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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0704

Special Shopping bags,

Special Shopping bags, that dissolve in hot water Figure 1: degradation in soil after 3 months Headquartered Singapore, Biostarch Technology Pte Ltd was registered in 2004. However the Biostarch journey began with research in 1998. The technological process to produce the Biostarch biopolymer film was registered for international patent in 2005. The manufacturing headquarter is in Beijing, China. According to a company‘s spokesman, Biostarch offers a cost-effective, EN13432 certified, OK Compost mark approved, 100% compostable biopolymer shopping bag solution and film for packaging. Biostarch products also meet the American ASTM-6400-99 Standard for Compostable Plastics and Australian AS4736-2006 Biodegradable Standard. Features The unique biodegradable and compostable nature of the Biostarch film is demonstrated by its ability to be dissolved in hot water. The rapid disintegration in a natural environment can be seen in fig. 1, showing a Biostarch bag before and after 3 months in the soil of an Australian garden. Other features include the following: • Comparable strength to conventional plastic bags • Made principally from the renewable resource corn starch • Does not contain the conventional plastic constituents such as polyethylene and polypropylene • Can be re-used (encouraged) • Ideally suited for dry goods but tolerates short term exposure to moisture. Shopping Bags For supermarkets, retail and department stores, Bio-starch Bags provide a variety of solutions: • Bio-Fresh bags on a roll, with perforation for easy separation. Ideal for fruit and vegetables. • Bio-Light, a lightweight bag for dry goods. • Bio-Mist, a lightweight bag for moist/refrigerated goods. • Bio-Multi, a heavy duty flexi loop bag for dry goods • Bio-Max, a grip hold bag ideal for retail outlets and department stores Film for Packaging and Plastic Converters Biostarch film is ideal for the packaging of dry goods and rolls are also available for plastic converters to manufacture bags to their own specifications. Biostarch film can be processed on conventional plastic bag manufacturing equipment with some adjustments. Biostarch‘s Vision Biostarch recognizes the environmental hazard caused by plastic bags and products. „We believe that government, business and environmental groups and individuals all need to work together to solve this problem,” says Dr. Jian Mao, CEO of Biostarch Technology. „Changes in patterns of behaviour are essential and the provision of certified biodegradable, 100% compostable biopolymer alternatives is mandatory,” he adds. Biostarch is excited to be able to be a part of the solution by offering a cost effective alternative to plastic bags and packaging and a more environmentally responsible alternative to paper bags. Together we can make a difference. www.biostarch.com 18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

Special Paperflex-Bio; paper plus bioplastic film Zipper-Bio bag World‘s first biodegradable zipper bag Forapack, an Italian flexible packaging films converter from Poggiofiorito, has expanded its product range of ready-made bags and pouches with a new series for food producers and retailers. The three product lines follow the approved design and application but are made completely of biodegradable and compostable material. The Bagflex-F-Bio line consists of bags and pouches made from a single web of bioplastic film, such as PLA, Materbi, Naturflex and the like. These bags are hot-wire sealed, and can be custom-printed and micro-perforated. The Bagflex-HS-Bio series of bags and pouches is made from a laminate composed of Kraft paper and a bioplastic film. They come in a wide range of options, e.g. with or without die-punched handle or custom-printed. The Kraft paper is available in white or havana colour. The bioplastic film can be PLA, Materbi or Natureflex, depending on the application. Organic adhesives are used between the two layers to allow for 100% biodegradability. In this respect, Forapack also carries out flexo printing in up to eight colours with water-based inks. As required the central film is produced opaque or transparent to show the contents. The Paperflex-Bio series of bags and pouches consists of a laminate of paper plus a bioplastic film, with or without a central „window“. In comparison with the abovementioned products Paperflex-Bio is produced in reels for automatic packaging machine applications. The Zipper-Bio bags are made of paper laminate plus biodegradable compostable plastic laminates. Its unique feature is the world‘s first re-closable zippers made of biodegradable plastic (a Forapack exclusive speciality), making the contents watertight and airtight. The applica- tion of the biodegradable zipper to a bag or pouch made of biodegradable compostable laminate is a Forapack patent. One of the latest developments is a PLA film with enhanced oxygen barrier properties to protect the contents from oxidation. It was developed in collaboration with an Italian barrier film producer. Barrier enhancement is obtained by applying a very thin layer of a special, highly transparent and food-grade lacquer onto the film surface. The barrier film is converted as a single web (Bagflex-F-Bio) or alternatively Forapack laminates it to paper (Bagflex-HS-Bio and Paperflex-Bio) resulting in a biodegradable laminate that ensures better protection for the product, and offers a longer shelf life. All mentioned products are being tested by independent laboratories and the results will show full comparability with the properties of fossil oil based plastic films, including conformity to food contact regulations, machineability, transparency, natural permeability, long shelflife and antifog properties. Beside ensuring the necessary hygiene and food protection, Forapack promises that the new packaging solutions to be a valid marketing tool and offer distributors, food producers and final consumers a number of additional features that rarely come with other packaging solutions. www.forapack.it bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 19

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