Co-extruded plastics offer compostable tailored packaging

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Packaging, Unit load, Authentication

A new range of compostable bio plastics can be combined to grant
various benefits for the packaging of beverage and food products,
ranging from sealing and barrier forming to aesthetic and surface
qualities, their manufacturer claims.

Italy-based Novamont says its Mater-Bi plastics can be used in a variety of packaging applications to offer a more environmentally friendly alternative for multilayer packaging. The plastics can be formed through a co-extrusion process into a single material for packaging like bottle caps and labels to films for agricultural products. The development could prove an alternative to existing recyclable materials and plastics, which is especially important at a time when food and beverage manufacturers are coming under growing pressure to find new solutions to reduce packaging waste. A spokesperson for the manufacturer said that Novamont was actively seeking to expand the product into a wide variety of sectors. As part of the plastics' design, Novamont claims that co-extrusion technology can be used to create a variety of packaging materials to address specific industry needs for products that have a certain appearance or reaction during production process. The manufacturer outlined four specific areas in which combining different forms of Mater-Bi through a co-extrusion process could be modified for an individual packager's needs. These include: Sealing ​Co-extruded materials have unique melting temperatures, which when combined, allow a processor to make use of previously unavailable processing techniques, particularly on a form fill seal (FFS) automated production line, the company says. Permeability ​The manufacturer claims that another benefit of combining packaging of various thicknesses can provide a number of products from packaging with high resistance or puncturing to materials with barrier-forming properties for shelf-life improvements. Surface properties ​ The multi-layer design of Mater-Bi plastics can affect the feel of packaging by using special external layers. Aesthetic properties ​On a similar level, Novamont claims that the co-extruded materials can be tailored to create products of various transparency or opacity. Novamont started out as a research centre for the Montedison-Ferruzzi Group in order to devlop new products that utilise renewable raw materials. Its products are available worldwide, with the Mater-Bi technology set to be displayed at this year's Interpack show.

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