Israeli disruptor opens pilot centre to hone tech for plant-based barrier coatings for cereals, biscuits

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Melodea's eco-friendly barrier coating will help CPG brands tackle plastic waste. Pic: GettyImages/Hispanolistic
Melodea's eco-friendly barrier coating will help CPG brands tackle plastic waste. Pic: GettyImages/Hispanolistic

Related tags Melodea barrier packaging plant-based Sustainable packaging Back to Blue UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution CPG

With the growing demand for sustainable packaging, manufacturers constantly need to evaluate emerging solutions at a scaled pilot, prompting Melodea to inaugurate a new pilot centre in Rehovot, equipped with advanced equipment and analytics tools.

The state-of-the-art centre is focused on the recyclable barrier coating expert’s standout solutions that dramatically cut back on plastic waste.

The amount of plastic used around the world – with most ending up in landfills – could  double by 2050 unless urgent action is taken, according to a new study.

The report by Back to Blue – an initiative of The Nippon Foundation and Economist Impact – warns that, without international agreement on a sweeping set of new global policy interventions, the amount of plastic consumed across the G20 nations will surpass 450 million tons per year, nearly twice the 2019 level of 261 million tonnes.

Peak Plastics: Bending the consumption curve​ is the first study to forensically model the potential impact of policies being considered by United Nations’ (UN) plastic treaty negotiators. The analysis was supported by a range of authorities on plastic production, consumption and pollution, including the OECD, the World Bank, SYSTEMIQ, CSIR and WWF.

“This report confirms that an urgent, global effort is needed to stop the flood of plastic pollution at its source,”​ reported David Azoulay from the Centre for International Environmental Law (CIEL).

“The entire lifecycle of plastics – from production of plastic precursors to disposal – must be addressed by the future, legally binding UN treaty to end plastic pollution. The policy levers examined in this report will not be sufficient: bolder action is needed, including globally coordinated tax mechanisms coupled with ambitious caps on virgin plastic production.”

The SUP ban

Single use plastic Alastair Berg
Pic: GettyImages

In March last year, 175 nations agreed to develop a legally binding global instrument to end plastic pollution.

According to the UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution, a global ban on unnecessary single-use plastic (SUP) items is the most effective policy, along with ‘polluter pays’ Extended Producer Responsibility schemes for full end-of-life costs and a tax on virgin plastic production; all expected to be in place by the end of 2024.

Many of the world’s largest CPG companies have pledged to transition to 100% recyclable or reusable packaging within the next 5-10 years, and as such, are moving away from single-use plastics.

Joining the party to help CPG brands meet their sustainability goals and cut back on plastic waste is Melodea.

The Israeli green-tech specialist’s latest product is VBseal, a coating that has exceptional resistance to water vapor and heat-sealing properties all in one coating. Beyond its green credentials, the dual functionality means the need for different passes in coating machines is avoided, dramatically reducing production coats.

The coating is designed to line the packaging for cereals, biscuits, ice cream and other fresh foods and joins Melodea’s existing stable of award-winning eco-friendly barrier coatings,​ including MelOx for oxygen and VBcoat for water vapor and oil and grease. The Israeli startup was the 2020 recipient of the prestigious Worldstar Packaging Award, and its proprietary tech is protected by an impressive 14 patents.

Credit: Melodea

The VBseal is also free of paraformaldehyde (PFA) and bisphenol A (BPA) and is FDA and BfR-compatible.

“Packaging producers have an urgent need for a sustainable barrier coating that has both water vapor protection and heat sealable properties, and can replace the commonly used plastic PE layer,”​ said Cee Azerraf, PhD, VP of Sales and Marketing for Melodea.

“As with all of our products, it was crucial that it be recyclable and easy to apply on existing coating lines.”

Shorten time-to-market

Melodea has also invested $500,000 in a decked-out innovation centre to test existing barrier coating products and produce coated reels and pouches at pilot scale.

The centre is designed to serve companies across the packaging value chain in exploring plastic, paper and bioplastic barrier solutions, and boasts the latest equipment and analytics tools to support clients in meeting their sustainability goals.

“We are excited to work with producers of food, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and agriculture products as well as packaging companies at the new plant to help them to reach their goals,”​ said Shaul Lapidot, PhD, CEO and cofounder of Melodea.

“We offer our clients a location to evaluate their products using our eco-friendly solutions, with full control of the coating process/

“We can utilise Melodea’s R&D team’s vast know-how of coatings with optimising barrier performance and analyse the results on site, as well as help shorten time-to-market for new products and packages.”

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