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No Waste Technology (NoW)

A lamination technology allowing the manufacturing of muli-layer paper-based lamination both recyclable with paper and compostable

Photo of Stefano Giusti
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Idea Title

Idea Summary

This internationally patented technology, NoW, allows the lamination of any standard plastic film or bio-film to paper and/or paper board without affecting the recycling or the composting

Company / Organization Name (if applicable)

No Waste Technologies, LLC

Website (if applicable)

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


The NoW technology is a lamination technology allowing the production of paper-based multi-layer lamination in a way is still possible the recycling of the substrate through the paper recycling mainstream or the compostability of the lamination. Since it is a lamination technology and not a specific product, it give to brand owners and converters the freedom to design any possible combination of materials in order to meet: local/regional sustainable requirements, corporate sustainability goals, etc.

how it works

The NoW technology is applied under the form of a coating that prevents the bonding of any lamination adhesive to paper fibers but allowing anyway its lamination to standard plastic films or bio-based films. Once the material arrives to paper mills for recycling and as soon as it goes into recycling pulper, the coating releases completely the fibers allowing their recovery. It frees the fibers from any adhesive, ink or contaminants allowing the repulpability of 100% of the weight of paper introduced into the recycling as well as the recovery of the other portion of the lamination (i.e. plastic films, PLA's, etc.). 

application & scalability

It can be applied as a normal coating by any paper mill or converter, then, the technology is perfectly scalable and able to be implemented worldwide under licensing agreement.


It is currently validated and certified in Italy according to the standard method ATICELCA 501-17 and picked by the European Commission as one of the technologies helping the EU reaching its ambitious Plastic Strategy ( ( Furthermore, No Waste Technologies is part of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and actively working with Western Michigan University (WMU) to define a standard method for the certification of recyclable lightweight paper-based materials.

proposed design #1

As described so far, this technology gives to brands and converters the possibility to choose the best combination of materials to reach their sustainability goals as well as meeting their budgetary targets. 

With that being said, we would like to propose the best structure to show how advanced can be designed a cup able to be both recyclable and compostable to be used everywhere in the world no matter how is organized the local waste management. 

Our cup would have the following structure:

  1. External layer of 50 g/m2 white MG paper to allow custom printing
    • NoW technology for lamination - no adhesives 
  2. Intermediate layer of 120 g/m2 recycled paper board (for food contact) for structuring 
    • NoW technology for lamination - no adhesives 
  3. Intermediate layer of 120 g/m2 recycled paper board (for food contact) for structuring
    • NoW technology + compostable adhesive for lamination
  4. Internal layer of 19 my (28 g/m2) Cellophane 

The structure above, thanks to NoW technology, is both recyclable and home/industrial compostable as well as complying with the just released European Commission Directive on Single Use Plastics where - FYI - the bio-based plastics are considered just like any other common plastic.

Furthermore, since the NoW technology and the Cellophane are great barriers to mineral oils, this allows the use of recycled paperboard which reduces dramatically the demand of virgin fibers (every year in the world are used 10 millions of tons of virgin fibers just for coffee cups) improving instead the request of recycled fibers driving the industry to this more sustainable mainstream. 

The described structure has the following content:

  • 12% of virgin fiber 
  • 60% of recycled fiber 
  • 7% regenerated cellulose
  • 20 % of NoW coating 
  • 1% of compostable adhesive

With this figures, if the industry were adopting such design the total saving of virgin fiber would be approximately 7 million tons per year. 

Furthermore, the use of papers under or equal to 120 g/m2 (73% in weight of the proposed structure) is specifically designed to use paper qualities widely available worldwide in almost any paper mill and not specialized ones (such as those producing the current paperboard for coffee cup which are few big industrial groups in the world). In this way the carbon footprint would be dramatically reduced too, considering the significant reduction of the supply-chain generated from the use of raw materials that don't need to be moved.

Regarding the sourcing for the regenerated cellulose, exist productions in UK, USA, Japan, India and China.


The Voluntary Standard for Repulping and Recycling developed by the Western Michigan University is currently the only and most valid standard method for the certification of paper-based materials as recyclable in the USA. Unfortunately, on the contrary of the majority of the modern standards present in Europe, the WMU standard has been developed with a main focus on corrugated paperboard and heavyweight lamination. In particular, this specific standard requires the 85% of yield of accepted fiber (while most of EU standards require a minimum of 60% of accepted fiber or a max of 40% of waste), then, the previously proposed structure wouldn't pass this test.


In the case the pass of WMU test were mandatory for the commercialization of the cup, the structure could change as follow:

  1. External layer of 290 g/m2 bleached paperboard - for printing and structure
    • NoW technology + compostable adhesive for lamination
  2. Internal layer of 19 my (28 g/m2) Cellophane

The structure above, thanks to NoW technology, is still both recyclable and home/industrial compostable as well as complying with the marine littering.

This second structure has the following contents:

  • 85% of virgin fiber
  • 8% of regenerated cellulose
  • 6% of NoW coating 
  • 1% of compostable adhesive


This solution addresses which of the following:

  • Hot / Cold Fiber Cup

How is your concept recoverable?

