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PRA develops new food packaging coating product

The Paint Research Association (PRA) has developed a food packaging coating product which can replace existing packaging coatings based on petrochemicals that are harmful for the environment.

The new eco-friendly food packaging coating product PlantPack is made from seaweed extracts and starch, and can be applied to paper and cardboard as a spray.

PRA director Ian Claris said PlantPack serves as a cost effective and sustainable alternative to petroleum derived coatings products.

"And because it’s a biodegradable product, it can be composted and recycled easily. So it’s better for the environment and performs at least as well as the existing products. We expect there to be a big demand for it from day one," Claris said.

Food packaging coatings, which are used on paper wraps, cartons and cardboard, provide physical barriers which protect products in the packaging container during storage and transportation.

UK-based PRA is working with a consortium of European partners with funding from the European Commission under the Framework Programme Seven. The partners are: ITENE, Mantrose UK, Altin Gidas, Alexir Packaging, Yanko and Seaweed Canarias.