As one of the very few events not cancelled this year, nova Institute’s International Conference on Bio-Based Materials on 12, 13 and 14 May is taking place virtually, in an online setting. Hosted by nova Institute’s Michael Carus, the full programme is being presented from offices – home and otherwise – around the world.
As always, the first day of the conference concluded with the presentation of the annual Innovation Award, which was sponsored by Yncoris, the company formerly known as Infraserv Knapsack. Each of the finalists were introduced by Michael Carus and Asta Partanen and invited to give a 10-minute presentation on the product they had submitted, after which the online conference attendees were asked to vote on the contender of their choice.
Here, the benefits of the digital nature of the event were immediately apparent – rather than having to tally the votes manually, a single click revealed the winning product: Huhtamaki ‘s Fresh ready meal packaging, which earned 33% of the votes.
The product is the result of a collaboration between Sweden-based Södra, who provided the resource material, Huhtamaki Molded Fibre Technology in the Netherlands, packaging producer Huhtamaki Lurgan in Ireland and UK-based SaladWorks.
The packaging is oven and microwave proof, compostable, biobased and can easily replace difficult-to-recycle black packaging trays. It consists of patented mixture of cellulose and GMO-free PLA called DuraPulp, laminated with a new generation biofilm made from BioPBS. It is a potential game-changer for a broad array of sectors, including the retail industry, airline catering, and meal services.
Monta Klebebandwerk’s biobased packaging tape took second place. The tape, consisting of a PLA film and natural rubber adhesive, meets the technical requirements for a typical packaging tape. Launched in November 2019 the tape is certified as industrial compostable, and is now part of Monta’s Green Line of products.
Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, with its bioORMOCER barrier coatings came in third place. The coatings are high-performance biodegradable functional layers that significantly improve the barrier performance of conventional bio-packaging systems. The other finalists included Mondi Engineered Materials with a new biodegradable nonwoven for wipes and Tensac, from Argentina, who presented a new bio-based insecticide.