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Issue 06/2018

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Plastics
  • Biobased
  • Products
  • Materials
  • Omya
  • Global
  • Smartfill
  • Algae
  • Compostable
bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1806

Films/Flexibles/Bags

Films/Flexibles/Bags That’s not my bag – or is it? Certified compostable film applications with multiple benefits and different mechanical and thermal properties. The main application areas are films for organic waste bags, fruit and vegetable bags and dual-use bags (first for shopping, then for organic waste), multilayer packaging materials, and agricultural films. The certified compostable, partly biobased plastics are in no way inferior to conventional materials: they are just as effective and resistant, can be processed with conventional machinery, and are ideal for developing innovative solutions. ecovio F is suitable for producing compostable multilayer films with good barrier properties for packaging applications like coffee capsule pouches. Lightweight, tear-resistant and waterproof – thanks to their exceptional properties, plastic bags and films make our lives easier. But when it comes to biowaste collection, they can contribute to the formation of microplastic when disposed of together with organic waste. The EU commission estimates that the recycling rates for thin plastic bags will not rise above 10 % by 2020. For all applications that cannot be recycled mechnically, BASF offers the certified compostable plastic ecovio ® . It can be used to produce compostable blown films, thermoformable flat films or multilayer films, for applications as diverse as shopping bags, food packaging and agricultural films. Plastic bags and films help to keep food fresh, are a convenient way of carrying our shopping, and ensure that waste is disposed of hygienically. But when it comes to disposal, they cannot always be easily separated into their individual components for mechanical recycling. In addition, society is increasingly looking for alternative product solutions which are environmentally sustainable but are still just as convenient. With ecovio, which is made from the compostable and biodegradable BASF plastic ecoflex ® and polylactic acid (PLA), BASF developed in 2006 a biodegradable plastic which is certified to EN13432 for industrial composting. Since then a broad range of different ecovio grades has been introduced into the market, with varying biobased contents Kitchen and food waste can be hygienically collected in organic waste bags made from ecovio F, then turned into compost in industrial composting facilities along with the bag. Thanks to its good resistance to moisture, liquid does not leak through, so there is no need to wash out the compost bin. Because of the material’s excellent tensile strength and hence load-carrying capacity ecovio F can also be employed to make shopping bags. They are strong enough to be reused several times before finally being used as organic waste bags. Bags and pouches made from ecovio can be both welded and printed, so they can be clearly labeled as compostable, for example. Fruit and vegetable bags made of ecovio are more than simple carrier bags, too. The blown films can be extruded in the range from 10 to 12µm. They can be reused as organic waste bags and thus improve the collection and recovery of organic food waste. The bags possess high tear and wear Fruit and vegetable bags made of ecovio possess high tear and wear stability, are approved for food contact and reduce food losses due to their good breathability. 14 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/18] Vol. 13

Films/Flexibles/Bags By: Martin Bussmann, Jörg Auffermann, Dirk Stärke BASF SE Ludwigshafen, Germany Conventional mulch films made of polyethylene (PE) have to be collected from the fields and recycled after harvesting. Because of earth and plant remnants sticking to the films recycling is more difficult or even impossible. Mulch films made of ecovio M2351 are completely and biologically degraded by microorganisms like bacteria and fungi that exist naturally in the soil. Farmers can simply plow the ecovio mulch films back into the ground along with the plant debris. This saves time and money. ecovio M2351 is a ready-to-use compound that can be processed into soil-biodegradable mulch films on conventional PE film extrusion lines without the need for any additional slip or anti-block agents. Because of the material’s excellent mechanical properties, down-gauging up to 12, 10 and 8 μm thickness is possible. Bags made from ecovio can be both welded and printed, so they can be clearly labeled as compostable, for example. After more than ten years’ product development, versatile film applications for different industry sectors can be made of certified compostable plastics like ecovio. They benefit from the optimum balance of easy processing, tailormade material properties and the promotion of a circular economy. www.ecovio.basf.com stability, are approved for food contact and reduce food losses due to the good breathability of the material. The ecovio bags also comply with the recent standards in France and Italy for compostable fruit and vegetable bags made of renewable resources. In France, for example, single-use plastic bags that are thinner than 50 µm have to consist of at least 40 % of renewable resources and be home-compostable. Thus bags made of ecovio support a safer, cleaner and easier food waste collection, closing the loop of the food value chain. ecovio F is also suitable for producing compostable multilayer films with good barrier properties for packaging applications. The bioplastic, which is approved for direct and indirect food contact, is used as the sealing layer. The other film layers are also made from compostable materials such as cellophane. In order to ensure that the entire packaging can be disposed of together with the food waste and given to industrial composting, a holistic approach is possible: so, for example, closures and vent valves can also be produced from ecovio. Recycling food waste in this way is more resource-friendly than incinerating it or sending it to landfill. Films are not only employed for bags and packaging, they also have applications in agriculture and horticulture. Here, mulch films are used to increase the yield, speed up harvesting as well as to save water and herbicides. Mulch films made of ecovio M2351 are completey and biologically degraded by microorganisms like bacteria and fungi that exist naturally in the soil. bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/18] Vol. 13 15

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