BASF and Fabbri Group Develop Certified Compostable Cling Film for Fresh-Food Packaging
Based on BASF’s Ecovio, Fabbri’s Nature Fresh film boasts excellent combination of breathability, mechanical performance and aesthetics.
A collaboration between Italy’s Fabbri Group and BASF (U.S. office in Florham Park, N.J.) resulted in the development of a sustainable solution for cling film used in fresh-food packaging: Based on BASF’s certified compostable Ecovio (a blend of BASF’s Ecoflex biodegradable aliphatic copolyester and 45% PLA), Fabbri Group produces the highly transparent stretch film Nature Fresh. Meat, seafood as well as fruit and vegetables can be wrapped manually or with automatic packaging equipment. Industrial stretch packaging is also possible. This is said to be the first certified compostable cling film that combines optimal breathability for an extended shelf life of fresh food with high transparency and excellent mechanical properties for automatic packaging. Nature Fresh is food-contact approved according to U.S. and European standards.
With this property profile, the film reportedly helps to keep food fresh for a longer period of time when compared to PVC alternatives used for cling film such as PE. Its overall performance--mechanical properties like tensile strength and elongation at break, breathability, film transparency and aesthetics like elastic recovery and anti-fogging- is comparable to films made of PVC. At the same time Ecovio shows a better water vapor transmission than PE, which is essential for optimal fresh food packaging. After usage Nature Fresh can be composted together with any food waste in home compost or industrial compost according to national legislation. As such, it enables organic recycling and helps closing the nutrient loop towards a Circular Economy.
Said Carsten Sinkel from BASF’s global business development biopolymers team, “We observe a changing market environment. The market is looking for alternatives to PVC that is today’s performance standard for most cling film packaging of fresh produce. PE films are lacking in performance, often leading to a reduced shelf life of packed fresh food. This results in considerable greenhouse gas emissions from food waste: fruits and vegetables, for example, are responsible for 33% greenhouse gas emissions from all food waste globally. Our certified compostable Ecovio enables the production of a cling film that prolongs shelf life of fresh food and at the same time can be composted after use together with organic waste according to national legislation.”
Fabbri Group offers Nature Fresh in four different formats: as rolls for manual or automatic packaging machines in industrial food packaging, for cutter boxes in hotels, restaurants and catering services, as jumbo rolls for converters as well as rolls for end consumer hand-wrapping applications.
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