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Application News

Application News Compostable chocolate wrapper An Italian consortium, of organic producers and farmers, has chosen compostable NatureFlex from Innovia Films to wrap its range of Fair Trade chocolate. Alce Nero, part of Alce Nero Mielizia SpA, and its members share a common ethos for regionality, innovation and the environment. The choice to farm organically has characterised the organisation since its inception in 1978. Today the company represents farmers, beekeepers and Fair Trade producers, all members of the company. Real organic food from around the world, not just Italy, is promoted by Alce Nero. “We decided to move from standard plastic to a biodegradable and compostable alternative to wrap our chocolate bars. Metallised NatureFlex from Innovia Films was a perfect fit for us due not only to its environmental attributes but also its excellent barrier properties to keep our organic Fair Trade chocolate in premium condition,” explained Nicoletta Maffini, Marketing Manager, Alce Nero. The consortium’s chocolate bars are made with cocoa from plants grown in Costa Rica, in the heart of Central America, by the partner COOP Sin Fronteras, a network of small Fair Trade producers. The cocoa pods are harvested, the beans are roasted and the exceptional skill of a long established Swiss maison chocolatier, Chocolate Stella of Chocolate Bernrain Group, subsequently transforms them into delicious products. NatureFlex was an obvious solution for use in this application as the film begins life as a natural product – wood - and breaks down at the end of its lifecycle in a home compost bin (or industrial compost environment) within a matter of weeks. It is also confirmed as suitable for emerging ‘waste to energy’ techniques such as anaerobic digestion. “Our metallised NatureFlex film is used to good effect here by Alce Nero as it fits in with their brand image, protects the product and is compostable,” said Giorgio Berton, TS&D Specialist, Innovia Films. The Alce Nero chocolate bars are wrapped in compostable metallised NatureFlex from Innovia Films. Skin-touch screw caps In response to growing demands from consumers, cosmetic products are increasingly based on natural products, even sometimes on organic ingredients and additives. Due to this evolution, more and more cosmetic companies are looking for the right packaging, more ecofriendly and made from renewable resources instead of finite fossil resources. Well known as cosmetic and pharmaceutical supplier, RUBA Thermoplast AG (Zuzgen-Switzerland) has recently announced that it has developed a bio-based version of its wide range of screw caps dedicated to face and body care tubes. Ruba has a large knowledge of plastic molding injection as well as mold design and construction. Since more than 50 years, Ruba’s main activity is the production of cosmetic and pharmaceutical screw caps. The company offers a versatile range of caps for tube diameters from 16 to 50 mm. With this new range of bio-based screw caps, Ruba brings innovation to its customers. The company has chosen a Gaïalene ® grade delivered by Roquette. This resin presents the advantage of being produced in Western Europe from a local and non-GMO plant-based resource. ”This resin is well designed for our needs. It allows getting nice caps for a full range of forms, colors and finishing. Moreover, our bio-based caps have a reduced carbon footprint and can be produced at an attractive price. A Swedish company has already selected our biobased caps because of their very interesting skin touch valuable on markets.” comments Serge Blauel, Ruba’s Deputy Director. These new tube caps have successfully passed qualification tests. They are ready for production and delivery in several references for sustainable and ecofriendly packaging. The bio-based range is available in different versions with various finishes like all Ruba screw caps. These top quality bio-based screw caps underlines Ruba’s commitment to reduce environmental footprint and to bring innovative solutions for cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. 42 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/13] Vol. 8

Application News Edible lamp Transparent bio-film Plastiroll, from Ylöjärvi, Finland, one of the leading European producers of biodegradable films and bio waste bags has developed biodegradable, transparent packaging film, which extends the shelf life of fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables. The New York based designer Victor Vetterlein recently introduced an edible and biodegradable plastic LED desk lamp called BITE ME. When the lamp is no longer useful or desired, the lighting strip is removed and the lamp may be eaten or thrown onto the garden compost heap. The design is inspired by a book by E.S. Stevens, a Professor of Chemistry at the State University of New York, called “Green Plastics-An Introduction to the New Science of Biodegradable Plastics”. The Bite Me lamp is made from bio-plastic that consists of: agar-a vegetable based gelatin made from sea algae, vegetable glycerin, purified water, food coloring, and natural flavoring. The lamp is available in four organic extract flavors: orange, cherry, blueberry, and apple. Bite Me comes with a LED lighting adhesive strip where the electrical power to the LED circuit board is provided through two laser cut sheet metal strips in the form of script that are placed between two clear plastic sheets. The lamp is sold with two electric cords, one that connects to the low voltage power converter and another that plugs into a computer. At the end of the life of the Bite Me lamp the bio-plastic parts are consumed or composted. The lighting strip easily peels away from the lamp frame for re-use. After cleaning the frame with organic soap and water, the lamp must be submerged in purified water for one hour to soften before eating. Alternately, the lamp may be placed directly into the garden as compost. Agar is low in sodium and very low in saturated fat as well as cholesterol. It is also a good source of vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), vitamin K, pantothenic acid, zinc and copper, and a very good source of folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese. MT Following two years of research and development work, Plastiroll is introducing a new transparent packaging film ‘Transparent Future 506’ that is an ideal packaging solution for fresh produce such as fruit and vegetables. The film is coextruded from combination of corn starch based materials which results in a film which forms a breathable membrane that is biodegradable (EN 13432) and GMOfree with good strength properties. ”Our new bio-film is an ecological alternative to conventional plastic films with the same physical properties. There is a demand for packaging materials with good green credentials as long as they perform as well as or better than conventional films,” points out Jani Avellan, Product Development Manager at Plastiroll. ”For our customers this is a solution that offers significant cost savings through longer shelf life, less waste and lower disposal costs.” As the bio-film is biodegradable it can be easily disposed of along with the food waste. Optimum balance for fresh produce The packaging film is sealable and can be used on its own or as part of a carton box or tray. Depending on customer requirements it can be supplied in different thickness and roll width for use in most types of packaging machinery. The performance has been rigorously tested with customers in Europe who have reported significantly increased shelf-life extensions of fresh produce. This is because the packaging film helps create an optimum balance between humidity control and oxygen and carbon dioxide permeability which, in turn, contributes to slowing product degradation. Also, due to the fact that sealing temperature of bio-films is lower than of conventional plastic films, less energy and lower temperatures are needed during the bio-film packaging process. The company’s development of multilayer materials based on sandwiches of biomaterials with different properties that can be tailored to customer requirements are key to the new clear packaging product. By combining the right mixtures it is possible to create stronger products with a better tolerance of grease, water vapour and gases. The introduction of the transparent bio-film follows the company’s significant investment in production capacity for biodegradable films in 2010 that doubled the company’s production capacity and supported an increased range of products. bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/13] Vol. 8 43

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