Project title: INNOVATIVE FOOD PACKAGING MATERIALS MADE FROM BIODEGRADABLE POLYMER FILM COATINGS – BIOPOLPACK
• NEW ERREPLAST S.R.L. (Leader)
• NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL – RESEARCH INSTITUTE ON INNOVATION AND DEVELOPMENT SERVICES – CNR IRISS
The project aims to create a flexible film for food packaging that is completely biodegradable and/or compostable and that has mechanical performance, weldability and barrier completely comparable to the propylene-based materials currently used. This material will be coated with a suitable papertouch varnish that will give the finished product aesthetic and tactile surface characteristics similar to paper, particularly appreciated by the consumer, ensuring, compared to paper, greater transparency and durability over time. The orientation is to implement, on the basis of previous experiences of internal R&D, an incremental innovation oriented to the prototyping of a product with high degrees of innovation as it is able to overcome technological problems (poor durability, poor barrier properties, poor mechanical properties for which biodegradable films are not yet widely used in the flexible packaging landscape) and to respond to the growing demand for sustainability and compliance with the circular economy.
For this Objective, strongly in line with the technological trajectory identified, it will be necessary to select and characterize separately all the components of the system under examination (the biodegradable/compostable polymer matrix, biodegradable inks and glues)to produce and characterise films on a laboratory scale and move on to the industrial scale-up of the formulations identified and the verification of the performance characteristics and biodegradability and/or compostability of the finished product. The ultimate goal, therefore, will be to develop a packaging, which will ensure quality and hygiene and perform functions of containment, protection, promotion and information of products.
The main functions to be referred to are: Protect the food from mechanical damage; Act as a barrier to gases and vapours; Prevent or delay biological degradability; Prevent or delay the physical degradation; Present the product in attractive forms; Facilitate the handling and storage of the new product/process.
In the field of flexible packaging for the food sector, there are few examples of companies that have tried to address the technological problems related to the workability of biodegradable films. The results of the project will therefore be a valuable driving force for the proposer to continue expanding its market in this area.