A new, compostable cling film for fresh-food packaging has been developed by BASF and packaging expert Fabbri Group that, for the first time, offers a solution that is on a par with PVC - today’s performance standard – according to Carsten Sinkel from global business development biopolymers at BASF.
Called NatureFresh, the film is based on BASF’s biodegradable compound ecovio and is produced by Fabbri Group.
Ecovio, which is a blend of BASF’s biodegradable aliphatic–aromatic polyester EcoFlex and PLA, combines optimal breathability for an extended shelf life of fresh food with high transparency and excellent mechanical properties for automatic packaging and industrial stretch packaging. Ecovio shows a better water vapor transmission than PE, another commonly used alternative to PVC, which is essential for optimal fresh food packaging. Nature Fresh is food-contact approved according to US and European standards.
As Sinkel pointed out, the market is changing. “The market is looking for alternatives to PVC… 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.”
NatureFresh keeps food fresher for a longer period of time, thus reducing the greenhouse gas emissions originating from food that is produced and distributed - but ultimately wasted. At the end of life, it can be composted together with any food waste in home compost or industrial compost according to national legislation.
The EU Waste Framework Directive promotes solutions to reduce food waste and increase organic waste collection.
Fabbri Group has also developed a new line of machines in its Automac NF series, specifically to take full advantage of NatureFresh’s elasticity and compostability features, said Stefano Mele, CEO at Fabbri Group. “In this way our certified compostable cling film can be used together with trays and labels of the same kind in order to have a complete compostable packaging.”
Nature Fresh is available 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.