Melodea, Ltd. has introduced MelOx NGen, a barrier product engineered to allow plastic food packaging recyclability. In addition to its eco profile, the new barrier maintains food freshness and reduces plastic waste. 

MelOx NGen is a water-based, plant-sourced coating designed to line the inside surface of numerous forms of plastic food packaging such as films, pouches, bags, lidding and blister packs used to house consumer packaged goods (CPG) products and is being rolled out to the global plastic industry. Approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) as compatible with food contact, the coating helps protect and extend the shelf-life of foods such as snacks, confectionary, nutrition bars, meats and dairy products and pharmaceuticals. 

Melox NGen is a new iteration of Melodea’s bio-based and renewable material MelOx for paper packaging but designed for use on plastic. Used to line packaging as a transparent layer, the company says it offers a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to petroleum-based Ethyl Vinyl Alcohol copolymers (EVOH) which are currently used in packaging for its food preservation properties as well as metalized polyethylene terephthalate (met-PET) plastic materials used to produce lids.  

According to Melodea, MelOx NGen could help expand the scope of plastic food packaging eligible for recycling. It can align with government regulations aimed at reducing the utilization of single-use plastics.

As a part of a long-term strategy for reducing plastic consumption and waste, the EU has implemented the Plastic Waste Directive. This directive sets targets for the recycling and reuse of plastic packaging waste. It established a minimum recycling target of 50% for plastic packaging by 2025, increasing to 55% by 2030. Moreover, in 2021 the EU approved a tax of €800 per ton of non-recycled plastic containers and packaging produced in member states’ markets. The tax aims to incentivize the adoption of recycling practices and discourage the use of non-recyclable materials.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been a global surge in demand for EVOH, resulting in a significant price spike. These prices climbed from $5.5 per kg. in 2019 to anywhere between $11 and $14 per kilo at the end of 2022 and are expected to rise further. This surge has prompted food packagers to seek alternative solutions and channels.

The product has been selected as a finalist in the prestigious Sustainability Awards 2023 within the sustainability in packaging category, organized by Packaging Europe.