Founded in 2010 by researchers at the Hebrew University in Israel, Melodea offers bio-based solutions that provide industries with different tools to improve performance, while focusing on sustainability. The company develops innovative products for paints, coatings, barriers for the packaging industry, and other applications. Recently, the Green-tech company has spearheaded a new kind of sustainable packaging method that can be scaled on a commercial level.
MelOx, a high-performing plan-based sourced barrier protects packaged items from oxygen and oil, and Melodea VBcoat, which protects goods from water vapor and grease transmission. Unlike existing materials in the packaging industry, Melodea sources its two novel coating materials from wood pulp. This innovative green solution helps steer paper and packaging producers toward more socially responsible packaging routes and enables them to meet sustainability goals more quickly. The coatings are fully recyclable, environmentally-friendly, and do not contribute to plastic waste pollution.
Shaul Lapidot, CEO and co-founder of Melodea, explained that cellulose is the primary building block of the cell walls of all plants, and is the most abundant biopolymer on the planet. It provides plants with extraordinary strength and is a ‘lightweight yet strong material’. He added, “We found that this bounteous and renewable material can be utilized to produce novel, eco-friendly packaging alternatives for the packaging industry.”
The company applies patented technology to extract cellulose nanocrystals from wood pulp sourced from trees grown in industrial forests. The sustainable barrier coatings are uniquely designed to offer protection from oxygen, oil, water vapor, and grease transmission. The coatings help maintain the quality and integrity of the packaged foods inside while also eliminating the need for aluminum and plastic. As a forestry by-product, it also is recyclable, completely non-toxic, and compostable in nature. Once done with the packaging, it can be simply thrown into a recycling bin.
“Consumers are imposing more strident demands when it comes to the welfare of the planet, and this increasingly resonates in their purchasing behaviour,” adds Lapidot. “Concurrently, the supply chain is ‘greening’ up its act, especially in light of legislative measures curbing plastic use. The Melodea barrier coating helps the packaging industry make a smoother shift from petroleum-based plastics to plant-based materials, without compromising safety or performance”, he further added.