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Imerys Barrikote Water-Based Barrier Formulation for recyclable hot and cold cups

Barrikote™ Water-Based Formulations create a recyclable barrier for paperboard, the new green alternative solution to PE-lined paper cups

Photo of Marc de Sailly
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Idea Title

Perfectly Natural... Like water off a duck's back

Idea Summary

Based on platy minerals and specialty polymers, Barrikote™ formulations create an ultra-thin barrier providing water resistance, heat seal, anti-blocking and crack-resistance while being recyclable

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)


Website (if applicable)

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

Barrikote™ formulations are Water-Based Barrier Coatings, a dispersion of specialty polymer and minerals in a water solution. Specialty polymer with glass transition temperature adjusted to achieve heat-seal and repulpability
Use of platy minerals to improve anti-blocking, crack-resistance along with barrier performance

Barrikote™ formulations are designed to be applied directly on paper machine in particular with Curtain Coating applicators. Up to 3 different and thin layers consisting of different Barrikote™ formulations can be applied on each side
Each formulation provides a different functionality.

Barrikote™ formulation makes the first recyclable food packaging board, repulpable through ordinary recycling infrastructure, creating 2x less rejects than PE - lined board. 70% thinner film than Polyethylene (PE) for equivalent barrier performance.


Barrikote™ current technology includes oil-based aqueous polymeric solutions although this technology can evolve to adapt to expected developments in aqueous polymeric solutions, such as polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH); thermoset resins, polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA/PHB), nanocellulose composites, polylactic acid (PLA), bio-based polyesters (PET, PBAt), and thermoplastic starch. 

This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup
  • Straws
  • Cup Liner

How is your concept recoverable?

Barrier film is the part of the food packaging that is most difficult to recycle or degrade. For example while traditional paper would degrade in 2 months in a natural environment, PE-lined board used in traditional paper cups would take years to start breaking down. Barrikote™ formulation is 70% thinner than traditional PE barrier barrier films, making the board easier to degrade and recycle. Despite lower thickness, Barrikote™ formulations provide equivalent water and moisture barrier performances. Repulpability or Recycling process of paper involves mixing and then screening to separate fibers from rejects. Barrikote™ formulation consistently create 50 to 60% less rejects than PE-lined cups, this has been proven through repulpability test carried by UK reference laboratory Test Tech. Barrikote™ formulations can be considered as repulpable as regulation limit of repulpability is set at 20% rejects.

How have you incorporated additional sustainability attributes (beyond recoverability) into your solution?

- Lower quantity of oil-based material, Barrikote™ is 70% thinner than PE films - Lower transportation and handling costs, directly applied on the paper machine (while PE extruders are often on a different site vs board manufacturing) - Local sourcing from imerys’ global footprint - Green sourcing New Barrikote™ formulations being developed - Compostability under evaluation

What regions do you plan to address with your solution (and how will you accomplish this)?

Barrikote™ formulation is a global solution. - Current production capabilities are in the US and Europe. Contacts with key players like board manufacturers, converters and brandowners have been initiated in 2018. - footprint will be expanded to other geographies as needed. Imerys has production sites in 230 countries and can expand the solution quickly to new regions as required.

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Target market is hot and cold cups used globally for coffee, tea, sodas whether consumed in restaurants, taken to-go and used at home. Barrikote™ formulation will directly benefit all users in the value chain of paper cups: - Recycling facilities will benefit from having additional waste board Post-consumer waste fiber available. In simple words, the paper cup that you use and put in the recycling bin will be treated and come back to your doorstep as the cardboard of your next Amazon order. - Consumer will be able to continue to use safe-to-use to-go fiber cups. - Brand-owners will be able to continue promote their own drinks using paper cups with lower risk to the environment.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Full-scale roll-out

What are the biggest challenges you are facing today? What are existing gaps in your solution?

Barrikote™ formulation has been run industrially and several 1,000 tons of paperboard have been produced and converted successfully into paper cups. All technical hurdles of scale-up have been overcome as product is made on industrial scale paper machines and fast-speed cup conversion machines. Main challenge for Barrikote™ formulation is to transform this technical success into a commercial solution available to customers and turn it into a sizeable business. Commercialization of Barrikote™ formulation only started late 2018, access to brand-owners and end-users is key for the coming months. Other challenges include interacting with waste and recycling industries about the benefits of Barrikote™ formulation, working together to increase recycling content up to 100% and setting up new standards. This is particularly true for composting. Finally Barrikote™ formulation will have to evolve by relying on aqueous polymeric solutions made from renewable sources.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Materials and Technical Development
  • Waste and Infrastructure
  • Growth and Scaling

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

Imerys is the world leader in mineral-based specialties for industry, operating in more than 230 countries, with a global bulk logistics network More than 300 years of paper experience on technology Centers for Paperboard in the US and UK

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?


What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)


Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

Barrikote™ will have access to brandowners, converters and representatives of the end-users improving its storytelling, allowing a faster ramp-up, replicating solutions in various locations and reducing the adoption time Barrikote™Team will better assess Waste and Infrastructure standards and design an even more recoverable papercup Aware of newly available technologies from renewable source, able to combine them into a formulation

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • Closed Loop Partners website / social media
  • Consortium Partner social media
View more

Attachments (3)


Formulation service brochure

Packaging Converting Intel Advert - September 2016.pdf

Article published in Packaging and converting Magazine


Join the conversation:

Photo of Marco Seif

Hi Marc de Sailly,
It was very interesting to know about this product. I'm going to start a new paper straws manufacturing facility. How could this product to be applied on the paper straws production?

Photo of Lauren Ito

Hi Marc de Sailly ,

Great to see you filling out your submission. I did want to make sure you knew your submission is currently in draft form. Was this your intention?

Please click "publish" on your idea at the top of the page to submit your idea. The deadline is in a few hours, TODAY at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time!

Photo of Marc de Sailly

I am finalizing it now !

Photo of Lauren Ito