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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0906

Laminated films, as with

Laminated films, as with multilayer compostable and certified products, were first introduced in the UK. Mater Bi was laminated onto a cellulose film, achieving a structure which offers a suitable barrier property, excellent organoleptic and very high mechanical properties in terms of toughness and tear resistance, which are needed to pack such ‘sharp‘ edged products as müsli flakes. The reverse printed external cellulose film, which has excellent visual properties, is combined with a high tenacity Mater-Bi film in order to obtain packaging which fully covers the mechanical, organoleptic and processing needs of such products. This is still one of the unique combinations on the market able to offer compostability under industrial conditions. New developments are close to being introduced, such as in the case of coffee packaging. Beside the applications described above, films dedicated to the lamination process on various substrates offering selective barrier/ transmission properties, such as a high water vapour transmission rate, have found interest amongst producers of hygiene products such as diapers, overalls etc. Specific requirements are based on a soft, noiseless and highly breathable material. Recent developments, with films blown in the range of 10µm, are laminated onto cellulose, viscose and other non-woven substrates. The main applications may be found in bed linen, mattress covers and overalls used in clean rooms. Depending on the application, these converting techniques provide a very efficient and versatile way to build specific, tailor-made, multilayer structures. Flexible Applications Flexible applications, such as organic waste bags, find their logical EOL (End of Life) option in the waste stream meant for perishable waste, such as kitchen and food waste. This application has been in use for many years and is well implemented amongst thousands of communities spread all over the world. The environmental advantage of such application has been well demonstrated. Other sectors have been identified, in which compostability offers a unique property, such as in the case of highly contaminated food packaging, where standard recycling loops cannot be used and compostability offers the solution to maximize material recovery. Examples may be found in the area of food processing streams, characterized by a high level of food waste and very short shelf life products. Furthermore compostability might offer advantageous solutions in the case of date-expired packaged food, highly contaminated kitchen waste, as in fast food restaurants, canteens and schools. It is becoming increasingly evident that compostable polymers are finding their industrial use in ‘virtuous waste systems‘, like some of those described above. Very high technical performance standards have been reached, which allow these polymers to be used in very demanding applications, in the food as well as the non-food area. The performance of these flexible applications, combined with the renewable content and its compostability, are the criteria that define the environmental benefit of such products. www.novamont.com 22 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/09] Vol. 4

Films | Flexibles | Bags Bioplastic Films from the Netherlands Responding to the increase in the demand for biodegradable and compostable films and packaging Oerlemans Plastics bv, a packaging producer from Genderen (the Netherlands), is cooperating with FKuR in Germany in order to better serve the upcoming organic market. BI-OPL is the brand name for a wide range of biodegradable and compostable products such as shoppers, bags, films and sheets. All products are certified according to EN 13432, NF AFNOR 52001 (France), OK Compost, Ecocert and OF&G (Organic Farmers & Growers, UK). All biodegradable and compostable products are based on special blends of Ecoflex (a co-polyester by BASF) and Ingeo PLA by NatureWorks. A big advantage compared to starch is that the PLA blends have a higher water resistance. This can be very important in more humid applications such as anti-weed film for horticultural use. Also this indicates the possibility of using thinner PLA based films compared to starch based films. A correct material thickness helps to create a product that will degrade more slowly or faster according to the application. BI-OPL is available in thicknesses from 12 to 120 µm. Widths can be between 10 cm and 205 cm as plain film, and folded up to 6 metres. Shoppers, bags, sheets and films Oerlemans Plastics can produce shopper bags from single BI-OPL material without a reinforcement inlay or with double folded topside so that the shoppers are 100 % made from compostable materials. Bags and sheets, based on BI-OPL materials, for many different applications can be produced according to customers‘ demands and can be printed in up to 8 colours. Films for use on shrink and wrapping machines, or for manual use, are available in many different sizes. Horticultural films The fastest growing market in food production is the organic food market. Especially for this market Oerlemans Plastics bv developed a large variety of films to help the growers of organic food. As anti-weed film the BI-OPL is already used on many different crops throughout the world. Vegetables and fruits such as pineapples, fennel, strawberry, zucchini, pickles, onions and also nursery products and cut flowers are cultivated with the help of BI-OPL. All of these films can be produced as unfolded film between 10 cm and 205 cm. A new feature is the possibility to produce pre-perforated plant holes in these films. Plant permeable films Right now Oerlemans Plastics is preparing the introduction of a type of BI-OPL film which is ‘plant permeable‘. This means that certain types of plants, like white and green asparagus, can be covered with this film and due to the properties of the film the plant can grow through it. It is expected that these new types will contribute to a better and easier way to grow vegetables and fruit for organic growers. Renewable sources The different types of raw materials used for the production of biodegradable and compostable products are partly based on renewable sources. In the future the percentage of renewable materials will increase significantly. MT www.oerlemansplastics.nl bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/09] Vol. 4 23

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