ECOPAPEL – Biodegradable and reusable paper-based food packaging as an alternative to plastic

Article on ECOPAPEL, ISC3 Start-up of the Month June 2023, in CHEManager International

Logo of Ecopapel

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Colombia-based company Cali Food Papers started with new product line named Ecopapel that offers biodegradable, compostable and recyclable paper- and cardboard-based packaging for food.

Ecopapel products are made of renewable raw materials and certified for food contact. They strive to eliminate highly polluting materials and substances that have a negative impact on the environment such as plastics, aluminium foil, or paraffin by offering sustainable alternatives. Furthermore, with Ecopapel, the company began to collaborate on an industrial ecosystem with other packaging converters, paper manufacturers, and raw material suppliers to produce paper from industrial waste. For this reason, the International Sustainable Chemistry Collaborative Centre (ISC3) features Ecopapel as the ISC3 Start-up of the Month for June 2023.

Ecopapel food papers are biodegradable and compostable, and can be disposed of in organic waste, compared to oxoplastics or bioplastics, whose biodegradability in real environmental context is still being under discussion. Ecopapel applies new technologies developed around the world to increase the resistance of paper and cardboard to grease and moisture, and to reduce oxygen transfer. Furthermore, Ecopapel materials allow the reduction in the use of inputs for cooking, such as grease, oils and release agents, that are the main water pollutants. At the same time, Ecopapel materials also reduce washing cycles and contribute to cleaner and more hygienic environments.