Biodegradable Food Packaging for the Next Generation

Biodegradable Food Packaging for the Next Generation

When considering packaging for the next generation, one should think in terms in making one’s materials landfill biodegradable. The EPA states that only 9% of all plastics are recycled with most of the remainder going in the landfill to last for hundreds, if not thousands of years. So it makes sense to have a package made with films that are designed and certified to be landfill biodegradable (ASTM 5511 and ASTM 5526). We have recently developed new landfill biodegradable films made with PET. PET is one of the leading films used in food packaging. As far as I am concerned, a multi layer film made with PET as one of the layers is the ultimate food package. (The additive used in this film would have to be in every layer with a 1% load.) PET has outstanding OTRs and WVTRs. If one were to metalize this layer, it would be even more so. (This would possibly affect revocability, but not landfill biodegradability.) This could replace bottles and cans with pouches. All of the inks and bonding could also be made with sustainable versions. This multi layer film is ready to go into production now. It has documentation showing it does not leach and the recyclability testing: ASTM D 1003 (Haze and transmission), ASTM D 4603 (Intrinsic Viscosity), ASTM F 2013 (Acetaldehyde), Flurescence Visual, and Black Specs and Gels.

There are two major films on the market that also offer good air and moisture protection for their products: PLA and Innovia. However, both of these have major issues with using them. Both are expensive. Both have limited shelf life. Innovia is good for six months and PLA a bit longer. Both are sensitive to high heat and humidity and can be affected by both so they have to have special storage conditions. Innovia requires that the film be kept covered even which suggests it is sensitive to direct sunlight. PLA is also sensitive to direct sunlight. Both have special conditions for proper disposal. PLA will only break down in commercial and municipal composts (ASTM 6400). PLA is made from corn and LCAs show it uses more fossil fuels than normal plastics. PLA actually is the more harmful to the ozone than gasoline according to the study done by Pitt Researchers “Plant-Based Plastics Not Necessarily Greener than Oil –Based Relatives”. Innovia will break down also in commercial and municipal composts as well as backyard composts. Neither will break down in landfills will most food packaging ends up.

With Maverick’s “Green Film”, there are no special storage conditions like PLA and Innovia nor expiration dates. It is not heat sensitive. There are no heavy metals in the additive that enable it able to break down, nor does it need sunlight. It will break down anaerobically which landfills require as there is little or no oxygen there. Degradation begins when it is thrown away and exposed to microbes or biota in the landfill. It interacts with them and breaks them down. They eventually become a new form of renewal energy that can be harvested. It is cheaper than any other energy on the market today-cheaper than both solar and wind power. Maverick Enterprises has been in business for 25 years with nearly 15 years in biodegradable plastics with "Green Film". We are currently in development of a landfill biodegradable diaper and a coffee bag. We see the need for landfill biodegradable products that fill the landfills.

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