Canadian Manufacturing

Cascades’ recyclable alternative to polycoated packaging

by Dan Ilika, Assistant Editor   

Cleantech Canada
Sustainability Food & Beverage FDA food safety FSC packaging polycoated cardboard recycled material

All new Respak food packaging fully recyclable, grease-, oil- and water-resistant

KINGSEY FALLS, Que.—Cascades Inc. has launched a revolutionary new food barrier that addresses the environmental concerns surrounding polycoated packaging while complying with stringent food safety standards.

Quebec-based Cascades said its new Respak food packaging is fully recyclable and compostable, made of 50 per cent recycled fibres—including a minimum 35 per cent post-consumer content—and is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) while meeting food safety standards set out by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“The development of Respak goes hand in hand with the company’s values of respect for the environment and innovation that have made Cascades a leader in eco-friendly packaging for 50 years,” Norampac president and CEO Marc-André Dépin said in a statement.

“As the designers and producers of Respak, we are very pleased to be the first to offer the packaging and food industries, as well as consumers, a green alternative that will significantly reduce the impact of food consumption on waste.”


Norampac is a member of the Cascades group of companies.

Well known for its spill resistance, polycoated packaging is widely used around the world in the food service and manufacturing sectors.

Every minute, Cascades claims, as much as two tonnes a minute of polycoated cardboard is used globally.

That’s enough of the non-recyclable product to wrap the Empire State Building 72 times a day.

Fully recyclable, Respak offers an alternative to polycoated packaging while offering a unique, water-based coating without flourochemicals that repels water, oil and grease much like traditional polycoated cardboard.

What’s more, Cascades said the product’s environmental impact is 50 per cent less than that of most polycoated cardboards currently in use based on a preliminary life cycle assessment.

Product test

Using sample pieces sent to the office, I decided to put Respak to the test, experimenting with oil, grease and water to see if the new product lived up to the hype.

Respak stood up to 30 seconds under running cold water—the water simply beaded up on the surface and ran off, never soaking through—and large grease and oil spots that were splattered on the surface.

Even after 15 minutes the liquids never soaked through the material, with the water-covered area completely dry to the touch.

While the experiment was less than scientific, it’s clear that Respak stands up to the resistance claims made by Cascades.


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