New innovation from Stora Enso minimizes plastic in paper cups to help food service brands meet sustainability targets
UltraThinPE Tec™ is a new innovation from Stora Enso that significantly reduces the share of plastic coating in foodservice [board (FSB) and applications such as single-use paper cups. With the help of UltraThinPE Tec™, Stora Enso has developed the thinnest polymer coating for FSB products on the market. This achievement allows for paper cup designs with less than 5% plastic – an important step in helping packaging converters, brand-owners, and retailers meet their plastics reduction targets. The technology is presently used in the production of UltraThinPE coatings for Stora Enso’s Cupforma product range for paper cups. Paperboard material used for producing paper cups requires a barrier – commonly made from plastic – that offers both protection against liquid and functionality in converting. UltraThinPE Tec™ greatly improves the sustainability of paper cups by yielding the lowest plastic coating weight available on the market and reducing the overall carbon footprint of the finished product. UltraThinPE Tec™ reduces plastic coating weight by up to 40% when compared to Cupforma Natura products with 15 g/m2 PE (polyethylene) or renewable PE Green coatings (bio-based polyethylene), therefore enabling a share of greater than 95% paperboard. Achieving a plastic share of less than 5% helps brand-owners meet the composite threshold for packaging in some European countries. As a result, UltraThinPE Tec™ coatings can significantly reduce extended producer responsibility (EPR) fees by as much as 75% in countries such as Germany.