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2019 SPC Innovator Award: Innovation in Recovery finalist

Seydel Companies: Biowax Alternatives to Paraffin Wax

The Chemol Company, a division of the Seydel Companies, has developed and commercialized a range of bio-based coatings intended as alternatives to conventional paraffin wax coatings used on corrugate. These coatings are primarily derived from animal fats and vegetable oils, perform similar in terms of moisture resistance, and have are proven to not inhibit corrugate recycling.

Why it’s important:

Conventional parrafin wax coatings can be enormously disruptive to paper recycling. Most recycled paper mills cannot repulp corrugated products with paraffin wax coatings, but in addition to rendering the coated item unrecyclable, paraffin wax tends to persist through the paper recycling process, infiltrating equipment and causing processing downtime and losses of other recovered fibers. Every improvement to wax-coated corrugate is an improvement to the entire paper recycling stream

Original submission:

“Biowax Alternative to Replace Paraffin Waxes”

What impact on sustainable packaging has this submission made?

Since 2007, Chemol Company, division of The Seydel Companies, has developed and supplied biowax-based coatings that can be substituted for paraffin waxes on corrugated boxes. The use of these new coatings allows corrugated boxes to be recycled rather than landfilled.

Biowax alternative waxes produced from animal fats and vegetable oils perform similarly to paraffin with respect to water resistance and wet strength; biowax coated boxes are more degradable and do not interfere with box recycling and fiber recovery. The biowax is similar to soywax used in soy candles, and has been developed for all three wax application methods: impregnation, cascade and curtain coat.

Fiber in landfills eventually generates methane, a greenhouse gas, estimated to have 22 – 27 times the greenhouse effect of CO2. Life Cycle Associates has estimated that when fiber boxes are diverted from landfills to recycling, the one-time effect is equal to 0.965 metric tons of GHG reductions (CO2e or CO2 equivalents) for every metric ton of fiber. When fully utilized, virgin fiber can be recycled approximately 5 – 7 times to the actual effect may be as high as 5 metric tons of CO2e reduction for every one metric ton of fiber box recycled.

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