Canadian Packaging

First commercial casting and release paper with bacteria-inhibiting technology

Sappi North America collaborates with Sharklet Technologies to create a revolutionary casting and release paper product line.


September 17, 2016
by Canadian Packaging staff

BOSTON—Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, has entered into an exclusive, worldwide license agreement with Sharklet Technologies, Inc. to manufacture and distribute casting and release paper featuring the ground-breaking Sharklet microtexture.

The new release paper is the first of its kind, creating surfaces that inhibit bacterial growth without the use of toxic additives or chemicals. The product will be the first in Sappi’s new Neoterix line and will be available to customers under the name Neoterix ST.

The patented Sharklet microtexture is biomimicry in action as it is inspired by the texture of shark skin which features a unique texture and pattern that naturally slows the growth of barnacles and algae. According to a published study in Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control, when applied to high touch surfaces, the microtexture reduced surface contamination of methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) by as much as 97 percent and 94 percent, respectively, compared to controls.

Like all of Sappi’s release papers, Neoterix ST acts as a mold for coated fabric and laminates. It is used to transfer texture and gloss onto these surfaces and is then stripped away. Sappi has developed new technology to impart the Sharklet microtexture, at micron-level fidelity, onto its release papers and manufacturers can now transfer the Sharklet micropattern and its microbial resistance properties onto new product surfaces.

“Sappi continues to innovate and find creative ways to prove the power of paper. With this new offering, we’re moving beyond the aesthetics of synthetic leathers and laminates into true functionality. Neoterix ST has the potential to make a significant impact on the risk of bacteria transfer in healthcare institutions, restaurants, hotels, offices and just about anywhere we can touch,” says Sappi North America vice-president and general manager of specialties business Tom Collins. “We’re proud to work with Sharklet Technologies to apply its patented microtexture technology on our papers in order to add an environmentally-safe, non-toxic tool in the battle against germs.”

Adds Sharklet Technologies chief executive officer Mark Spiecker, “Currently, many industries are using antimicrobial chemicals and metals to kill microbes on surfaces. There is a trend emerging to remove these toxins from healthcare and personal settings to provide healthier environments for people and patients. With Sappi as a trusted partner, we can change the dynamic in how we create cleaner surfaces.”

Sappi is ramping up production and expects Neoterix ST to be commercially available globally in early 2017. If you are interested in becoming a beta tester, contact them via e-mail at Neoterix@sappi.com.

About Sappi North America
Sappi North America, headquartered in Boston, is a market leader in converting wood fiber into superior products that customers demand worldwide. The success of its four diversified businesses—high-quality Coated Printing Papers, Specialized Cellulose, Release Papers and Specialty Packaging—is driven by strong customer relationships, best-in-class people and advantaged assets, products and services. Its high-quality coated printing papers, including McCoy, Opus, Somerset and Flo, are the key platform for premium magazines, catalogs, books and high-end print advertising. The company is a leading manufacturer of specialized cellulose used in a wide range of products, including textile fibers and household goods, and one of the world’s leading suppliers of release papers with its Ultracast and Classics lines for the automotive, fashion and engineered films industries. Specialty packaging products, such as LusterPrint and LusterCote, represent an important asset in the food packaging and labeling industries. 
Sappi North America is a subsidiary of Sappi Limited, a global company headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with more than 13,000 employees and manufacturing operations on three continents in seven countries and customers in over 100 countries around the world. Learn more about Sappi at: www.sappi.com/na.

About Sharklet Technologies
Sharklet Technologies is a biotechnology company that develops surface technologies that are designed to inhibit microorganism growth to make the world a healthier, environmentally safer, and better place. Inspired by the microbial- resistant properties of sharkskin, Sharklet, the company’s core technology, is the world’s first microtexture developed to manage bacteria, including Staph, MRSA, VRE, E. coli and a host of others. Sharklet is suited for commercial, healthcare, food service, and laboratory environments where bacterial inhibition is desired to help protect human health. The company is based in Aurora, Colorado. Learn more about Sharklet at: www.sharklet.com.

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