Biobottle Press Release
The dairy sector will be able to package its products in biodegradable bags and bottles resistant to thermal treatments
A European project coordinated by AIMPLAS has made possible the development of biodegradable packages, such as bags, bottles and caps to contain products requiring treatments like pasteurization or sterilization.
After their shelf-life, the packages could be thrown away together with organic wastes and turned into compost in composting conditions.
AIMPLAS has completed the research that have made possible to develop new biopolymers from which it will be able to manufacture new biodegradable bottles, bags and caps resistant to sterilization and pasteurization, therefore, they can contain dairy products, such as fresh milk, shakes and yoghurts with probiotics.
The project BIOBOTTLE, developed within the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme has been coordinated by AIMPLAS and has a budget of one million euros. Seven companies and technology centres from five different countries have taken part: VLB (Germany), OWS (Belgium), CNR (Italy), VIZELPAS and ESPAÇOPLAS (Portugal) and finally ALMUPLAS and ALJUAN (Spain).
The packages for this kind of products are currently manufactured from polyethylene, which, although it is easy recyclable, it still ends its shelf life mostly in landfills, due to the odour problems that this product’s wastes cause. For that reason, and given the huge amount of milk products consumed in the European Union, it is so interesting developing biodegradable and compostable packages.
The aim of the project was achieving that the new biodegradable packages manufactured with the biopolymers developed within the project complied with the mechanical and thermal aspects required for these applications, as well as they passed the microbiological tests without affecting the product’s organoleptic properties. The results are monolayer bottles and caps and multilayer bags able to resist temperatures up to 95ºC.
By means of a reactive extrusion process, it has been achieved to modify the existing commercial material, so they fulfil the expectations and are processable by conventional methods to obtain the different packaging formats.
Economically compostable and viable
From the new biopolymers developed, which have also passed the composting tests carried out, the packages for milk products already described will be obtained. These packages, although with the current costs of biodegradable materials, increase in less than 10 % the final cost of the packages product.