Compostable Packaging

By: Bre Innovations  11-11-2011


Compostable materials are obtained from both the petrochemical industry as well as from biological sources. Many of the currently available compostable plastic materials are a combination of both sources. The use of agricultural products like starch and maize for the production of plastics is a contentious issue. Futhermore the properties of some of the plastic polymers produced from these materials may be limited and often the polymers require additions of oil based polymers to modify their properties (heat-resistance and rigidity for example).

Compostable plastics are available in the form of both flexible film types as well as rigid containers like trays, cutlery, and bottles. We can supply flexible films of PLA and Natureflex, the type of film will be dependant upon the application.

We also supply trays, cups and plates made from sugar cane waste fibre (bagasse). These products are fully compostable as well as being freezer, microwave and regular oven friendly. Limited moisture resistance for wet products may be an issue, but we have reports of good results with wet product storage for a number of days in a chiller, and freezing the product then extends shelf life indefinitely. This material can also be recycled in the paper waste stream.

Plastic compostable cutlery made from PLA, or PSM is also available.

For those customers who require the traditional looking paper cup, bagasse has it's limitations due to both shape and the lack of a liquid tight lid. For these applications compostable cups made with suitable paper and compostable plastic liner are also available. Compostable sip lids complete the package.

These products are becoming more and more popular with the public and so volumes are increasing and price premiums are reducing. They are however still significantly more expensive than their "normal" counterparts.

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