Moisture barrier paper is a must-have for the packaging industry. Unfortunately, polyethylene (PE) or wax coatings are the traditional means of sealing porous paper to slow the transmission of water vapor. The resulting product presents an environmental problem because it cannot be recycled through normal channels. A fully repulpable barrier material is the answer for environmentally conscious users who want to be part of the “circular economy” in their packaging choices. Cortec announced EcoShield Barrier Paper, a fully recyclable barrier paper that does not rely on plastic coatings for moisture resistance. 

EcoShield Barrier Paper Performance

EcoShield Barrier Paper demonstrates a Water Vapor Transmission Rate (WVTR) comparable to polycoated paper and much superior to waxed paper. This rate refers to the amount of water vapor able to pass through a square meter of paper in one hour. A lower number indicates that less moisture was able to get through (i.e., the paper has better barrier properties). EcoShield Barrier Paper vs. polycoated and waxed paper results are as follows, with EcoShield Barrier Paper falling within the WVTR range of polycoated paper and performing much better than waxed paper.



EcoShield® Barrier Paper

Polycoated Paper

Waxed Paper







*Example test ranges are for EcoShield Barrier Paper (45# 3msf natural kraft paper, 10# coating), a comparable polyethylene coated paper (40# 3msf paper, 6# PE coating), and commercial waxed paper.

‘Circular Economy’ in Action

In addition to its competitive barrier properties, EcoShield Barrier Paper has several environmental advantages that make it a good example of the “circular economy” in action. To begin with, EcoShield Barrier Paper is a USDA Certified Biobased Product. It contains 65% USDA certified biobased content and is a qualified product under the mandatory federal purchasing initiative of the USDA BioPreferred Program.* One of the purposes of the BioPreferred Program is to encourage the production and use of products sourced from renewable materials. Cortec demonstrates this environmental responsibility by making EcoShield Barrier Paper from paper which contains recycled fibers and carries FSC, PEFC, and SFI certificates for sustainable forestry management. EcoShield Barrier Paper passes TAPPI T 240 om-12 Repulpability Testing and can be recycled like other non-PE coated paper products at the end of its lifecycle.

Multi-Purpose Packaging

A moisture barrier is valuable in several ways. It helps keep moisture out of the package, which can be especially important for moisture sensitive components in a high humidity environment. It can help protect against oils and greases leaching out of the paper. It can help the paper maintain its physical durability in the presence of moisture within or outside the package. These barrier properties can have multiple purposes in many industries. Potential uses include but are not limited to the following:

  • Packaging moisture sensitive components 
  • Wrapping greasy items
  • Lining wooden pallets or corrugated boxes (to keep out moisture or other corrosives that can leach through)
  • Protecting work surfaces