One by one modified paper packaging materials that were prohibited from joining conventional paper recycling and recovery programs are being altered to make them acceptable to repulping operations that recover paper fibers. Early last year Weyerhaeuser Co. (Tacoma WA) announced that its RecyclaWax coated corrugated liner was proven repulpable in most paper recovery processes. Now Mead Coated Board System (Atlanta GA) has revealed that a new formulation for its wet-strength Carrier Kote® paperboard will permit that paper to be repulped with systems in place for old corrugated containers (OCC). Mead has been awarded a "composition and method" patent PW is told. At last October's InterBev show in Atlanta Bob Dover Mead Packaging's director of environmental technology told Packaging World that the company's two paper machines at its Mahrta AL paper mill will be converted to dedicated production of the Carrier Kote with the new formula by mid-1995. The development stems from the use of a new wet-strength resin at Mead's Chillicothe OH laboratory. It dissipates in a pulp slurry at temperatures as low as 110°F. Historically paperboard used for beverage multipacks like 12- and 24-count wraps for bottles and cans employed a resin additive that resisted the effects of moisture and humidity on the strength of the paper. This wet-strength additive would separate from the paper fibers in a pulp slurry but only at temperatures above 170°F. And Dover admits not many repulping operations were designed for temperatures that high. Consequently most paper and paperboard recycling programs specifically prohibited the inclusion of beverage overwraps just as they refuse to accept frozen food and dairy cartons. These packages are typically paper that is coated with polyethylene film or resin that delivers the same moisture resistance to the package. How important will Mead's development be to paper recovery? In terms of percentage of waste paper all wet-strength beverage overwraps account for only 1 to 2% of total discards. So even if Mead licenses all other beverage wrap producers to adopt the new formula the total volume affected won't be huge. But it's volume that simply could not be recovered at all in the past.