Production: What has to be regarded in the production when bioplastics are introduced?

1. Can bioplastics be produced in the same machines as traditional films?

2. Bioplastics still are a relatively young product. Do we have to reckon with higher investments in new machines to use refined bioplastics in the near future?

3. Can bioplastics be sealed just as well as conventional PE-films?

4. What possibilities are there in terms of the production of multi-layered bioplastics?

5. Are additives in bioplastics as possible as in conventional films?

6. Form, Fill and Seal: What hot tack properties do bioplastics have?

7. Can bioplastics be coloured?

8. How many colours can be printed on the bioplastics?

 

1. Can bioplastics be produced in the same machines as traditional films?

In general bioplastics are as well processable as conventional films. Some fine adjustments in the packaging machines may be necessary; new machines should not be required.

2. Bioplastics still are a relatively young product. Do we have to reckon with higher investments in new machines to use refined bioplastics in the near future?

No. The overall goal of all researches in this area is to design film products which can be integrated into the existing working procedures as easily as possible. So one main future focus on the development of products is to design bioplastics as a packaging which won’t be different to conventional films anymore.

3. Can bioplastics be sealed just as well as conventional PE-films?

Yes, bioplastics have got the same sealing properties as conventional films.

4. What possibilities are there in terms of the production of multi-layered bioplastics?

Multi-layered films (COEX-films) are possible without problems. The use of multi-layered films improves the barrier properties and/or the transparency and glossy shine of bioplastics and conventional film products.

5. Are additives in bioplastics as possible as in conventional films?

Additives such as slip-covering, anti-block-covering, UV stabilisators or anti-slip-covering can also be used in bioplastics. Numerous additives are already available as compostable versions. Otherwise the one percent rule is valid: Up to this percentage a non-compostable component can be added with regard to EN 13432. The total quantity of all non-compostable components mustn’t exceed 5% of the total weight of the bioplastic product.

6. Form, Fill and Seal: What hot tack properties do bioplastics have?

In terms of FFS applications there currently are no sufficient data available to make a founded statement regarding bioplastics. As it seems at the moment there may be differences to conventional films.

7. Can bioplastics be coloured?

Compostable bioplastics can be coloured as easily as traditional films. If the colour (normally also a granulate material) also is certified as a compostable product it can be added in any quantity. Otherwise the 1% rule is valid: A non-certified component of the film mustn’t exceed 1% of the total weight. The total quantity of non-certified components mustn’t exceed 5%. This is valid for the printing colours as well as fort he film batches.

8. How many colours can be printed on the bioplastics?

Bioplastics can be printed with any quantity of colours. In order to get the certificate of compostability in case of non-biodegradable colours it has to be regarded that the quantity of the used colours doesn’t exceed 1% of the total weight of the film product. So, an average fruit or vegetable bag can either be entirely printed with four colours on both sides or eight colours on one side.