IMPACT

img04ThermoWhey will provide 4 European SMEs with improved manufacturing capacities or related services to deliver a new bio-based thermoformable barrier coating solution in the wide packaging sector. This will also benefit to their end users especially in the food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical sectors. Indeed, thermoforming is one of the dominant and growing technologies in the packaging market (approx. 3 million tonnes of material were thermoformed globally in 2012). Although bio-based trays exists on the market for years, they do not meet the barrier properties required for sensitive food products that the ThermoWhey product will have. Overall, bio-based plastics still represent a niche but, thanks to technical innovations and with a 25% annual growth, have increasing potential to replace their synthetic counterparts plastic. In contrast to certain controversial biopolymers that compete with food resources, ThermoWhey will represent a unique market offering that is derived from an agrofood by-product, and that delivers sufficient barrier properties for products packed in modified atmosphere (MAP). ThermoWhey could replace a significant amount of the EVOH and PVDC used in the thermoformed packaging sector while providing recyclability to multilayer laminates by allowing the enzymatic separation of the other individual fractions. As its precursor WHEYLAYER(R) barrier biopolymers, Thermowhey will have a very positive impact on the environment as it solves multiple challenges: finding new commercial use of currently discarded cheese by-product, replacing petroleum-based plastics with natural biopolymers while safeguarding the performance and recycling of packaging.