Packaging firm develops paper straw using vegetable lubricant to remove hydrocarbons

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

The EU single-use plastic ban was introduced in 2021. Credit: Getty / MesquitaFMS
The EU single-use plastic ban was introduced in 2021. Credit: Getty / MesquitaFMS

Related tags Food security Innovation

Transcend Packaging has partnered with lubricants manufacturer Klüber to develop a new paper straw free of hydrocarbons.

The straws were developed using the Klüberfood 4DC (direct contact) vegetable based technical processing aid, which enabled Transcend Packaging to remove all traces of mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) and mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) from the production process.

Klüberfood 4DC is made with 100% food grade ingredients from sustainable sources and of vegetable origin. This is in contrast to wax-based lubricants used elsewhere in the industry that often contain high-molecular synthetic polymeric chains, additives and oil.

Across the UK and Ireland, and Europe, there is no standard method used to limit the presence of MOSH and MOAH. However, there have been calls from within the industry to regulate the presence of the hydrocarbons within the manufacturing process for food and drink products and packaging, while in France new regulation prohibiting packaging that contains MOSH and MOAH is due to come into effect from 2025.

The use of Klüberfood 4DC lubricant also optimises performance and application, meaning that Transcend Packaging can reduce the amount of waste produced and also improve the sustainability of its operations.

Transcend Packaging launched its first paper straw in 2019, ahead of the EU single-use plastic (SUP) ban, and supplies straws, cups, moulded fibre lids and cartons to brands including McDonald’s, KFC and Starbucks.

Getting ahead of legislation

Each manufacturer has a responsibility to find the best available solution and maintain the safest possible manufacturing process – especially when it comes to products which are used with food and beverages​,” said Lorenzo Angelucci, chief executive of Transcend Packaging.

We know there is going to be tighter legislation focusing on consumer safety coming into force which will impact products used in the food service and FMCG industry. We can already see that happening with France’s ban on the use of mineral oils in packaging materials. We want to be proactive and give our customers the opportunity to commit to the highest possible level of safety​.”

Meanwhile, UK market sector manager for UK food and beverage at Klüber, Estelle Robinson, said that the firm focused primarily on safety during the development of its lubricants.

As the market leaders we have developed our innovative 4DC range of processing aids, which can be used in the manufacture of food packaging such as beverage cans or paper straws, protecting everything that comes into direct contact​,” Robinson added.

Food and beverages packaged for consumption out-of-home, on-the-go, or for delivery directly to consumers continues to play an integral part in the active lifestyles of many. Our innovative product developments meet both regulatory standards and commercial objectives to be more sustainable and ensure consumer safety.​”

In other news, a new study has highlighted the cost associated with switching from gas to electric baking ovens.

Related topics Food Safety Packaging & Labelling

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