Industry News

Plastpom has used potato starch to create a compostable and biodegradable packaging material

by | Mar 7, 2024

Through a partnership with Gdańsk University of Technology, as well as other scientific centres, Plastpom has been able to design and create an innovative new packaging material. This new material has been created based on potato starch and is a material that is compostable and biodegradable.

The aim behind the creation of this new material, was to manufacture something that would have a reduced impact on the environment, lower Co2 emissions and an improved energy efficiency.

The material is called NOPLA and Plastpom has stated that it is not a synthetic material, instead it is free from artificial ingredients and plastics and furthermore, it has been specifically designed to not leave any microplastics when it decomposes. The innovative material has been designed to align with EN 13432 standards and is capable of degrading and decomposing within three to six months, within a household composter, within saltwater or freshwater and finally, soil.

In order to decompose in freshwater and saltwater, any NOPLA products will sink to the bottom of the water and will be able to provide sustenance to living organisms, rather than harming bottom sediments. Plus, the packaging product has been designed to avoid recycling fees that are due to be implemented soon across Europe.

Added benefits of this product include the fact that it is compatible with the EU Directive 904/2019 SUP, so it is suitable to be used as a material for manufacturing cutlery and straws. As Polish Institute of Hygiene will be running tests on the material, to ensure it does not migrate, it has also been approved for contact with food. Furthermore, any NOPLA material has a footprint of 1.7kg of carbon per kilogram, which is a clear improvement to polypropylene’s emission footprint of 3.5 kg. This reduced footprint is also displayed within the manufacturing process, which also has a smaller carbon footprint and requires an estimated 30% less energy, which consequently also reduces the manufacturing costs.

The final benefit which comes with this innovative new packaging material is that it does not require the use of chemicals, instead it is able to be physically or mechanically modified. Also, its biogranulate structure makes it ideal for injection moulding, blow moulding and thermoforming on machinery that is already present and operational within modern facilities. This will inevitably make it easier for manufacturers to employ the use of material within their everyday practices, consequently improving the quality of commonly sued packaging material and reducing the amount of plastic waste.

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