Lab3P • Laboratory of Printable Protective Packaging
The Lab3P project is an initiative of two members of EuraMaterials: Malengé Packaging and the Centre Technique du Papier (CTP). The collaboration between this innovative SME and the CTP opened the door for the development of new, fully recyclable barrier packaging materials, made from biobased substances.
At the moment, ‘barrier’ packaging, such as that used to package coffee, is mainly made from complex materials: PE-aluminium-paper-PE.
Lab3P’s aim was to print the required barrier properties in the right places on cellulose-based media using heat-sealable biobased products. These new packaging materials can also be recycled in standard recycling streams.
Packaging is currently considered to be a major cause of pollution because it is difficult to correctly sort and recycle a complex product that contains several materials with very different life cycles. Extended Producer Responsibility (ERP) requires producers to make sure that waste can be processed in a way that reduces its impact on the environment.
EuraMaterials helped Malengé Packaging set up and monitor the project:
- introduction to the CTP
- certification of the project by EuraMaterials
- project monitoring: identification of potential markets and stakeholders that may want to use the technologies developed
- project leveraging
Project type: French National Research Agency LabCom (joint lab) project
Start date: November 2015
Duration: three years
The work of the Lab3P project enabled Malengé Packaging to produce original packaging. As the materials are lighter and the packaging production stages have been optimised, these enhancements have everything the agri-food, gardening and cosmetics industries could wish for. These industries are on the lookout for eco-friendly alternatives to package up their products.
The Centre Technique du Papier was instrumental in the project, selecting eco-friendly components and using functional printing to deliver the barrier properties by depositing the perfect amount of the component on the desired areas only. The first result was a printable and heat-sealable paper, compatible with standard machines, lightweight and 100% recyclable. The first market application was developed with Nature & Aliments to package an organic powdered flan mix, thoroughly protected from the light, humidity and grease.
The solution commercialised by Malengé Packaging – the ‘Cycle Pack’ range – uses a single material (paper) as a base, with barrier properties conferred by functional printing processes. The optimisation of the sealing and surface treatment reduces the weight by between 15% and 40% compared with the equivalent with a plastic or aluminium layer.
The result is a container that is compatible with the paper recycling chain but also fully protects the contents. Overall, the carbon footprint can be reduced by up to 60% compared with standard solutions.
The Malengé Packaging and CTP partnership is ongoing. The business will expand its range and offer a wide selection of barrier properties to its clients. Growing demand is already pushing Malengé Packaging to increase its production capacity and hire more staff.
Innovative packaging wins Citeo’s Grand Prix Innovation at the Circular Challenge in December 2019
Learn more at Grand Prix Innovation du Circular Challenge – Citeo
‘We are delighted that Malengé Packaging and the Centre Technique du Papier have joined forces to create this joint lab. It is a pleasure to support such an exciting collaborative adventure between two long-standing members of our competitiveness hub.’