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April 17, 2016

Bio-on develops biodegradable material for food packaging

Researchers from Italian renewable chemicals developer Bio-on and the University of Tampere in Finland have developed a new biodegradable material, as part of the Minerv PHA Extrusion Coating project.

Researchers from Italian renewable chemicals developer Bio-on and the University of Tampere in Finland have developed a new biodegradable material, as part of the Minerv PHA Extrusion Coating project.

Launched in late 2015, the project aimed to develop a new biodegradable, environmentally friendly material using paper and bioplastic for food packaging.

The new technology fuses a biopolymer onto the paper during an extrusion process, eliminating the use of film.

Bio-on chairman Marco Astorri said: "Together we demonstrate that it is possible to develop new functionalities in the use of PHAs biopolymers in dozens of items."

"Being able to do this with completely natural products will put us at the cutting-edge of research and development in the coming decades."

Tetrapak-type containers using paper and bioplastic, known as special-grade Extrusion Coating (EC), were developed during the project.

Researchers also replaced the polyethylene contained in current packaging, sustaining all of its water resisting capabilities.

Tampere University of Technology professor Kuusipalo said: "The PHAs made by Bio-on is very versatile and enables us to achieve performances never seen before.

"Being able to do this with completely natural products will put us at the cutting-edge of research and development in the coming decades."

The new biodegradable cartons have been designed for foodstuffs, including milk and fruit juice.

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