Sylvicta – a new translucent barrier paper that could replace plastic packaging

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Across Europe eight million tonnes of plastic are used for food and drink packaging each year. Plastic is lightweight, cheap to produce and increases the shelf life of produce. A shrink-wrapped cucumber sees its shelf life boosted from three days to fourteen. With nine million tonnes of plastic waste finding its way into our oceans each year, consumer awareness of the environmental impact of plastic is high. However, most countries fail to recycle more than 15% of their waste plastic packaging. With this problem in mind, global paper manufacturer Arjowiggins has launched a ground-breaking new sustainable alternative to plastic packaging called Sylvicta.

Sylvicta – a Revolutionary New Translucent Barrier Paper

Sylvicta is a translucent, functional barrier paper that has been proven to preserve the quality of food just as well as conventional plastics. The environmental benefits of using Sylvicta in food packaging are hugely positive, the paper is fully compostable, recyclable, marine degradable and made from renewable raw materials.

Despite the ongoing movement towards more sustainable packaging, plastics still remain a popular choice, largely for practical reasons. Until now, most of the existing offers, mainly in single-use packaging, use unrecyclable, multi-layered laminates incorporating plastics or aluminium foil,” explains Christophe Jordan, Managing Director of the Translucent Papers division at Arjowiggins. 

With Sylvicta, such solutions can be turned into fully recyclable, compostable and biodegradable paper packaging. The product is simply revolutionary.” he adds.

How does Sylvicta work?

Sylvicta’s main advantage is its very high barrier to oxygen – the leading cause of food spoilage – which means it can reduce food waste by prolonging shelf life during the transportation, retail and consumer phases of the value chain.

Through precision fibre refining, Arjowiggins’ experienced R&D teams have developed this unique translucent paper with a natural bonding, without using any harmful chemicals. The result is a paper with a barrier to oxygen, aroma, mineral oils and fatty foodstuffs.

Sylvicta can be foil-stamped, embossed, glued, printed in offset, gravure, and flexography, metallised, or coated with heat or cold-sealable materials.

Is Sylvicta Practical and Ready to Use?

Arjowiggins is already working with packaging converters to open up an array of applications for their new barrier paper. From pouches for dry fruits, bags for salads, sachets for solid soap, sacks for pet food and flow-packs for chocolate bars, and even metallised versions for butter or margarine packaging.

Arjowiggins is already working with packaging converters to open up an array of applications for their new barrier paper.

[Image source: Arjowiggins]

Sylvicta is FSC™ and PEFC™-certified, produced on a site that’s ISO 14001-compliant, and is carbon-offset through the World Land Trust’s Carbon Balanced programme.

At Arjowiggins they believe Sylvicta answers the market’s need for sustainable alternatives to single-use packaging and flexible laminates, with the potential to reduce or even eradicate the use of plastics in food and cosmetics packaging processes. The company stated that Sylvicta is the ideal solution for creating a globally sustainable, circular economy as it can integrate into existing recycling schemes.

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About Author


Matt has worked in digital publishing for twenty years, holding management positions at Nature ( and William Reed Business Media ( etc.). He has also worked with BBC Worldwide, Centaur Media, UKi Media and Mark Allen Group. Since 2010 Matt has been a digital consultant working with B2B media companies in the agricultural, automotive, aviation, robotics and technology sectors. As Chairman of his local allotment association Matt grows his own food whilst chasing the dream of a one tonne giant pumpkin. He is a member of the British Garden Media Guild and was a finalist in the Garden Media Guild Awards 'blog of the year' category in 2018 and 2019.

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