Companies Successfully Develop Compostable Paper Coating

Companies Successfully Develop Compostable Paper Coating

Aug. 8, 2006 - Three companies have announced that they have completed development of a fully renewable and biodegradable (or compostable) extrusion-coated paperboard product that can be manufactured into cups.

Cereplast, Inc., MeadWestvaco Corp., and Solo Cup Company say their groundbreaking application will address customer interest in compostable foodservice products that are made from renewable resources.

Until now, the plastic coating for laminated paper and foodservice packaging has been produced from petroleum-based resins. The new Cereplast coating, with a heat resistance of 220 degrees Fahrenheit, will be used to replace petroleum-based coatings in MeadWestvaco's laminated paper products manufactured for Solo. With this breakthrough, Solo will be able to produce cups and other paper goods made from renewable resources that are suitable for composting in an industrial facility. Initial targets include the growing number of cafeterias and foodservice operations that divert their organic wastes to composting facilities.

The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) has granted MeadWestvaco and Cereplast the first-ever use of its logo for coated paperboard (including corrugated cardboard) with thicknesses of 4.6 pt to 32 pt. Products bearing the BPI logo meet ASTM D6868 and are designed to biodegrade quickly, completely and safely, without leaving any plastic residue in commercial and municipal composting facilities.

Cereplast resins are formulated from a patented and proprietary manufacturing process that incorporates starch and other degradable components, including poly lactic acid (PLA) from NatureWorks, LLC. Cereplast resins can be substituted for petroleum-based resins in a wide variety of processes, including injection molding, extrusion and thermoforming.

"MeadWestvaco and Solo's perseverance in working with us to achieve this milestone clearly demonstrates their commitment to extending the renewability of their paper products to coatings, creating a fully degradable option for paper foodservice and packaging solutions," said Frederic Scheer, President and CEO of Cereplast.

Added Kevin Fortney, Business Manager -- Foodservice, MeadWestvaco, "Cereplast's resins offer a flexible, practical solution to demand for renewable and degradable paper-coatings. Working together, we are creating a product that will have a wide range of applications. We are especially gratified that this is the first such product to receive certification by the BPI."

Noted Bob Korzenski, President and Chief Operating Officer, Solo Cup Company, "Solo has a history of solving problems for its customers and consumers through innovation in disposable foodservice products, materials and processes. We are excited to contribute our expertise in developing and manufacturing environmentally friendly products to our work with MeadWestvaco and Cereplast."