SUSTAINABILITY and environmental responsibility are key concerns for packaging for the food industry. Consumers, globally, are also becoming increasingly eco-conscious as they dispose of their household food packaging.
Innovia Films Pty Ltd is at the vanguard of developments in biodegradable and compostable packaging and a founding member of the new Australasian Bioplastics Association.
Innovia’s NatureFlex film is manufactured from renewable wood-pulp, sourced from managed plantations and is certified to both the European EN13432 and American ASTM D6400 standards for both industrial and home composting.
This means NatureFlex can be disposed of with other compostable materials in areas where there is kerbside collection of this type of household waste. In addition, consumers who compost at home can add NatureFlex to their bins.
Even where there is no obvious ‘compost chain’ add NatureFlex at the end of its lifecycle, the fact that it is made from wood rather than being oil-based gives it the valuable sustainable credentials.
From the packer/processor perspective, NatureFlex films offer other advantages. They give outstanding packing line performance with a very wide heat sealing range from 70ºC to 200ºC for improved line speeds with no loss of seal performance.
NatureFlex films are stiffer and more oriented than some other biopolymers, which make them suitable for use on standard flow-wrap and form-fill-seal equipment. They are also static-free for easy handling.
By adding specially formulated biodegradable coatings, Innovia Films is able to produce films with varying levels of barrier to meet the demands of different foodstuffs.
The range is also being constantly expanded. For example, alongside the glossy, transparent grades, the company is in the final stages of the development of a metallised NatureFlex film, which is currently undergoing independent testing in order to formally confirm its biodegradability and compostability.
"These films offer many advantages,” said Innovia Films’ Sales Manager for Australia and New Zealand, Alan Adams.
“As well as being biodegradable and compostable for those packer processors keen to use sustainable packaging, they also give a technical performance second to none."