The UPM Unique barrier range of papers developed by UPM for dry and greasy foodstuffs is a prime example of ecodesign. The papers are both recyclable and biodegradable, and they contain no PE-coating nor fluorochemicals.
Food wrappings have traditionally been made of either plastic or paper and plastic composites. Now there is a growing interest for recyclable and biodegradable packaging materials instead.
The Special Papers unit at the UPM Jämsä River mills embarked on product development with these customer needs in mind, while at the same time examining the properties of existing products and means of building these into the paper without using non-degradable components.
Bread fresh, fingers clean
First came the bread bag paper UPM Unique barrier light. It keeps bread fresh for longer, but unlike plastic it also breathes and thus prevents the bread from going soggy. Crusty bread packaged in this paper will retain its crunch at least over the weekend. The right kind of packaging not only protects the product, it also reduces the amount of food thrown away and is thus better for the environment.
UPM Unique barrier, meanwhile, was developed for applications requiring a medium level of greaseproofing, such as cookie bags and toast wrappings.
What makes the UPM Unique barrier papers exceptional is that the barrier properties of the paper, such as medium grease proofness and water vapour repellency, are achieved without using any PE-coating or fluorochemicals. Another ecologically advantageous feature is the paper’s production in an online process on a single machine.
Wrappers may now be recycled and recovered for use as raw material. Preliminary tests show that in composting, the paper is fully decomposed in approximately three weeks.