Polenghi claims Europe’s first extrusion moulded bio-bottle

By Rory Harrington, 11-Oct-2010

Related topics: Sustainability, Packaging, Packaging Materials

An innovative reformulation of an established bio-based plastic has seen the development of Europe’s first extrusion-moulded bottle using eco-packaging material, said Polenghi.

The Italian company said its breakthrough in making NatureWork’s Ingeo bioplastic more flexible came after a long R&D process.

“The goal was to reduce Ingeo stiffness,” a Polenghi spokesman told FoodProductionDaily.com. “This is the main requirement when using extrusion blow molding technology.”

Polenghi, which has patented the method, said it had been able to find “a fully compostable additive that allows the formulation to run on current equipment and at the same time providing polyethylene like mechanical properties”. Because of the new formulation all processing conditions had been changed compared to the polyethylene ones, it added.

The firm said the new material was compatible with existing systems used in the production of polyolefin-based bottles. Polyethylene and polypropylene are the polyolefins typically used in the extrusion-blow-molding process to produce the ‘soft’ plastic packaging often used for food squeeze bottles.

Environmentally friendly

Highlighting its green credentials, the company said use of the new material in 10 million of its lemon juice bottles would save 1,000 barrels of oil and reduce CO2 emissions by 126 tons compared to an equivalent oil-based plastic squeeze bottle.

It hailed the move as “the first European commercial introduction of a proven, low-environmental impact and renewably-sourced bioplastic substitute for polyolefin resins in extrusion-blow-molding applications”.

The bioplastic also offers stable pricing compared to the volatility experienced in petroleum-based materials, said the Italian firm.The price for Ingeo had remained steady since 2007, added the spokesman.

While the company acknowledged that kilo for kiol, bio-based formulations cost twice as much as polyolefins, it stressed that raw materials make up just 50 per cent of the totla cost – with the other half coming from processing.

NatureWorks said the resin manufacturing process for Ingeo produces 38 per cent less CO2 and consumes 45 per cent less energy than production of an equivalent weight low-density polyethylene, as well as 31 percent less CO2 and 42 per cent less energy compared to polypropylene.

SOURCE: FOOD PRODUCTION DAILY

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