The proposed structure is both recyclable and compostable with any current standard and waste management. Notwithstanding this, the NoW technology gives endless possibilities of design adopting the production to local and regional requirements if necessary or preferred by each brand owner.

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

The proposed structure uses recycled paperboard encapsulated into NoW technology and cellophane layers which prevent the migration of mineral oils. The use of a high content of recycled fibers in the first structure option (60% of total cup weight) will increase significantly the demand of recycled fibers for this industry saving approx. 7 million tons of virgin fibers.

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

The proposed solution is adoptable worldwide as it can be recycled without specific requirements and/or composted where in place both industrial composting and home composting. Furthermore, when it can't be recovered and it goes into the environment it degrades into water according to requirements of the Marine Littering. Anyway, the NoW technology allows each brand owner, paper mill or converter, to design the structure that fits the best to their goals and regional sustainable requirements.

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

The NoW technology is designed to be licensed to both paper mills and converters and allow worldwide spreading of the technology at the production level so anyone everywhere would be able to get advantage of this technology and design.

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Corporate Submission

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

The biggest challenge right now is having the technology licensed to major paper mills and current cup producers.

Mentorship Needs (please select up to 3)

  • Growth and Scaling
  • Legal

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

We are an international team based in Italy and US merging both of our skill sets. The Italian team is mainly focused on packaging design and production while the American team is mainly focused on marketing and sales.

In what city are you located?

Lake in Hills, IL - USA Viterbo, Italy

In what country are you located?

USA Italy

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

LLC's for all our entities

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

If brand owners, like those part of the challenge, will rate us as a Top Idea this will help the spreading of the technology among the current paper mills and coffee cup converters.

How did you hear about the Challenge?

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

Attachments (1)


Join the conversation:

Photo of Koldun Victor

An ordinary cardboard cup breaks down in the natural environment roughly in a year or thereabout. Approximately how the fallen leaves does, consisting of the same cellulose. In order for the new material for the production of cups to become a cost effective replacement of cardboard, it should decompose order faster, somewhere in a month, maybe two or three. This is at an average temperature of 15 degrees Celsius (according to NASA). But when we pour water near a boiling point, at a temperature of 95 degrees, into such cup , according to the rule of Svante August Arrhenius, all the chemical processes in it, including the self-decay of complex molecules, respectively, accelerate. The minimum acceleration will be somewhere 250 times, and the maximum will be about 65,000 times. That is, for a disposable cup that has been filled for at least an hour, and this is a real situation somewhere on a picnic, there is all the chances to pour out their content on the table at best , at worst, on himself or his electronic devices. Even if this cup was made a few days before that and was stored in a stock in perfect conditions.
Therefore, the question arises - how do you deal with such issue?

Photo of Stefano Giusti

I don't see how your comment would either fit to my submission or add any value to the problem and to this challenge.
With that being said, if you were reading with consciousness my application, you'd get that what I'm presenting is not a specific product but, instead, a lamination technology able to return all the materials, used into the lamination, to their original state as they were before the lamination and, then, allowing their recycling (if the single raw materials are recyclable - i.e. like paper) or their composting (again only if the single raw materials are compostable). Then, to answer to your question, I don't want to start arguing on your thesis - even if questionable - but I'll reply as simple as: exist certifications for compostability around the world (EN 13432, ASTM D6868 & D6400, etc.) and if the raw materials used together with our NoW technology meet their requirements the product will be certified as compostable.
NoW technology is providing a lamination process which doesn't affect the nature of the raw materials chosen for any specific application (i.e. a coffee cup, a coffee bag or any packaging of any nature), then, they are still completely recoverable without any particular process but through standard recycling/composting methods.
Hopefully I've clarified the sense of our technology and submission, if not, c'est la vie!
Ciao, have a good day and my greetings to Mr. Arrhenius!

Photo of Koldun Victor

"... I'm presenting is not a specific product but, instead, a lamination technology able to return all the materials, used into the lamination, to their original state"

At first, I and Mr. Arrhenius had concerns that this process could begin much earlier than necessary. For example, when pouring boiling water into a cup. Now fears began to shift into confidence...;-(

Photo of Stefano Giusti

Clearly, you didn't read my application.
The lamination technology is in the between of the materials, then, since the internal layer is necessarily a barrier film (i.e. regenerated cellulose, PLA, PE or any film or coating the brand owners/customers would like to use for their products), this will prevent the activation of our technology in separating the materials.
Please also note that this technology is currently used in many different applications in Europe and for different products (such as flexible packaging for pasta, coffee, fresh salads, etc.), then, it's well proven and established. Furthermore, we had the honor to be chosen as one of the few best practice on Circular Economy by the European Commission

I'm not proposing a new material to substitute the cardboard or the current liners, I'm providing the solution to still using them in a way they will be easily and effectively recycled and/or composted.

I'd say that both you and Mr. Arrhenius can sleep serenely

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