Paper bottles could be on the way thanks to Aussie graphene producer Talga
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Graphene junior Talga Resources has done a deal with a Swedish packaging heavyweight to explore the possibility of using its graphene in packaging — potentially including paper bottles.
Graphene — a single layer of carbon atoms made from graphite — has been called a “wonder material” because of its potential to improve all kinds of products including electronics, robots, aircraft and even wallpaper that can generate electricity.
It can also be used to coat paper and cardboard to stop gas and liquid from escaping and make it stronger. And it has an antibacterial effect so it can be used in food packaging.
Perth-based Talga Resources (ASX:TLG) has signed a deal with Nasdaq-listed BillerudKorsnäs which wants to use its graphene to make stronger packaging products.
That could even include paper bottles — though the details of the agreement are confidential.
“BillerudKorsnäs are behind a project called the Paper Bottle project, which is a world first attempt to get a paper package that can hold carbonated drinks, which hasn’t been done before,” Talga boss Mark Thompson told Stockhead.
“That obviously needs special aspects of strength and keeping the material inside the paper. So you need very good barrier coatings and graphene can play a role in things like that.”
The global packaging market is worth about $350 billion and growing steadily thanks partly to demand from online retailers.
BillerudKorsnäs has a turnover of roughly $3.3 billion.
“It’s a big volume industry,” Talga boss Mark Thompson told Stockhead.
“We see a lot of potential for graphene to be involved in packaging. It had some pretty profound effects in the barrier performance of things like coating.”
BillerudKorsnäs’s chief technology officer Magnus Wikström said: “Talga’s advanced solutions fit very well with BillerudKorsnäs’ vision of challenging conventional packaging for a sustainable future.”
Talga shares moved up 1 per cent to 47.5c on Thursday morning.
Graphene can also be used in “smart” packaging, which uses passive or active printed sensors and tracking tags inside the ink itself.
Archer Exploration (ASX:AXE) recently proved that it can make a graphene-based ink that can be used to draw computer circuits on flexible films.
Graphene also helps packaging break down faster, making it more environmentally friendly.
BillerudKorsnäs provides sustainable paper and board packaging materials to help combat the issues of food waste, food security, littering and complex packaging.
The company is the largest packaging company in Sweden and one of the largest in the world. It has customers in some 100 countries – German multinational engineering and electronics major Bosch is one of those customers.
BillerudKorsnäs has eight production units in Sweden, Finland and the UK and about 4300 employees in over 13 countries.