Greener, water-resistant paper packaging

Give your customers a better experience with paper packaging that’s not only greener, but also better than other food packaging materials. Zymergen’s biomanufacturing platform identifies and provides bio-inspired solutions for fiber-based food packaging and more.


Industry trend: Food packaging is moving from plastic to more biodegradable, recyclable paper materials as global demand for sustainable solutions rises.

The problem: Paper materials need to perform better to replace the plastic filling our landfills.

Zymergen’s unique value add: Zymergen discovers and manufactures bio-based molecules to overcome performance challenges in today’s packaging industry.

Key Benefits

  • Superior packaging treatments and coatings that perform better than today’s incumbent products
    • Higher water repellency
    • Higher mechanical strength in wet conditions
  • Meets standards for biodegradability and recyclability
  • Compatible with today’s packaging conversion lines
  • Manufactured without any petrochemical raw materials
  • Potential replacement of plastics for molded-fiber products like cups, straws, food trays

Focus Application:
Paper Straws

The plastic straw is being regulated into history, leaving fast-food chains, soft drink producers, and beverage carton makers to find better alternatives. Though it seems simple, making a good paper straw is a technological challenge. They must be strong, durable, tasteless, and safe to use.

Zymergen’s bio-inspired paper treatment has superior water repellency and wet tensile strength properties compared to existing paper solutions. We are currently pursuing certifications around food safety, recyclability, biodegradability and plastic-free content. In the meantime, our product is compatible with existing manufacturing equipment and ready for your evaluationcontact us to learn more.

Imagine the future of
Packaging with us

Can we make the cardboard milk carton recyclable?

A blank milk carton

Multilayer packaginglike beverage and soup cartons—usually ends up in landfills because the inner plastic coating prevents it from being easily recycled or composted.
We are developing new materials to achieve critical barrier and structural properties to maintain freshness of packaged content while also making it easier to manufacture and, most importantly, easier to recycle.

Can we say goodbye to the paper coffee cup as we know it?

Stack of coffee cups

Today, most single-use coffee cups used by major chains are not recyclable. The polyethylene coating on the inside of the cup prevents about 3 out of 4 cups from being recycled or composted. Instead, in the U.S. alone, about 50 billion paper cups accumulate in our landfills each year*. Chains are seeking new paper cup solutions that are compostable, recyclable, and may not even need a plastic lid.


Can we develop bio-based food wrap that reduces food waste?

Apples in a clear plastic bag

Food packaging innovators seek to reduce food waste, increase shelf life, and improve food safety. We could soon replace plastic wrapping with polymers made from natural sources with better antimicrobial and biodegradability properties. Such packaging could one day incorporate bio-based sensors for monitoring real-time food quality.


Interested in the packaging of tomorrow?

Let’s talk today.