A Czech research team claims to have developed a synthetic, biopolymer-based breathable food packaging film with the potential to solve the waste problems facing the global packaging industry.

The study ‘Biodegradable Hydrogel Film for Food Packaging’ tried to develop a PVP-CMC hydrogel film using synthetic polvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and biopolymers carboxymetyl cellulose (CMC).

The researchers found that the films were breathable and biodegradable, and suitable for food packaging applications as they are transparent, have oxygen barrier properties and are relatively low in cost.

The films biodegradability was five weeks, when tested in a soil burial-test in a controlled compost environment, leaving no significant hydrogel film residue behind.

Water vapour transmission (WVP) testing also proved the constant aeration rate of the hydrogel film.