DuPont has launched a new polymer additive that strengthens bio−based polylactic acid (PLA) resin used for food and drink packaging.
Consumer, government and increasingly retailer pressure is forcing firms to use materials from renewable sources to package their goods. Bio-based resins, however, are not as strong as their petrochemical competitors and plastics manufacturers are now developing additives to add strength to packaging, which will in turn increase potential applications.
The Biomax Strong 120 additive toughens PLA, adding flexibility and viscosity to the material often used for non-carbonated drinks containers and clear food trays, the company claims. Particularly suitable for resins with rigid applications such as cast sheets for thermoformed and injection molded plastics, Biomax Stong can be added at levels between one and five per cent by weight to improve toughness, while maintaining transparency levels, claims the manufacturer.
Shanna Moore, global market manager for DuPont Packaging, said improving the performance of bio−based and biodegradable products can help the packaging industry deliver high performance at a competitive price. “Offering a food contact compliant grade of Biomax Strong gives DuPont a way to help food marketers take better advantage of an environmentally preferred solution in packages such as clamshells used in fresh produce sections,” she said.
DuPont claims its Biomax resin, which contains the additive, gives polyethylene terephthalate (PET) performance when used as packaging, with fully bio-degradable properties when composted. Biomax Strong 120 is approved for use as an additive for food contact materials by the US Food and Drug Administration, and European food safety authorities.
Source: FoodProductionDaily-USA.com, 2007-05-15.