Cascades Sonoco invests in water-based coating line for packaging

FlexSHIELD is a water-based coating for folded containers. Pic: Cascades Sonoco

Cascades Sonoco is investing $16m in its water-based coating technology to replace LDPE (low density polyethylene) coating.

The company will install equipment and expand its Birmingham, Albama, US, facility this year, with start-up expected in the second quarter of 2018. 

Sustainable coated materials

The water-based coating line will be capable of producing 40,000-50,000 tons of sustainable coated materials annually.

Rodger Fuller, senior VP, Sonoco’s Paper & Engineered Carriers, US & Canada, and Display & Packaging, said the investment in water-based coating will provide coated paper and paperboard substrates using its FlexShield, FluteSHIELD and SurfSHIELD coating technology.

The idea for the coating is the result of an increase in demand for paper-based take-out containers and the fact many cities have banned polystyrene containers.

FlexSHIELD has already been adopted by natural and organic food supermarket chains in North America.

It resists cracking when a folding boxboard is cut, scored, bent and folded, without losing its barrier properties. 

Oil grease, sauces, toppings

The material is a sustainable alternative to poly-based products and PLA, and protects containers against water, oil grease, sauces, toppings and other liquid or viscous substances.

Folded containers made from paperboard with FlexSHIELD can be used for applications including takeout, bakery products or non-food products where leakage of the contents could stain, damage or taint the container.

This investment represents a significant geographic expansion for water-based products by Cascades Sonoco, especially in the fast-growing Southeastern US,” said Fuller.

Luc Langevin, president/COO, Cascades Specialty Products Group, added the ‘strategic investment’ will expand Cascades Sonoco’s product portfolio into ‘high-growth consumer-oriented markets’.

Sonoco Products Company and Cascades announced a joint venture in 1992 to bring together strong technology platforms for the coating and lamination of industrial papers and other substrates. Cascades Sonoco has four locations: two in the US and two in Canada.

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