustainable surface functionalization of paper and natural fiber products: “Best of New Materials”.
Since 2013, the international Green Product Award has recognized products and services that excel in design, innovation and sustainability.
“I believe that only together we can create a world in which the seas are filled with fish and not with garbage. This is the future I wish for my children,” said Sascha Schwindt, Managing Director of Nanopool during the award ceremony in Munich.
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