Herbs and Spices Packed in Innovia Films’ High-Barrier Natureflex Film

Innovia Films’ high-barrier, compostable, cellulose-based material NatureFlex™ NK has been chosen by an Austrian producer, Sonnentor, to wrap its range of herbs and spices.

NatureFlex NK was launched in 2008 and offers not only biodegradability and compostability, but also a moisture barrier approaching that of co-extruded OPP. This means it has the best moisture barrier of any biopolymer film available, which has been achieved through Innovia Films’ unique coating technology.

Sonnentor was founded more than 20 years ago in the Waldviertel region by Johannes Gutmann. He wanted to sell locally grown and dried organic herbs and spices with the emphasis on traditional harvesting and refining methods, innovation and fair trade principles. The company has gone from strength to strength and employs 100 people in Austria, with 75% of its product exported.

Mr Gutmann said: “Sonnentor’s formula for success is innovative product concepts and high-quality, carefully selected organic ingredients. This organic way requires innovative solutions for our packaging. NatureFlex plays an important part in our sustainability and successful future.”

NatureFlex was an obvious solution for the packaging in this application as the film begins life as a natural product, wood, and breaks down at the end of its life-cycle in a home compost bin (or industrial compost environment) within a matter of weeks. It also offers advantages for packing and converting, such as inherent deadfold and anti-static properties, high gloss and transparency, resistance to grease and oil, a good barrier to gases and aromas, print receptive surface and a wide heat-seal range.

NatureFlex films are certified to meet 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 some 95% by weight of material.

Andy Sweetman, Innovia Films’ global marketing manager of sustainable technologies, said: “With its excellent barrier properties, NatureFlex NK fills a major gap in the compostable materials market. Now dry, moisture-sensitive foods can also be wrapped using a compostable solution.

“We anticipate this will open up a host of new opportunities for NatureFlex on its own, or as part of a laminate solution with other biofilms.”

NatureFlex NK is a transparent, general-purpose packaging grade suitable for various applications such as dried foods (biscuits, cereals, crisps, snack bars and similar foods). The product is also ideal for lamination to other biofilms. NatureFlex NK is available in 20 micron, 23 micron, 30 micron and 45 micron thicknesses and can be used for a variety of pack formats, such as VFFS, flow wrap, twistwrap and overwrap.

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