Global interest in Biomelt

Source: press release, 27 November 2019

Kiilto’s Customer Service Manager, Lauri Mäkinen, and Product Development Manager, Maija Kulla-Pelonen
Kiilto’s Customer Service Manager, Lauri Mäkinen, and Product Development Manager, Maija Kulla-Pelonen (photo: Kiilto)

Environmentally friendly Biomelt, which was developed by Kiilto, has attracted plenty of attention. This biodegradable hot melt adhesive is suitable for takeaway food packaging and hygiene industry products, such as lamination for various non-woven fabrics.

Kiilto launched its Kiilto glue, developed from biobased materials, in January 2019. The glue was launched in Finland, but word about this revolutionary product spread quickly around the world.

“We’ve had contacts from all of the Nordic countries, Great Britain, Southern Europe, Russia, India, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the United States etc.,” says Kiilto’s Customer Service Manager, Lauri Mäkinen.

He says that there was a gap in the market for a product like Biomelt. “Kiilto wants to focus on corporate responsibility and environmental choices. Judging by the feedback, it seems that our customers share this aim.”

Kiilto’s Product Development Manager, Maija Kulla-Pelonen, explains that Biomelt is a lactic-acid-based, hot-melt adhesive made of biodegradable raw materials.

“Plants give us starch, starch gives us sugar, sugar gives us lactic acids, and lactic acids are used to polymerise the glue,” she explains.

Biomelt’s number one property is that it’s biodegradable. “Biomelt composts in industrial conditions, in line with ISO standards, at a certain temperature and humidity.”

The innovation is perfectly in line with Kiilto’s environmental commitment. Kiilto has promised to double its use of renewable raw materials by 2022.

Biodegradable glue is ideal for various takeaway packaging, such as the paper bags into which food is packaged at small points of sale.

“With takeaway products, there is always the risk that the packaging will be discarded in the natural environment. On the other hand, packaging like this often has traces of fat or food, making it more difficult to recycle. This makes composting a good alternative,” says Kulla-Pelonen.

“A biodegradable glue can be a good choice for packaging in markets where no proper recycling exists,” says Mäkinen.

Biomelt has many applications in hygiene products, for example. “Compostable hygiene products are already on the market, but none of them use a biodegradable glue yet. Biodegradable glue would make the entire product compostable,” says Kulla-Pelonen.

As a component of biobased plastics, biomelt has also been tested for additional properties, such as better printability and heat-sealability. In addition, it has been tested on laminate structures, to improve adhesiveness between the structures.

“In future, we will try to develop an application for the needs of the tape and sticker industry.”

Lauri Mäkinen says that interest in Biomelt has already led to actual projects. “The biggest current project concerns hygiene products, but for reasons of confidentiality, I cannot say more.”

“Biomelt is currently under pilot production only. The time has now come to consider whether we will invest in equipment enabling larger-scale production,” says Mäkinen.