James Cropper makes self-sanitising paper


UK specialist papermaker James Cropper is poised ready to ramp up its production of antimicrobial papers to meet an anticipated rise in demand as brands look to rise to the coronavirus challenges.

PaperGard remains effective for the lifetime of the product
PaperGard remains effective for the lifetime of the product

The Cumbrian group’s PaperGard branded antimicrobial coating can be applied to a wide range of its substrates.

The coating is manufactured by UK additive specialist Addmaster. Biomaster uses silver ion technology and is 99.9% effective against MRSA and E-coli bacteria and while it is yet to be tested against Covid-19, as there is currently no validated testing method, it has been independently tested against Feline Coronavirus, where it reduced the viability of the virus by over 95% in two hours.

According to Addmaster regulatory affairs manager Lesley Taylor this “clearly demonstrates the antiviral efficacy of silver ion technology against a member of the Coronaviridae family.”

James Cropper has produced antimicrobial papers since 2006, historically they have largely been used for medical and healthcare documents, recently it has also been used for paper bags.

PaperGard retains its antimicrobial effectiveness for the lifetime of the product as it is incorporated during manufacture, and therefore can’t be removed through wear and tear.

It’s suitable for all print processes, however James Cropper said that where heavy ink coverage is required, such as complete overprinting or varnishing, which may cause a physical barrier, it can advise on suitable ink or varnishing additives.

James Cropper marketing and technical director Richard Bracewell said: “This innovation addresses demand for cleaner surfaces. PaperGard allows paper products exposed to high touch volumes to in effect ‘self-sanitise’, without affecting the appearance or performance of the paper itself.

“The silver ions present within the paper continually work to prevent the growth of the micro-organisms, effectively reducing contamination levels on the surface.”

PaperGard is typically available in minimum quantities of three tonnes, although this varies by paper machine and pricing is dictated by application and the make-up of the paper being produced.

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