Biome Bioplastics and Futamura have partnered on the development of a range of bio-based and compostable multilayer films. The materials offer competitive performance, while tackling the negative environmental impact of traditional oil-based, non-recyclable multilayer packaging.
Sustainable alternatives to challenging packaging formats such as multilayer pouches will be key to meeting the UK Plastics Pact target that 70% of plastic packaging is effectively recycled or composted by 2025.
Multilayer films can be used in packaging both fresh products and dry foods to extend shelf life in a cost-effective manner. However, their multilayer construction means that this type of packaging cannot be recycled and lacks a viable disposal route.
The compostable multilayer films are manufactured by combining Biome’s range of biodegradable sealant resins with Futamura’s compostable NatureFlex cellulose films to generate a range of laminated flexible structures. The films are compliant to the European industrial composting standard EN13432, meaning that they disintegrate by 90% within 12 weeks and biodegrade by 90% to water, CO2 and biomass within 180 days. The materials have also been tested and proved to be non-toxic to both soil and plant life.
The materials have a biobased content of between 50-70%.
The performance of the compostable materials is comparable to non-recyclable multilayer packaging for decoration, oxygen and moisture barrier and heat-sealing properties.
The companies have demonstrated how a viable compostable solution can be achieved by creating a dry food pouch, which offers excellent oxygen barrier and good moisture barrier properties, as well as efficient sealability. The pouches can also be easily printed using both conventional and digital print processes, allowing manufacturers to create highly decorated branding to ensure their sustainable pack stands out on shelves. Additionally, the puncture resistance of the pouch is similar to products currently available on the market.
Myriam Moeyersons, Sales Manager at Biome Bioplastics, commented:
“This range of multilayer films allows brand owners to move away from non-recyclable packaging and show that they are at the forefront of the drive to create a circular economy for plastics. There is no time to lose if we are to bear down on packaging waste and achieve the aims of the UK Plastics Pact. We must immediately start implementing changes to existing packaging.”
Dr Lucy Cowton, Product & Sustainability Manager at Futamura, added:
“Futamura chose to partner with Biome as our companies are aligned in their passion to produce technically strong, sustainable and compostable alternatives to conventional packaging films. Biome’s sealant resins are an excellent pairing because they complement the heat resistance and barrier properties of our NatureFlex™ range with their puncture resistance and strong sealability.”