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High Barrier Compostable Packaging Film Increases Shelf Life of Fair Trade Chocolate

Tuesday, February 02, 2010 by Innovia Films

Innovia Films' high barrier compostable material NatureFlex™ NK has been selected by Dutch company Amigos International to wrap its new range of Ananda fair trade, organic dark chocolate from Ecuador.

Available in five mouth-watering flavours with a minimum of 70% cocoa content, Ananda means "ecstasy" in Sanskrit and Pali and is a popular Buddhist name. Eating regular small amounts of dark chocolate can benefit your health due to its happiness-producing particles, so-called Anandamides.

Amigos International believes in fair trade principles and works closely with farmers, processors, exporters and researchers in developing countries such as Ecuador to generate local employment. Through speciality stores, wholesalers and direct online, the company sells exotic tea, coffee and chocolate that is organically produced and ecologically packaged.

Packaging to complement ecological ingredients

"Amigos International is a long-time distributor of organic products," says the company's owner Jeroen Kruft. "We appreciate not only the ecological aspects of the ingredients, but were also looking at packaging to complement this. That is why we started to look at more environmentally friendly options, which led us to Innovia Films and NatureFlex."

NatureFlex NK was launched in 2008 and offers biodegradability and compostability as well as a moisture barrier approaching that of co-extruded OPP. This means that it has the best moisture barrier of any biopolymer film currently available, which has been achieved through Innovia Films' unique coating technology. Another advantage in using NatureFlex NK film is the increased shelf life it can give the product, keeping it in top condition for longer.

Packaging Knowhow advised Amigos International on the choice of film and Hapece Flexible Packaging, a specialist in small runs, converted and printed the NatureFlex NK in this application.

NatureFlex begins life as a natural product, wood, and breaks down at the end of its lifecycle in a home compost bin or industrial compost environment within a matter of weeks. It also offers a range of advantages for packing and converting, including:

  • Inherent deadfold
  • Anti-static properties
  • High gloss and transparency
  • Resistance to grease and oil
  • Good barrier to gases and aromas
  • Print receptive surface
  • Wide heat-seal range

Growing demand for sustainable packaging

"Supplying Amigos International with NatureFlex NK to package their Ananda chocolate is a win-win-win situation, as the transparent film offers high barrier, increases product shelf life and is certified compostable," says Alexander van't Riet, global sales and marketing director at Innovia Films. "The NatureFlex range continues to develop fast, driven by both consumer demand for greener alternatives and more sustainable packaging and by niche companies like Amigos International and large brand owners alike who see the differentiation and environmental benefits."

NatureFlex films are certified to meet both the European EN13432 and American ASTM D6400 standards for compostable packaging. The wood-pulp is sourced from managed plantations from referenced suppliers operating good forestry principals (FSC or equivalent). NatureFlex films typically have a renewable bio-based content of 95% by weight of material.