MATERIALS: Biobased Blends for Home Compostable, Low-Gauge Films

FKuR's new Bio-Flex blends used in grocery bags that biodegrade completely in garden compost.

Six new additions to the portfolio of Bio-Flex blends from FKuR (U.S. office in Lexington, Texas),developed for the production of fruit and vegetable bags, are said to be home compostable, low gauge yet still tear resistant, and up to 40% biobased. The new grades are said to biodegrade completely in garden compost at low, variable temperatures.

The Belgium accredited inspection and certification organization Vincotte, has already issued OK Compost HOME certificates for these grades. Also, most of FKuR’s new compounds meet the requirements of Article 75 of the French Transition Law. Since January 2017, the use of plastic bags for fruit and vegetables, as well as for cheese, meat and fish, was banned in France. However, bags made from home compostable bioplastics which contain a minimum amount of 30% renewable materials (and from 2025, 60% renewable raw materials) are excluded from this ban.

Most FKuR compounds are blends of PLA and a biodegradable copolyester. The new product range is comprised of translucent and opaque grades:

• Bio-Flex FX 1803 (30% biobased), as well as F 1804 and F 1814 (both 40% biobased) grades are translucent. F 1814 is also touted for increased tear strength. These grades are suitable for packaging goods with printed IR codes as well as for visually attractive packaging for all typed of printed materials.

 • Bio-Flex FX 1821 (10% biobased), FX 1823 (30% biobased) and FX 1824 (40% biobased) grades are all opaque. They boast very good tear resistance and toughness.

Pilot tests with customers have shown that bag thickness can be easily downgauged to 8 µm with these new grades. Good processing properties using existing production equipment are also claimed.