(p. B5) Before being elbowed aside by plastic after World War II, paper was the dominant packaging material for many consumer-goods products.
. . .
But paper comes with major drawbacks. It doesn’t have the protective properties that keep food fresh, making it unsuitable to replace some of the hardest-to-recycle plastics used for chip packets, baby-food pouches and produce bags.
“Plastics are highly functional. They’re water-resistant, grease-resistant, easy to seal,” said Patrick Lindner, chief innovation officer at WestRock Co. WRK +2.31% , a paper-packaging maker based in Atlanta. “Getting paper to behave like plastic is a tremendous technological challenge.”
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(Note: the online version of the story has the date October 6, 2020, and has the title “Consumer Brands Seek Ways to Make Paper Mimic Plastic.”)