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Rigid Packaging

Rigid Packaging Bio-based materials for MAP Most of the food packaging materials used nowadays are derived from non-renewable resources. The growing number of smaller families and single person households, has encouraged product manufacturers to provide a greater range of product sizes, and ready-to-eat meals, with the associated packaging wastes. A single polymer is often unable to provide requirements; thus there is a need to use specific structures based on multilayer plastic materials. Once used, such structures are becoming a challenging issue on waste management. The use of bio-based materials is a promising alternative in the packaging industry to reduce the environmental impact and the use of non-renewable resources. Multilayer materials based on cellulose can be an outstanding alternative to substitute materials currently used in MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging). In order to increase the amount of bio-based food packaging materials, the European ADCELLPACK consortium is developing a paper based packaging material for trays, to be used in sliced cheese packages. The new material will be specifically designed for Modified Atmosphere Packaging. MAP technique is widely used for the preservation of fresh foods because it offers increased shelf life of the product. In this packaging technic atmospheric air inside of the package is replaced with an specific gas mixture adapted for each food. Common MAP packaging structures are based on non-renewable multilayer materials which are difficult to recycle. The concept Adcellpack’s new solution will provide a readily thermoformable tray mainly composed of cellulose (up to 90% in weight), with improved properties using modified pulp fine fraction. For a porous, hygroscopic medium such as paper an additional barrier layer is needed. As a solution for this requirement, blends based on polylactic acid (PLA) will be used. PLA lacks of the barrier to oxygen and water needed for modified atmosphere packaging. Therefore, to decrease costs and increase properties, blends with another polyester will be considered to produce a coating layer for the cellulose and a lid for the tray. Objectives The main objective of the project is to provide a whole sustainable solution that will maintain the freshness of the product and assure its food contact safety. It will provide actual or improved shelf life by using cellulosic materials and biodegradable/compostable polymers. Finally, the project aims at simplifying production processes, evaluating developed packaging materials through EN 13432, and its possibilities to be applied in other food products nowadays packaged using MAP. European initiative Adcellpack is a two-year-long project, which started at the beginning of November 2012. The budget of the project is €1.4 Million. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme. The consortium is based on a group of 4 SMEs - Distribuciones Juan Luna (Spain), Papelera de Brandia, S.A. (Spain), Elastopoli Oy (Finland), Skymark Packaging International Limited, S.L.U. (UK) - a large enterprise – Carrefour España (Spain), – and 2 relevant Research Centers: VTT Technical Research Centre (Finland) and ITENE Packaging, Transport and Logistics Research Center (Spain), who is the coordinator of this initiative. All of them with expertise in paper production, bioplastics processing, packaging materials converting and cheese production. 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/13] Vol. 8

Rigid Packaging Thermoformed On-The Go Boxes Fabri-Kal, is a family-owned eco and performance packaging leader for more than 60 years and one of the largest thermoformers in North America located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. The company was one of the first thermoformers in the U.S. to launch lines of Ingeo - based cups. Greenware ® cold drink cups were launched in 2005 and have won market recognition over the past several years. In January 2013, Fabri-Kal introduced Greenware On-The Go Ingeo-PLA based Boxes that provide foodservice operators with an innovative solution to attractively present food for grab-and-go consumption and increased consumer appeal. The containers offer the flexibility to display an assortment of creative food combinations such as fresh fruit and dip, hummus and crackers, and sandwiches and salads. Greenware On-The-Go Boxes are crystal clear, compact and available in 2-, 3-, and 4-compartment designs that are shrink-band compatible for tamper evident applications with one flat lid that fits all three containers. Crystal-clear, durable, and stackable, Greenware On-The-Go Boxes have a compact square shape to maximize cold case and shelf space. Greenware On-The-Go Boxes are BPI certified to be 100% compostable (ASTM D6400) in actively managed municipal or industrial facilities, which may not be available everywhere. They are not suitable for backyard or home composting. 90% of frequent foodservice customers find Greenware appealing, as a Fabri-Kal Proprietary Consumer Study shows. In fact, of consumers who visit foodservice establishments five or more times every two weeks 88% would be interested in using Greenware in a foodservice establishment. 84% would view a foodservice establishment more positively if it offered Greenwareand still 50% would visit a restaurant more often if Greenware cups and containers were used there. The statements about compostability are taken directly from Fabri-Kal marketing information. These statements show the attention supply channel partners make to clearly convey, without hype, the value of these products. MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/13] Vol. 8 17

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