Biodegradable plastics packaging 03-02-2023

Biodegradable plastics packaging

-SABS warns about unverified biodegradable plastics claims

National verification and standards organisation the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS) has warned against vague claims that plastics are environment-friendly or nonpolluting.

It says manufacturers that wish to claim their plastic packaging is degradable need to subject the packaging to the relevant testing and certification requirements of the newly published South African National Standard (SANS) 1728.

The SANS 1728 sets out the requirements for the marking and identification of degradable plastics. Degradable plastics include, but are not limited to, biodegradable, compostable, oxo-biodegradable and water-soluble plastics.  Biodegradable plastics packaging

Further, the national standard advises consumers to recognise the correct markings and to be aware that any product that claims to have degradable plastic packaging needs to be verified according to the standard, which is aligned to global requirements.

“Vague environmental claims such as environmentally safe, environment-friendly, Earth-friendly, nonpolluting, green, ozone-friendly or plastic free, among others, are specifically cautioned against in SANS 1728,” explains SABS acting CEO Dr Sadhvir Bissoon.

“Currently, in South Africa, there are no products that have been certified by the SABS as compliant or meeting the requirements of SANS 1728, and consumers are urged to be vigilant when purchasing plastic products that make unverified claims of being degradable, environment-friendly or plastic free.  Biodegradable plastics packaging

“Manufacturers need to ensure they have verified the type of plastic in their packaging before they can make any claims about their products,” he emphasises.

SANS 1728 requires that the plastic material used in the packaging must be noted on the packaging, using a material identification code from one to seven and contained in a triangle.

The number one contained in a triangle denotes polyethylene terephthalate, two for high-density polyethylene, three for polyvinyl chloride, four for low-density polyethylene (PE-LD), five for polypropylene, six for polystyrene, and seven for all other materials, such as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, polylactic acid (PLA) and styrene-acrylonitrile resin.

“Should the plastic packaging be of a degradable nature, it will be indicated below the triangle, such as a triangle containing the number seven with PLA Compostable written below, or a triangle containing a four with PE-LD Oxo-biodegradable written below,” the SABS highlights.  Biodegradable plastics packaging

South Africa generates 2.4-million tonnes a year of plastic waste, according to environmental conservation organisation the World Wide Fund for Nature, meaning every South African contributes about 41 kg of plastic waste a year, and about 14% of this is recycled.

The Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment holds the authority and regulatory power over packaging.

The SABS, together with other national standards bodies and standardisation forums, continues to work to provide standards and guidelines for environment-friendly production and processing of plastics and plastic products, the standards body says.

Biodegradable plastics packaging


SABS warns about unverified biodegradable plastics claims

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Packaging sustainable solutions 14-02-2023

Packaging sustainable solutions

-Revolutionising packaging with innovative, sustainable solutions in India

Control Print Limited has announced a joint venture with V-Shapes S.r.l., an innovative supplier of sustainable single-dose sachets and manufacturer of packaging machinery based in Bologna, Italy, enabling it for the first time to bring this cutting-edge technology to the Indian market. Packaging sustainable solutions

This joint venture combines Control Print’s expertise in coding and marking technology with V-Shapes’ innovative packaging machinery with “Snap then Squeeze” technology to produce Recyclable/Biodegradable single-use packets for a wide range of products including liquids, viscous and powdered content.

V-Shapes has developed patented unit-dose packaging machines in collaboration with Siemens, designed to create an easy-to-use system with “Snap then Squeeze” technology that requires only three fingers to open a sachet without cutting & tearing.

This visionary packaging machine developed by V-Shapes is intended to reduce the environmental impact of packaging.  Packaging sustainable solutions

The single-portion pouches are easy to open, hygienic and safe to use, making them ideal for food, cosmetics, medicines, pharmaceuticals and chemical products.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with V-Shapes,” said Shiva Kabra, joint managing director of Control Print Limited. “Their ingenious packaging machinery and commitment to sustainability align perfectly with our values and mission. We are excited to offer our customers a complete solution for branding, coding, and packaging their products. We look forward to seeing this partnership’s positive impact on the packaging industry in India.”

“We are very excited to be partnering with Control Print,” said Christian Burattini, CEO of V-Shapes S.r.l. “Their coding and marking technology expertise will be a valuable asset to our company.  Packaging sustainable solutions

We look forward to working together to provide customers with a complete solution for their packaging needs. Control Print and V-Shapes are committed to working together to provide the best possible eco-friendly packaging solutions to Indian companies.”This partnership will allow Control Print to offer manufacturers a complete solution for packaging and coding their products, from the initial design to the final product and will also enable CPL to expand its reach in the Indian market and provide customers with a broader range of recyclable packaging, technologically advanced packaging machinery and a complete range of coding solutions. Packaging sustainable solutions

V-Shapes has also created two new substrates, reNEW oX-100 and reNEW oX-500, equipped with high-barrier capabilities and certified by Interseroh as 100% recyclable. These substrates have received extremely high ratings for detection, sorting and recycling in the industrial waste system.


Packaging sustainable solutions

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Biodegradable plastics – Tartaric acid 11-02-2023

Biodegradable plastics – Tartaric acid

-Korean researchers find adding tartaric acid to biodegradable plastics makes them stronger

In South Korea, cooking a delicious risotto and making plastics are actually very similar processes. In both, ingredients come together and are heated to create a product, but current recipes for synthesizing bioplastics often fall flat, producing flimsy materials. So, taking a hint from chefs, researchers now report in ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering a way to “season” biodegradable plastics to make them stronger. It just takes a “pinch” of cream of tartar (tartaric acid) or citric acid.

To help reduce the amount of plastic waste, some companies are adopting biodegradable plastics that eventually disintegrate. However, it’s often the case that the more easily these materials break down, the flimsier they are, tearing apart from the slightest pressure. Biodegradable plastics – Tartaric acid

One solution could be to sprinkle in additives, similar to salt and pepper seasonings in cooking, to increase strength and toughness. Some researchers have used petroleum-based additives, but they can slow down degradation and are unappealing to consumers who desire products made from natural, biologically sourced ingredients. So Korean researchers wanted to see if “seasoning” a biodegradable bioplastic called poly(butylene succinate) (PBS) with fruit-derived tartaric acid or citric acid could improve the plastic’s mechanical properties.

The researchers made seasoned PBS by first heating succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol with small amounts of either tartaric or citric acid. Then, they added titanium(IV) butoxide and dried the products. In tests, the two new films stretched more than twice as far before breaking and let through less oxygen compared to pure PBS. These results indicate that, unlike the original version, the new materials could be successfully used for bags or food packaging, say the researchers. Biodegradable plastics – Tartaric acid

Additionally, the two seasoned materials were stronger than many conventional biodegradable plastics and some petroleum-based products. One potential downside is that it took the new additive-containing polymers slightly longer to break down in water compared to pure PBS over 14 weeks, though that could be beneficial for food packaging applications in humid environments. Because the “seasoning” approach is relatively simple, the researchers say the new plastics could be made using current industrial processes, potentially replacing petroleum-based polymers.


Biodegradable plastics - Tartaric acid

Biodegradable plastics – Tartaric acid

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