Open-Sourcing the Recipe
After 9 months of deep collaboration and R&D to create a solution that reduces the need for single-use plastics, Zume and Solenis are open-sourcing the recipe and manufacturing process so that all packaging manufacturers can adopt the technique and speed up the removal of harmful chemicals. This marks an important milestone for the industry, as two major companies unveil the complex process of creating a molded fiber packaging solution that ensures food grease and water-resistance, without the need for PFAS or harmful chemicals.
Let’s Put Forever Chemicals to
Rest … Forever
"Open-sourcing our PFA-free solution creates a path for brands across the world to remove plastics and harmful chemicals from their consumer packaging and single-use goods. Brands have made pledges to remove PFAS and this new launch will enable them to deliver on their promises.”
- Zume CEO and Chairman Alex Garden
"Our goal is to encourage any manufacturer in the world to start using this technology as quickly as possible. Through this joint initiative with Zume, global brands can meet their commitments to eliminate the use of PFAS faster than ever before.”
- Solenis CEO John Panichella
The Science Behind the Recipe
Take an in-depth look at the science behind Zume and Solenis’ PFAS-free packaging solution that was 9-months in the making.
Zume-Solenis Open Source FAQ:
What's the story?
After 9 months of deep collaboration and R&D to create a solution that reduces the need for single-use plastics, Zume and Solenis are partnering to remove forever chemicals from food packaging, forever. The companies have cracked the code on one of the most contentious issues in packaging: PFAS ~ the 'forever chemicals' that are one of the most toxic substances ever identified.
Zume is also announcing it will no longer manufacture any products that contain PFAS from its California packaging facility effective immediately and the company is collaborating with its global partners to ensure that all production globally is PFA-free by the end of 2021.
Why is this being Open-Sourced?
What is Zume's role?
Zume and Solenis are open-sourcing the recipe and manufacturing process so that all packaging manufacturers can adopt the technique and speed up the removal of harmful chemicals. This marks an important milestone for the industry, as two major companies unveil the complex process of creating a molded fiber packaging solution that ensures food grease and water-resistance, without the need for PFAS or harmful chemicals.
PFAS and polyfluoroalkyl substances, largely known as forever chemicals, are used to coat paper and cardboard containers for fast food and to-go boxes and have been linked to potentially harmful health effects, including decreased fertility, weakened immune system response and increased risk for certain cancers, according to the CDC. The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that these substances will not be allowed in the manufacturing of food contact packaging after January 2024.
Zume has created the world’s most advanced molded fiber technology and manufacturing equipment to develop economically viable substitutes to single-use plastics at scale.
What is Solenis's role?
Solenis has created Contour: the first chemical that eliminates PFAS in the production of molded fiber food containers while meeting specific end-use performance requirements (high temperatures, grease resistance)
How did they achieve this with chemistry and technology?
The Zume and Solenis joint team of scientists identified five key parameters thermoforming, freeness, chemistry management, charge management and part formation for achieving oil and grease resistance with chemistry that eliminated PFAS and achieved two hours of oil holdout with 60°C oil across the following products:
Plates, Bowls, Trays, Clamshells.
It is biodegradable and meets the ASTM D6400 standard and specifications required to be compostable.
What does this mean for the food and packaging industry?
Available today, Zume and Solenis can provide packaging manufacturers, partners, distributors and food brands with the sustainable chemistry and technology stack needed to start producing and adopting sustainable packaging solutions at scale.
If PFA chemicals end up in compost, they persist, potentially ending up in soil, water, or in other food grown with the compost. And PFAS compounds—which have been linked to health problems including cancer, thyroid disease, and low birth weight—also likely leach into food. (report)
The average American generates ~287 lbs. of plastic waste per year (Statista)
By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean (UN)
Plastic pollution costs $13 billion in economic damage annually (UN)
More than 1.3B tons of plastic will be dumped on land and in oceans by 2040 (Science)
Global research shows the flow of plastic into the ocean each year could triple by 2040* (Science)
*Cumulative amount of plastic in the ocean could reach 600M tonnes - equivalent in weight to 3M+ blue whales
Every year, 8M** metric tons of plastic end up in our oceans, equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world (PlasticPollution.org)
*Expected to double by 2025 (16M metric tons), equivalent to 10 bags full of plastic per foot of coastline
Reinventing Sustainable Solutions
Zume’s mission is to replace plastics and styrofoam solutions in the global marketplace today.
Zume offers a plant-based replacement that is certified for compostability.
Zume packaging consists of moldable fibers such as bagasse (sugarcane fiber), bamboo, wheat, straw and blends of various grass fibers.
Zume has created the world’s most advanced molded fiber manufacturing equipment and patented technology that provides global food brands across 17 countries and growing with an alternative to single-use plastic.
Zume has created 100’s of new tech solutions within a new process (flexible robotics, rapid prototyping)
Includes complex machinery for better-molded packaging (Created 3 separate compartments that don’t leak out or into each other)
Zume holds 100+ pending and issued proprietary patents and over 50 trademarks.
No specialty chemical supplier is better than Solenis at driving sustainability and operational efficiency in water-intensive industries.
Solenis has spent over 100 years helping customers conserve natural resources with industry-leading solutions.