• HyperBarrier is said to offer 20x improvement in oxygen barrier performance and 10x enhancement in moisture barrier compared to traditional PE coatings.
    HyperBarrier is said to offer 20x improvement in oxygen barrier performance and 10x enhancement in moisture barrier compared to traditional PE coatings.

Sustainable packaging innovator, Smart Planet Technologies, has released HyperBarrier, a ternary nanocomposite coating designed for paper-based flexible packaging.

According to Smart Planet, HyperBarrier offers a substantial 20x improvement in oxygen barrier performance, and 10x enhancement in moisture barrier compared to traditional PE coatings.

The company says HyperBarrier "opens new doors" for brands to switch to paper from plastic packaging.

Smart Planet says that thus far, transitioning from plastic to paper-based packaging has presented significant hurdles, which it believes can be overcome with HyperBarrier. These include:

  • Barrier efficiency: prior solutions using 100 per cent plastic coatings could not achieve the barrier properties required, impacting product freshness and shelf-life.
  • Recycling difficulties: many existing coatings hampered the recyclability of paper packaging, contributing to landfill waste.
  • Cost and complexity: alternatives like multi-layer film laminations and treatments, such as EVOH or metallisation, were not only costly, but also complicated the recycling process.

This is why Smart Planet believes that for many brands, the drawbacks of switching overshadowed the benefits, and this in turn has led to a continued reliance on plastic packaging and unmet sustainability goals.

HyperBarrier aims to "dramatically change the landscape of flexible packaging" by directly addressing these issues, with Smart Packaging making these claims:

  • Superior oxygen barrier: the coating provides unmatched protection, significantly extending the shelf-life of diverse products.
  • Cost-efficiency: its single-layer application technique removes the need for expensive, multi-layer structures, simplifying manufacturing and reducing costs.
  • Enhanced recyclability: like other EarthCoating products, HyperBarrier supports existing paper recycling processes, improving the quality of recycled bales and reducing waste.
  • Reduced plastic use: the 40% mineral content in HyperBarrier significantly cuts down the plastic used, advancing beyond the mere transition from plastic to paper.
  • Versatility and ease of use: HyperBarrier retains all traditional coating functionalities, including heat-sealability and suitability for food contact, and integrates easily into current manufacturing setups without additional investments.

Building on Smart Planet’s history of high-mineralisation innovations, HyperBarrier enhances the blending of minerals and polymers to surpass the barrier properties of polymers alone, the company says.

With a proven track record in over 2.5 billion packages, Smart Planet’s EarthCoating technology has set the foundation for HyperBarrier's success in further improving barrier performances against oxygen, moisture and oils.

"While the industry has focused on developing new plastics for sustainability, our approach with mineralised coatings has shown superior results in enhancing packaging performance, reducing plastic use, and ensuring recyclability," said Chris Tilton, co-founder and inventor at Smart Planet Technologies.

The company says HyperBarrier not only excels in providing a robust barrier, but also offers an environmentally-friendly alternative that supports broader adoption of paper-based packaging.

This innovation aims to bring about a "new era" for companies aiming to bolster their sustainability practices and for a packaging industry leaning towards a circular economy.

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