Wax paper: the natural packaging solution
In markets worldwide, more and more consumers are favouring natural, eco-friendly food packaging materials. Wax paper packaging mimics nature’s system for protecting leaves by covering them with a thin layer of waxy material to prevent them from drying out. Biodegradable, compostable, pleasant to touch, and cost-effective, wax paper is increasingly produced using wholly-sustainable, renewable resources -- from wood pulp and vegetable oils -- enabling suppliers to deliver a variety of food products both efficiently and attractively and additionally satisfying environmental concerns.
What is wax paper packaging?
Waxes used to coat paper packaging material can be either -- naturally derived from modified vegetable oils (oleochemicals), which are widely approved as food additives or -- mineral based, purified from crude oil refining processes, suitable for food contact applications or food contact materials
The introduction of vegetable wax based technology in the early 1990’s drove the development of paper coatings based on renewable raw materials. Now widely used in the confectionery industry to provide high gloss values, excellent release from sticky sweets, and high scuff resistance, they offer improved biodegradability compared with alternative paraffin based coatings.
The base waxes can be modified with polymers and additives to enhance properties such as gloss, slip and sealability.
The paper used for wax coating can also be optimised. Specific wood fibre blends and different surface treatments may be used, making it possible to achieve highly-tailored wrapping or packaging specifications that are perfectly adapted to end use.
The papers used for wax paper packaging are usually highly calendered but uncoated, although for particularly high-quality applications one side clay coated papers can be employed.
Packaging converters fine-tune the selection of appropriate paper and wax combinations to achieve a diverse range of end-user specifications to match detailed product and processing property requirements.
The natural characteristics of wax paper make it ideal for many kinds of food packaging, offering high efficiency and major benefits for three main user groups involved in the packaging supply chain: consumers, food packers and retailers and packaging converters.
EuroWaxPack is the European association of manufacturers of wax paper packaging materials manufacturers, established in 1998 by a group of wax paper packaging converters. Since that time EuroWaxPack has worked to increase awareness of benefits of wax paper and wax-based laminates – one of the most traditional and most popular food packaging materials employed in the packaging industry, and particularly among food producers.