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Water-based dispersion coatings that act as barriers against oxygen, water vapor, grease components, or mineral oil components are applied to the surface of barrier paper at Koehler Paper. The coatings used to obtain the desired properties are produced during the papermaking process. In other words, the end product continues to be paper. This production process ensures that the material is technically very easy to recycle.
Paper is a mixture of materials that usually consists of fibers, fillers/pigments, binders, additives, and water. Since paper barely has any intrinsic barrier properties at best and none at worst, water-based dispersion coatings that act as barriers against oxygen, water vapor, grease components, or mineral oil components are applied to the surface of paper products at Koehler Paper. The coatings used to obtain the desired properties are produced during the papermaking process the same way as with other paper products, such as coated high-quality paper for glossy magazines. In other words, the end product continues to be paper.
The German Papiertechnische Stiftung (PTS) foundation has confirmed that the usual method used to apply water-based dispersions to paper surfaces during papermaking yields results that are different from those obtained with the (plastic) coatings produced with thermoplastic extrusion or lamination with an adhesively bonded outer barrier layer. Coating paper with water-based (polymer) dispersions does not result in a superficial, separate, self-supporting (plastic) coating. Instead, the synthetic and natural materials selectively protect the underlying paper from external elements such as grease and moisture without this necessarily producing a structural or separable (plastic) layer. In other words, the final product resulting from paper coated with water-based dispersions continues to be “paper.”
Koehler Paper barrier paper is compatible with the systems currently in use
As of this writing, barrier coatings continue to be predominantly made up of synthetic polymers. And while Koehler Paper’s R&D efforts right now include bio-based barrier coatings, the company is also currently producing paper with barrier materials that are perfectly compatible with existing recycling processes.
In fact, various Koehler Paper flexible packaging paper products have been awarded a score of 19 out of a possible 20 points by environmental service provider Interseroh along with the “Made for Recycling” seal. Why? Because they are unambiguously identifiable as paper for consumers and can be fed back into the right recycling loop due to the fact that the current recycling stream for paper is ideal and that the material is produced in such a way that it is technically very easy to recycle and is well-suited not only to recycling, but also to the production of recycled paper.