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Packaging partnership challenges compostability perceptions

By Mark Astley , 10-Nov-2011
Last updated on 10-Nov-2011 at 13:06 GMT

Packaging partnership challenges compostability perceptions

Innovia Films hopes to dissuade negative compostable food packaging perceptions through a new partnership with paper-packaging producer Sappi Fine Paper Europe.

The companies have joined forces to demonstrate the potential use of laminate structures in food packaging production with their first development – a compostable soup sachet.

Through the development, which is being produced purely for showcase purposes, the companies hope to demonstrate the pack with its technical functionality, equivalent to industry standard, along with its compostability attributes.

Innovia’s NatureFlex global product manager Paul Barker told FoodProductionDaily.com: “There is this perception that because it is a compostable version, that it isn’t going to work or it will not look as good.”

Identical compostable version

“We decided on that (soup sachet) initially because of its technical structure – polyethylene, foil, polyethylene. Foil is not compostable, so we decided to make that our aim, to make a compostable version.”

“But the development looks identical to a non-compostable version, while allowing brands to take advantage of its eco-capabilities.”

Innovia Films, who have previous experience in compostable packaging development through its NatureFlex product range, will contribute considerable expertise to the partnership.

The company’s NatureFlex product range provides renewable and compostable packaging films – with standard moisture and barrier properties.

Sappi manufacture flexible packaging paper products - Algro Nature, a compostable one-side coated paper, and Leine Nature, an uncoated compostable equivalent.

“We married our NatureFlex innovation with Sappi’s Nature development, as we found they were very similar – both were compostable,” added Barker.

“They have the natural packaging look and we have the technical properties - Sappi bring the paper packaging side, we bring the seal.”

Providing industry guidance

Barker said: “We’re going down this road to promote the concept of a compostable packaging with the same technical capabilities as your average packaging solution. If brand owners are interested in the concept, then we can provide guidance.”

“We have made the concept to show what we can produce. The sachet is the first innovation we are promoting, and we have another two or three which will be announced in future.”

The Sappi and Innovia products have been independently tested and received the “OK Compost Home” certification by Vinçotte.

The product also received the compostability DIN E13432 certification by DIN CERTCO.

“Having begun trials with converters the results have been good, and the development is effectively not far off the original concept,” added Barker.

John Fell, global marketing director for Innovia Films said: “Both companies are committed to evolving this joint partnership and will announce future developments of sustainable packaging solution, based on renewable and recyclable forest products, as and when they become available.”

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