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Issue 05/2015

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Materials
  • Barrier
  • Packaging
  • Biobased
  • Products
  • Plastics
  • Biodegradable
  • Renewable
  • Carbon
bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1505

Barrier PLA and

Barrier PLA and cellulose based film laminates NatureWorks and Innovia Films have collaborated to develop the next big step forward in sustainable multilayer film materials. By combining the complimentary technologies of their bio-materials, they have created a biobased commercially compostable packaging structure that can be used across a wide range of packaging and lidding formats. When laminated, the high-barrier properties of cellulose based NatureFlex combined with Ingeo PLA make for a truly high-performance packaging film. Potential Application with NatureFlex & Ingeo By focusing on the functional attributes of each individual film, along with the combination of the materials, Innovia and NatureWorks, in concert with their collaborative partners Bi-Ax International, H. B. Fuller and Clemson University, developed one of a kind bio-laminations that not only meet the functional requirements of packaged products, but also address renewable content, end of life for flexible materials and reduce the amount of carbon in the overall package. Package functionality is paramount. In many cases, these newly developed structures would be replacing traditional, petro-chemical derived materials that meet the fit for use requirements for the product packaged. The bio-laminations needed to meet the key criteria of appearance, barrier and sealability. NatureFlex film from Innovia meets barrier criteria while Evlon film from Bi-Ax International incorporates an Ingeo sealant layer. During the design phase of the collaboration, two very common flexible structures were identified as candidates to compare bio-laminate alternatives. The first incumbent structure is a widely used secondary package across multiple segments and package formats; 12 µm PET/ Adh/46 µm PE. The other candidate went to the other side of the spectrum with a high barrier foil lamination; 12 µm PET/ Adh/7 µm Alu /Adh/46 µm PE. Compared to all other package formats, flexible packaging is a sustainable solution. For example, just over the past 20 years, packaged retail coffee has evolved from glass to steel to rigid plastic and now flexible laminations. Comparatively, each step throughout the package evolution has resulted in a more sustainable product than the predecessor. By focusing on “what’s next?” in the evolution of flexible materials, Innovia and NatureWorks designed materials that address the two major downsides of using flexible laminates, namely Stick pack HFFS VFFS Pouches Sachets Lidding Dry beverages (coffee/tea) Dry goods/breads Nutritional bars Salted snacks Confections Cultured dairy/ cheese Pet food/treats Liquid applications • Recommended • Evaluation needed • Not applicable renewable content and end-of-life. Comparatively, the petrochemical derived materials have zero renewable content, which essentially means that these materials are using 100 % finite fossil resources as the primary raw material. Conversely, the flexible laminates designed by the collaboration of NatureWorks and Innovia have very-high renewable carbon. Additionally these bio-laminations provide an alternative and valuable end of life option. Beyond just landfill which is the principal final resting place of mixed-material, flexible laminates in many countries, these bio-laminates offer up the prospect of carbon-neutral incineration with renewable energy recovery and they are also designed to decompose in Industrial Composting facilities where such facilities exist. Each film used in the construction has been fully certified (ASTM D 6400) by the Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) for compostability. Advancements in processing within manufacturing of the base materials has greatly reduced the amount of greenhouse gas emissions in packaging. Petro-chemical laminates are already at a very low base compared to rigid packaging but bio-laminations allow to reduce these levels even further, especially as the scale and adoption of renewable materials are commercialized. The next generation of flexible packaging is here. Innovia Films and NatureWorks, along with their development partners, have succeeded in developing individual materials, when combined, make a sustainable packaging solution for brands and converters. By meeting the package requirements, having renewable content and an alternate end-of-life, the next generation of flexible packaging is here and addresses the “What’s next?” question for flexible laminates. MT www.natureworksllc.com - www.innovia-films.com Raw material End of life Raw material End of life Conventional pack 12µm PET/Adh/50µm PE 0 % RRM fossil derived Incinerate or landfill Footprint 0.3 kg CO 2 eq/m 2 MVTR ~11 OTR

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