Innovia Films’ biodegradable and compostable material, NatureFlex™, is helping a Californian company, Guayaki, in its bid to achieve the ‘greenest’ packaging possible for its Yerba Mate organic tea products.
Guayaki (Gwy-uh-KEE) was founded by Alex Pryor and David Karr in 1997. They saw a business opportunity in providing Yerba Mate as an alternative drink to coffee, as well as a way for consumers to support rainforest preservation. Yerba Mate is a tea-like beverage, abundant in antioxidants (containing more than green tea) and naturally occurring caffeine, therefore rivaling coffee. It is made from the leaves and tender stems of a powerful rainforest tree, native to the subtropical rainforests of Paraguay, Brazil and Argentina.
“We chose to transition our packaging from plastic bags to foil bags in order to use the most effective moisture and flavour barrier for maximising freshness,” says Steven Karr, Guayaki’s creative director. “We were delighted to find that NatureFlex satisfies those specific technical needs, as well as our green mission and ideals, without significantly raising our packaging costs.”
The final packaging structure for the product is made from metallised NatureFlex NM and laminated to high gloss transparent NatureFlex NVS film. NatureFlex NM is a unique cellulose-based film, manufactured from renewable wood pulp and metallised in-house. It is the only metallised biodegradable film suitable for home composting because the level of metal is so small – less than 0.02% – which slows the film’s degradation by a matter of days but does not interfere with its biodegradability in any other way. Modified coatings ensure excellent metal lay-down and adhesion, providing a very high moisture barrier with a transmission rate of less than 10g / m² / day (38°C, 90% RH). It is this high barrier that keeps Guayaki’s Loose Yerba Mate products in premium condition.
NatureFlex has good dimensional stability, inherent anti-static properties, is resistant to oils and greases, while providing a good barrier to gases and aromas. The film has a high level of ink receptivity and can be printed using solvent based, water based or UV inks. In addition, the films controlled slip properties ensure easier conversion. “The printability of the bags is wonderful and they also have an appealing texture,” notes Karr.
All NatureFlex films are cellulose based, derived from renewable wood pulp and 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 biobased content of circa 95% by weight of material.
“NatureFlex films offer many advantages,” says Malcolm Cohn, Innovia Films’ market manager, Americas. He adds: “They are not only biodegradable and compostable for those packer processors keen to use sustainable packaging but also have a technical performance second to none. Congratulations to Guayaki for their vision, passion and drive to align their packaging message with the spirit of their product marketing, by providing caring consumers with a biodegradable, naturally-based packaging material.”
“We are proud to be raising the bar and trendsetting a new wave of green sustainable packaging with these products,” says Karr. “These products offer the energising health benefits of Guayaki Yerba Mate, while also helping reduce the consumer’s personal carbon footprint, all in a biodegradable package,” adds Karr.