In a strategic partnership with Mondi, traceless hopes to scale its plant-based coating across the paper industry and combat the generation of unnecessary plastic packaging waste.

Traditionally, paper coatings have utilized synthetic, petroleum plastics for their sealing and barrier properties. These are not biodegradable under industrial composting conditions and contribute to packaging waste, especially when it coats what would otherwise be a recyclable material.

In response, the female-founded start-up has developed a certified plastic-free granulate from plant residues. It claims to be naturally compostable and break down without leaving harmful residues behind; at the same time, the resultant packaging is set to stay recyclable in existing paper recycling streams.

By working with Mondi, traceless aims to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, cut down on unnecessary plastic waste, and further its own goal of reducing plastic pollution worldwide. The partners also plan to meet demand from both consumers and legislators to improve the environmental performance of packaging designs.

Apparently, the coated kraft has been ‘thoroughly’ tested for suitability for a range of end-markets and has been found to resist water, oxygen, and fat while offering ‘good’ printability to customers. The properties of the coating are said to be optimized to fit the solution to e-commerce, frozen food, fatty and non-fatty food applications, as well as reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the packaging life cycle.

“Our collaboration with Mondi is more than just a partnership; it’s a powerful combination of innovation and scale,” explains Anne Lamp, CEO and co-founder of traceless materials. “Together, we are ready to transform the paper coating industry by implementing our traceless material coating alternative on a scale that only a company like Mondi can achieve. This is a major step towards a sustainable future where our material becomes a standard in everyday products.”

Marko Schuster, COO Functional Paper and Films at Mondi, adds: “This partnership aligns perfectly with Mondi’s commitment to making packaging and paper sustainable by design. Working with traceless allows us to introduce innovative, natural solutions to our customers, further enhancing our approach to responsible production and consumption. Jointly we are taking the next step in developing solutions that contribute to a circular economy.”

Previously, traceless received €5 million in funding from the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMUV)’s Environmental Innovation Program. The money was set to help the company build a demonstration production plant in Hamburg.

It subsequently received €36.6 million in a Series A funding round led by UB Forest Industry Green Growth Fund (UBFIGG) and SWEN CP’s Blue Ocean fund, wherein the money was expected to help expand traceless’ material to industrial scale. The company was also nominated as a finalist under the Pre-Commercialized Renewables category in the Sustainability Awards 2023.

In a similar development, Xampla’s plant-based Morro Coating polymer will be applied to a range of takeaway boxes in a multi-year supply deal between 2M Group of Companies and Huhtamaki. Huhtamaki hopes to use the coating to unlock recyclable, compostable, and renewable packaging solutions.

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