The Technological Institute of Plastics (AIMPLAS) received last day the award for the best European project of the Valencian Community 2013 in the category of Innovation for developing a biodegradable net for food products within the framework of the ECOBIONET project. It consists of a prize convened by the Conselleria de Hacienda y Administración Pública (Finance and Public Administration Department) and was given, together with other awards in the category of Formation and Environment, in a ceremony celebrated in the gothic courtyard of the Conselleria, on the occasion of Europe Day.
Due to its participation in the ECOBIONET project, AIMPLAS successfully developed an innovative net to package citrus fruits, potatoes, onions or mollusks. Unlike the traditional packages, it is not necessary to separate the organic waste to be recycled. The new net is biodegradable and compostable, so it must be put with the rest of the organic wastes generated at home and in shopping centers.
In industrial compostability conditions, nets become into fertilizer for plants, for less than six months and are incorporated once again in the crop cycle of the products inside them. During the award ceremony, José Antonio Costa, AIMPLAS Managing Director ensured: “The best award for us is that companies are able to innovate, but competing with their counterparts at European and Global Level. It is necessary to continue to promote the innovation at Regional, National and European level, and we, companies and other agents, must take profit of all the opportunities before us”.
About the ECOBIONET project, José Antonio Costa highlighted how “the sustainability to a competitive price as an added value” has been obtained, since claimed that the main entry barrier in the market of bio product is the price. “The participation in project like the ECOBIONET one has meant and important return for AIMPLAS, which has managed to remain at the leading edge of R+D+i in the field of polymers and plastics in general, and for all the companies with which we collaborated, developing innovative product what give them an advantage over their competitors”.
On the other hand, the Conseller of Hacienda y Administración Pública (Councillor of Finance and Public Administration), Juan Carlos Moragues, assured that the awarded projects last day in the categories of Innovation, Environment and Formation and Employment “are representative projects of what Europe is”. He also pointed out that the European Union will invest 960,000 million of Euros in project such as the awarded ones, during the period 2014-2020.
Spanish companies like Ecoplas and Cristóbal Meseguer, the German one like Tecnaro and the Belgian one like OWAS participated in the project and received funds from the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP). One of the most remarkable aspects of the biodegradable net is its prize, because in spite of having an important added value, its final prize would also increase a few centimes per kilo of the product packaged.
Same characteristics, more properties
The biodegradable net developed by AIMPLAS complies with all the functional requirements to package, from potatoes, garlics and onions, to shellfish and mollusks, including citrus fruits. So much so that, it can be manufactured in all the versions of the market: extruded oriented nets (the ones which maintain its original form with the product inside them, such as garlics and mollusks), extruded non-oriented nets (for citrus fruits, potatoes and a big variety of horticultural products) and these nets combined with film (designed to see the product and let them transpire, but they avoid the wastes or dust to fall out the package).