Biobased adhesive solves coffee cup conundrum


In Germany, family-owned chemical company Follmann, together with its Sealock subsidiary, have developed a biobased adhesive for use in disposable coffee cups. The innovation enables compostable hot-beverage to-go cups, a holy grail for eco-conscious coffee aficionados.

“The challenge was to find suitable renewable raw materials that could also be used for adhesive applications and industrial-scale adhesive production,” George Thomas, Technical R&D Manager at the Sealock Group, tells European Coatings.  “Based on intensive research and work on this topic, we finally succeeded in developing a new biobased thermoplastic adhesive that is suitable, among other things, for bonding the environmentally friendly inner coating of paper cups. This sustainable alternative replaces the previous environmentally harmful bonding of coatings.”

The adhesive uses sugarcane or corn as feedstock. The company aims to expand the technology into paper drinking straws and packaging.