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Building Back Better

James Cropper Papers' antimicrobial technology

3rd Jun 2020
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Building Back Better  James Cropper Papers' antimicrobial technology

With hygiene front-of-mind for government, business leaders and the public alike, James Cropper’s papers with PaperGard antimicrobial technology have been tested against Feline Coronavirus - a member of the Coronaviridae - with favourable results.

Recent studies show Coronaviruses can remain viable on metal, glass, wood, textiles, plastic and paper surfaces from several hours to a number of days. Whilst the viability of Coronaviruses is not strong on paper compared to other surfaces, James Cropper's in-built anti-microbial protection significantly reduce the level of risk of cross-contamination from people’s hands.

James Cropper is expert at applying silver ion technology to paper, with antimicrobial papers having been a part of the product portfolio since 2006. PaperGard offers product protection for the lifetime of the paper, incorporating Biomaster® antimicrobial technology from the UK’s leading additive specialist, Addmaster.

The technology, when applied to paper, is known to be highly effective against pathogens such as MRSA and E-coli and following rigorous testing by an independent laboratory, its viral efficacy against Feline Coronavirus has been proven. In testing, the PaperGard protected papers were proven effective at reducing the viability of the viral strain by over 95% in only two hours.

Addmaster regulatory affairs manager Lesley Taylor explains: “Feline Coronavirus and Covid-19 are members of the Coronaviridae family of viruses which cause a broad spectrum of animal and human disease.

“This group of viruses are enveloped and rely on a protective lipid coating and are amongst the easiest types of virus to deactivate. Biomaster has yet to be tested against Covid-19 on product surfaces and currently there is not yet a suitable method validated for Covid-19, however the result clearly demonstrates the antiviral efficacy of silver ion technology against a member of the Coronaviridae family.”

Coronaviruses are relatively easy to destroy with simple disinfectants which break the delicate envelope that surrounds the tiny microbe. However, these topical sanitising products are only effective for a short period before cleaning needs to re-occur, and not always practical on paper products. The silver ion treatment in PaperGard is incorporated into the paper during manufacture; it cannot be removed with any amount of wear and tear. It becomes an integral part of the material.

Richard Bracewell, marketing and technical director at James Cropper comments, “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.”

Whilst PaperGard has been regularly used for the production of medical and healthcare documents this technology can be applied across the portfolio of paper products manufactured by James Cropper, including papers and boards for premium packaging or greetings cards that are subject to a lot of handling.

How PaperGard works:

Silver ions bind to the cell wall of the micro-organism; preventing growth

The silver ions interrupt enzyme production; stopping the microbe from producing energy

Silver ions interrupt the cell's DNA; preventing DNA replication and new cell formation

This process does not allow the micro-organisms to develop any resistance