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Sustainable food packaging technology as an alternative to plastic

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FRAMTID (Sustainable food packaging technology as an alternative to plastic)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2019-06-01 do 2019-11-30

Looking at the contents of the average grocery cart, it is no surprise that the World Economic Forum warns that there will be more plastic than fish by weight in oceans by 2050. From coffee bags to cheese wrappers, food and beverage packaging is a major contributor to plastic pollution. Plastic packaging is used in massive quantities due to their multiple features and cost-effectiveness but at expenses of our environment. Food packaging waste is no exception, and in fact poses a more than significant thread to the environment
With “just” 7.7 billion humans on the planet today, the society is facing two important challenges: food waste and plastic packaging waste. While food packaging is meant to provide a reliable way of guaranteeing protection, preservation, containment and convenience for the food they contain, it also represents 59% of the annual plastic waste generated in the EU in 2015, and the figure is estimated to keep growing from year to year.
Over 300M tons of plastics are produced worldwide every single year. In only six decades since the beginning of mass production of plastics for a whole range of applications has translated in over 8.3 billion metric tons of plastics, of which 6.3 billons have become plastic waste. Unfortunately, only 9% of this has been properly recycled with the remaining staggering 91% being either dumped in landfills, or what is worse, contaminating the environment, with oceans becoming the ultimate sink for plastic waste and debris. With an expected relentless increase of plastic production in the forthcoming years, by 2050 there will be over 12 billion tons of plastic-derived waste, and the ocean will keep choking with it.
Be that as it may, increasing awareness about environmental concerns among consumers, policy makers and therefore among main food industry players, is resulting on a growing demand for sustainable food packaging, but not only that, with such an important thing as food, safety is a must and the new packages must comply with it. The packaging industry continues to make notable progress in environment-friendly innovations that meet consumer’s demand and Europe policy makers, to make a more sustainable society. PackBenefit’s mission is to become the leading company in providing the perfect food packaging to help resolve these issues and to lead the way towards a greener food packaging industry worldwide
Key Selling Points:
- Biodegradable and Compostable: our solution is biodegradable, it decomposes itself by the action of bacteria and microorganisms found in nature and at the same time it is compostable, which means it ends up being a natural fertilizer or compost. FRAMTID have proven to be biodegradable and compostable according to standard EN 13432 and has been granted OK Compost certification with registry number S561, by TÜV Austria.
- Recyclable: In addition to its compostable capacity, FRAMTID packaging is also recyclable, as its main raw material is virgin cellulose pulp, FRAMTID provides an extraordinary resource for recycled paper making. FRAMTID have proven to be recyclable, according to standards EN 13430:2004 and CEN/TR 13688:2008. The mechanical and optical properties also showed similar values to the references.
- Medium-high barrier packaging: The FRAMTID solution is composed of a tridimensional pulp-based packaging which incorporates a surface treatment capable of providing water, oil and oxygen barrier suitable for the food service and food packaging industries. Also, this solution material can be transformed into desirable forms to conform to different types of packaging to contain any kind of food without any loss of structural integrity. Food packaging helps retard product deterioration, retain the beneficial effects of processing, extend shelf-life, and maintain the quality and safety of food. In doing so, our packaging provides protection from 3 major classes of external influences: chemical, biological, and physical.
- Thermal and mechanical resistance: our packaging has a higher biothermal resistance than any other green packaging solutions currently available, that makes it suitable for oven, microwave and even the freezer use
Packbenefit has dedeveloped FRAMTID solution (a biodegradable and combustable solution) to take TRL 6 getting a PoC.
Additionally, we have analysed: market conditions and benchmark of existing solutions, business model and potential commercialisation plan, and regulatory and IPR issues.
Packbenefit has created FRAMTID to help make this 180º change from a non-desirable nor sustainable situation to a virtuous circle where our packaging serves as compost for new resources to grow and at the same time provides consumers with the convenience of being microwave, oven and freezer suitable.
Innovative recycled and recyclable food packaging materials are emerging as sustainable alternatives to plastics, styrofoam and other environmentally-unfriendly materials.
Recent innovative research has focused on developing bio-plastics from organic waste streams (crop residues, agro-food by-products, sewage sludge, etc.) seeking to enter a circular economy concept that does not compete with food usage and that is fully biodegradable to respond to the overwhelming negative externalities of our plastic packaging.
To solve the main problems derived from using plastic food packaging materials, currently marketed bio-sourced bio-plastic (such as Bio-PE, PLA, and more) use food resources such as corn or cane sugar as plastic substitutive. They contribute to increase food security concerns and most of these bio-sourced bio-plastics are not biodegradable nor home-compostable (bio-PE, bio-PET) or are fit only for industrial composting (PLA) which contributes to complicating the waste management.