vor 7 Jahren

06 | 2010

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Films | Flexibles | Bags

Films | Flexibles | Bags New Developments in PLA Packaging Films Companies manufacturing and using packaging materials are often accused of being responsible for most landfill waste production. On one hand this is correct, as a considerable share of packaging ends up into landfills around the globe, but those who point their fingers at this industry should also look deeper and try and understand why most packaging ends up in a landfill instead of being recovered and recycled. In addition to that, we must take into consideration the improvements in our life which have only been achieved thanks to packaging. Extensive studies have demonstrated that packaging is actually helping to reduce the impact of our lifestyle on the environment. Product protection from contamination and physical damage, optimization of storage and transport, extended shelf life of perishable products, just to mention a few, have all been achieved thanks to appropriate packaging solutions. This allows for food and many other products to be preserved and made available to a large number of consumers at affordable costs. Take eggs as a basic example: how could we efficiently load and optimize the transport costs of thousands of unpacked eggs without braking most of them? Removing packaging from the supply chain is not the optimum solution if we want to reduce the environmental impact of our lifestyle: we must look for alternative routes. The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle principle is a good start, but still not enough. It needs to be supported by other ideas. In packaging terms, sustainability means not only following the RRR principle, but also looking for renewable sources of raw materials, renewable energy, diversion from landfill, lower carbon footprint, less dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. Taghleef Industries, the worldwide leader in bi-oriented polypropylene films, believes in responsible packaging and considers this as part of its DNA. The role of a marked leader includes also the responsibility to drive the industry towards innovation, and the recent decision to start its own BoPLA film production clearly demonstrates Ti’ leadership attitude within the packaging industry, as well as its commitment towards those partners who, like Ti, invest and believe in sustainable packaging. The new range of BoPLA films, manufactured at the Ti plant in Italy using Ingeo polymers from NatureWorks and marketed under the brand NATIVIA , includes transparent and metalized heat sealable films, from 20 to 40 µm, for a number of applications ranging from flexible packaging for fresh produce, bakery, confectionery, snacks, hygiene, health & beauty care to lidding films, labels, stationery. But like for BOPP, Ti’s ambition is to become a market leader in PLA films. Even though the production has started just a few weeks back and the short-term focus is still on promoting and developing the market of standard BoPLA films as alternatives to the traditional oil-based substrates, Ti is already looking ahead, investing its knowhow and technology to enhance the performance of PLA films and to adapt them to more demanding market requirements and to new applications. Ongoing projects are including noise and brittleness reduction on existing films, thinner films (as low as 15 µm), barrier films, peelable films, shrink films and many other developments. Because innovation the key to sustainability, also in flexible packaging films. 24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/10] Vol. 5

Films | Flexibles | Bags How to Produce BOPLA Films Biaxially oriented PLA films have certain properties which are advantageous for specific packaging requirements. Their excellent optics combined with high stiffness make BOPLA an attractive cover for food. Resistance against oil, fat and alcohol and a low water vapor barrier are beneficial for a variety of ‘challenging’ foodstuff. Low sealing temperatures, high sealing strength, good printability and excellent twistability provide a wide range of applications too. Stretching lines for biodegradable film need a special design At Brückner, Siegsdorf, Germany, research and development with PLA was first performed over 10 years ago - at a time, when the raw material was still new and unexplored. The concepts for new film stretching lines or the modification of existing lines offered today are based on comprehensive PLA tests at the company’s technology center. Experiences from these trials lead to • Special raw material handling systems for the hygroscopic material PLA • A specially adapted extruder screw design for PLA ensuring gentle plastification. An option could be to change the whole extrusion system to a twin screw design which processes the melt more gently and already includes the moisture extraction system. • Adaption of all melt leading components ensuring gentle handling of the acidic PLA • Electrostatic pinning system • Machine and transverse direction orientation adapted to specific stretch ratio and stretch temperatures of PLA • Special trimming and edge trim recycling • Units for film surface treatment adapted to the material • Winding and tension control optimized for BOPLA’s high modulus • Complementary state-of-the-art process control system Successfully modified BOPLA line at Taghleef Industries Taghleef Industries, a worldwide leading BOPP producer, and Brückner teamed up in order to modify one of Taghleef’s existing lines in Italy to produce BOPLA. The raw material supplier NatureWorks LLC was included in the process of finding the right layout and parameters. Extensive tests on Brückner’s laboratory line have confirmed the layout data in a parallel process. The start-up of the new line took place in August 2010, since then the new ‘NATIVIA’ films have been produced successfully for multiple applications such as bakery, confectionery, fresh produce, snacks, dairy, lidding or labeling and stationery in the non-food sector. Main reasons for BOPLA film’s bright future • Consumption decisions based on sustainability and renewability have become a characteristic behavior for an increasing number of consumers • There will be more and more BOPLA applications • The growing demand for BOPLA packaging material is triggered by the food industry, which is looking for the suitable packaging of their healthy nutrition • Today, the supply of BOPLA resin is safe • A strong interaction between resin manufacturers, film or other plastic goods producers, machine suppliers, the big food companies and the retail chains bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/10] Vol. 5 25

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