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Comment Sustainability

Danimer Scientific and Kemira partner to commercialize fully bio-based barrier coatings

By Mary Page Bailey |

Danimer Scientific, Inc. (Bainbridge, Ga.) and Kemira Oyj (Helsinki, Finland) announced a multi-year license and supply agreement, exclusive in Kemira’s core markets, to commercialize bio-based barrier coatings for paper and board products. The companies will introduce the newly developed coatings for food and beverage industry applications within North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the coming years.

The new agreement builds on the companies’ successful partnership, originally announced in December 2020, to develop a coating and surface treatment that ensures paper and board items, such as single-use coffee cups, are home and industrially compostable, as well as biodegradable in soil and water environments. The companies developed the coating material using Danimer’s biopolymer PHA, which is produced from vegetable oils using modern biotechnology and serves as a biodegradable alternative to traditional plastics.

“This new, exclusive agreement is a major step in realizing our bio-based strategy to deliver high-quality, sustainable and circular packaging solutions to our customers,” said Antti Matula, SVP, Global Product Lines & Business Development for Kemira Pulp&Paper. “We’re excited to expand our partnership with Danimer to harness the full potential of PHA globally. Together we will bring new biobased and circular products to markets, an important milestone in reaching our bio-based growth targets and differentiating from competitors.”

The new PHA-based aqueous barrier coatings are heat sealable and offer an excellent oil, water and grease barrier. Additional benefits include repulpability, which enables the paper to be recycled without special equipment for full fiber recovery. These attributes further enhance the sustainability of the material and enable brands to provide products that contribute to a circular economy and reduce the impact of plastic waste on the environment. The PHA coatings can replace polyethylene and provide a viable alternative to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals,” are increasingly being phased out in food packaging around the world due to potential health risks associated with their use.

“This expansion of our partnership with Kemira represents several important milestones in Danimer’s mission to reduce plastic waste,” said Stephen E. Croskrey, Chairman and CEO of Danimer Scientific. “First, this successful project reflects the potential for PHA to serve as a sustainable alternative to traditional plastic across multiple categories. Second, this new license and supply agreement establishes a new revenue stream that will further support the global commercialization of this material. We are grateful for Kemira’s continuing partnership and look forward to helping them bring these coatings to market.”

 

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