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People Films | Flexibles

People Films | Flexibles | Bags Strong and compostable plastic bag alternatives As global demand for compostable and biodegradable bags grows, by some estimates as much as 15% over the next five years, a range of compostable bag options are being developed to address all desired performance profiles for compostable materials. One important formulation is biodegradable shopping bags that can also be repurposed and reused as compostable kitchen food waste bags. These bags are suitable as drop-in replacements for traditional polyethylene or polypropylene grocery bags. Even as global demand increases for compostable bag alternatives for traditional polyethylene and polypropylene single-use bags, finding the balance between compostability and in-use performance remains a challenge. While the biodegradation profile of the material is an important consideration, if the bags cannot perform comparably to a traditional bag, it doesn’t present a viable option for manufacturers nor consumers. In addition to performing as well as a traditional bag, a compostable bag must also provide excellent barrier properties and odor control for its second use collecting food waste. Metabolix, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA recently developed two compostable resins for films and bags that combine compostability with processability and a robust performance profile. These two certified compostable resins are Mvera B5010 and Mvera B5011, and together they provide a range of appearance options, while delivering strong performance. Both Mvera products offer a good balance of strength and stiffness for high load carrying capacity and can be processed on standard equipment. Metabolix launched Mvera B5010 compostable resin in September 2013 and was the first product that Metabolix launched following their collaboration with Samsung Fine Chemicals. Certified industrial compostable, Mvera resins can be used for shopping bags, yard waste collection, and kitchen compost bags. Metabolix launched Mvera B5011 compostable resin in December 2013 and provides converters with a transparent, compostable bag. With nearly identical performance to Mvera B5010, and only 16% haze, Mvera B5011 opens the door to a new range of compostable film and bag applications. With two effective solutions, Metabolix helps film and bag manufacturers address several needs at once. Compostable bags are effective retail shopping bags. They can be repurposed as bags for collecting household food waste for collection to municipal composting and save the consumer from buying additional bags for this purpose. Finally, they promote bag litter reduction, and diversion of food waste from increasingly scarce landfills to composters – two important public policy agendas that are very relevant today. With more cities and countries looking to reduce or eliminate their dependence on polypropylene and polyethylene single-use bags, the need for reliable options is important to the growth of the compostable bag market. Metabolix continues to develop new formulations, offering a range of biocontent and degradation profiles to address the needs of customers. 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/13] Vol. 8

Films | Flexibles | Bags New transparent films for mulch and food Novamont from Novara, Italy during K’2013 unveiled what they call another milestone for Novamont research. It is a new grade of Mater-Bi ® specifically designed for the production of transparent mulching film which biodegrades in the soil. In keeping with its philosophy that bioplastics should represent a virtuous case of bioeconomy, for years Novamont has decided not to market transparent mulching film that could biodegrade in the soil until it had developed UV stabilisers that were natural and biodegradable like the polymeric matrix. These stabilisers are necessary to ensure this type of product has an adequate lifespan in the field. Based on its own environmental standards it did not consider it sustainable to use the same additives as non-biodegradable mulching film because this would have left deposits in the soil after the film had biodegraded, presenting a risk of accumulation. Novamont therefore decided to study natural substances, including substances extracted from experimental crops for its own non-food agricultural lines. After years of intensive work, Novamont is delighted to present now farmers with the results of its research: a transparent mulching system which is resistant to UV radiation thanks to substances as natural and biodegradable as the polymeric matrix encasing them, which do not alter the product’s initial properties and which, once in the field, maintain performance for a period similar to traditional products. “The development of transparent mulching film with natural resistance to UV radiation which biodegrades completely in the soil is a concrete demonstration of Novamont’s position regarding bioeconomy: finding effective and original technical solutions using raw materials from integrated bioreffineries to support virtuous practices, in this case in the area of sustainable agriculture, which also provide maximum protection for the quality of water, air and the soil during use and at the product’s end-of-life, thereby preventing possible accumulation,” said Catia Bastioli, Managing Director of Novamont. Also presented at K’2013 for the first time are the new rigid and transparent grades for blown, double bubble and bi-oriented cast film which were already tested in a range of food packaging applications These products contain a high proportion of renewable raw materials and an even lower level of greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil feedstock. Specifically, the new grades, which have been tested in a range of food packaging applications (bread, cold meats, small fruits, coffee, chocolate, etc.), have demonstrated the following characteristics: biodegradability and compostability in compliance with the EN 13432 standard; full compliance with the directive on ‘contact with food’; multiple mechanical properties; excellent twistability; excellent clarity; high gas barrier; excellent sealability; well suited to metalisation; can be printed with water and solvent based inks. MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/13] Vol. 8 17

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