Story | 04/14/2023 09:59:00 | 3 min Read time

A recyclable high barrier packaging solution for foods with long shelf-life

Read how BOBST, UPM Specialty Papers and Michelman harnessed the power of co-creation

How co-creation powers your purpose

  • oneBARRIER FibreCycle is a truly ground-breaking paper-based high-barrier solution for foods with a long shelf life.
  • Recyclable in existing fibre recycling streams
  • Produced from renewable fibres

BOBST x Michelman x UPM Specialty Papers: a ground-breaking recyclable packaging solution

Conventional packaging for foods with a long shelf-life tends to comprise a variety of plastic laminates or plastic structures that are difficult to recycle. Yet with both consumers and regulations demanding ever more sustainable packaging solutions, things need to change.

That change is exactly what UPM Specialty Papers set out to deliver with partners BOBST, one of the leading suppliers of substrate processing, printing and converting machinery; and Michelman, a developer of high barrier water-based coatings for packaging applications.

Co-creating the future

By uniting their expertise from across the food packaging value network, the group set out to create a recyclable packaging solution specifically for foods with a long shelf-life.

The multi-year project brought together UPM Solide LucentTM, a dense, smooth, and strong base paper ideal for lightweight and uniform coatings; BOBST AluBond technology, an aluminium coating one-thousandth the thickness of a human hair; and Michelman’s integrated coating system for priming, barrier properties and heat sealing.

Together these solutions have proved to be a powerful combination, resulting in a transformative approach to safeguarding food long-life products such as coffee, instant soups and sauces, spices, and milk powders.

The best of all worlds

oneBARRIER FibreCycle is a truly innovative high-barrier packaging solution. Fibre-based and recyclable in existing fibre recycling streams, it offers a sustainable alternative to the multi-laminate plastic structures commonly used for long shelf-life products.


“These products are usually packaged in a variety of plastic laminates or plastic structures that are not recyclable. Our aim was to produce a recyclable, fibre-based packaging solution - and we can say ‘mission accomplished’,”
explains Janne Varvemaa, Director, Products & Technology at UPM Specialty Papers.



Sara Alexander, Marketing and Communications Manager, Flexible Packaging Industry at BOBST, agrees. “Recycling is a must for any new packaging solution coming to the market. We can be proud of having accomplished that with an elegant, light-weight solution that is ready for commercial use.”


What the world needs right now

oneBARRIER FibreCycle represents the kind of packaging the world needs right now, enabling brand owners to reduce their reliance on fossil-based or non-recyclable materials, increase their use of renewable materials, and meet their sustainability targets.


It is especially important to stay agile in the face of continually evolving legislation. By incorporating the highly versatile barrier properties provided by advanced coating technologies, we have been able to meet the performance needs and sustainability goals that are prevalent in the market,” says Thierry Van Migem, Sales Director, EMEA, Michelman.