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Sustainable packaging materials: Biobased plastic

Beauty, Personal Care, Eating, Drinking, Health, Active, Smart Packaging, Sustainable Packaging, Eco-Sensitive Packaging, Recyclable Packaging, Recycling

In this article, we are looking at one of the main pillars of sustainability - the material used. Biobased material is produced from renewable sources.

Renewable sources are usually plants, but can also be bacteria or algae. For sugar rane, which is the source of the bio based HD/LDPE we are using a producer of Ethanol. Out of this Ethanol, which is gained from the renewable sugar crane, they make different chemical and physical steps to produce HD/LDPE out of it.

One of the advantages of this material is, of course, the renewable source. To cultivate the plants have as well a positive CO2-footprint, because plants take CO2 from the air and convert it to oxygen. The other advantage is, that although the source is different than fossil oil, the whole structure of the HD/LDPE is the same as the common virgin PE. That means it can be produced, used and disposed and recycled as usual HD/LDPE. That’s why it has food-grade and the same look as the material from fossil sources.

Bio based PP is currently available and we currently investigate, if it meets the requirements to be able to use it for our products. The process uses wood oil, which is converted into bio based PP through chemical and physical treatment.

Bio based PET is currently not possible to produce by more than 30%, because not all parts of the molecular structure can be gained by renewable resources in an industrial scale. Of course some researches are going on to find a way to produce bio based PET, and as soon as it is available, we will take it into our portfolio.

For the described plastics, bio based is only related to the source and not to the end-of-life. That means our raw materials and products are not biodegradable or compostable. These are totally different approaches, which will be covered by one of the next Grip on Green parts.

In the following table, you can see that bio based and virgin HDPE don’t have any differences. The virgin as well as the bio based versions meet all of the criteria.

Material: Bio-based
HDPE
Bio-based
LDPE
Food grade YES YES
EU Pharmacopeia YES YES
Similar colour YES YES
Recyclable YES YES
Identical dimensions YES YES

 

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  • Modified 02 Nov 2020
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