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breaking barriers: functional & recyclable barrier paper packaging

We're not just developing barriers we're breaking barriers in the packaging industry. As an expert in specialty packaging paper, we are driven to substitute non-recyclable multilayer laminates with truly sustainable alternatives - our next generation of recyclable barrier paper packaging for food and non-food.

Paper packaging requires a powerful barrier to meet the market demands in terms of performance. Barriers should give the paper the required barrier performance against grease, oil, oxygen, aroma, fat, water vapor, and other substances. At the same time, the barrier should not negatively affect the ability of the paper to be recycled. Base papers and barriers must work together perfectly to deliver functionality, performance and sustainability. This requires extensive R&D work and a high level of expertise in papermaking. Together with our R&D partner DELSCI, we are committed to developing game-changing recyclable barrier paper packaging for food and consumer goods applications.

different paper pouches for noodles, rice, sweets, lollies are standing on a table.

with market pressure and legislative demands, major brand owners are searching for recyclable packaging solutions

there is no 'one-fits-all' solution

Depending on the use case of the packaging, different barrier properties are required. For example, a juicy burger would need a wrapper with a barrier against grease and water to keep consumers’ fingers clean while eating. For hot foods, a barrier layer allows warm steam to escape, preventing food from going soggy before you eat it. Barriers help to protect dry foods like flour by keeping moisture out of the packaging, while also keeping foods like bread fresh for longer by preventing moisture from leaving. When it comes to chocolate, a strong oxygen barrier, and a good moisture vapor transition rate is often required. For crispy dry foods, such as chips or wafers, it is essential that the moisture does not get into the package. On the other hand, for juicy ingredients like raisins, it is essential that moisture is locked-in and fat does not penetrate the packaging.  

Since different products have different requirements when it comes to packaging, we work on a case-by-case basis with our clients to address their specific needs according to DELSCI's design thinking approach.

an improved sustainability profile through recyclability and reduced coating usage

We promote using resources efficiently and not over-packaging items. For that reason, we focus on developing lightweight papers as they need fewer raw materials. Creating very thin barrier papers creates additional challenges when it comes to recyclability. The recyclability of paper packaging is often determined by the ratio of the applied barrier to the base paper. In some countries, legislations allow only 5% of the total packaging to be barrier and inks to be qualified as recyclable. The barriers we develop are therefore applied in a very thin layer to maintain the recyclability of the total packaging. Nevertheless, the barriers we develop provide the required functionality even when applied in small amounts. Our expertise is in creating very thin coatings that have the same performance as thick coatings.

Paper recycling rates are among the highest in the world making paper packaging not just something that can be recycled but that is.

© Chris Guetl

reel-to-reel pilot coater at DELSCI 

dream team: specialty base papers and functional high-barrier coatings  

We take a holistic approach to developing our recyclable papers. Our R&D partner DELSCI has a team of 20 scientists and engineers and a new 300m2 high-tech laboratory. With state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to perform many tests from the early stages of development. Being able to test barrier levels, such as MVTR, OTR, and Cobb tests, in-house allows us a high level of agility and flexibility.

When developing functional barrier paper packaging, we manage at least three parameters, each of which needs to work together to produce the desired barrier functions.


base paper

innovating solutions copy 4

barrier chemistry


coating process

collaborating for a circular economy

New applications for barrier papers are becoming possible every day. We work closely with our development partners and clients to develop the best possible solutions together. 

Our regulatory team also works closely with regional industry regulatory groups to understand how legislation is evolving, so that we are in a position to be proactive about which substances can and cannot be used - we are always looking towards the future! 



about DELSCI

DELSCI is a research organization that invents eco-conscious paper for food and non-food packaging. We’re a team of scientists and technologists on a mission to empower people to consume responsibly. This means replacing plastic (wherever possible) with functional paper that works harder than ever before and helps protect the environment and keeps our oceans free of plastic.

learn more

herwig delsci

Interested in switching to function paper packaging?

We would love to hear from you!

Kirchberger Herwig, Managing Director · DELSCI  I  +43 7229 776-552

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