The very first edition of the new Biobased Packaging catalogue, compiled by Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research on request of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, has recently been translated into English. The great success of the Dutch version of this catalogue has convinced involved researchers to translate the catalogue to make it available to a larger public.
The catalogue offers a comprehensive overview of the various types of biobased packaging that are currently available on the market, including their current and potential applications. The idea behind the catalogue, which was put together in collaboration with a number of producers of biobased materials and packaging, was to boost the use of sustainable and biobased packaging by offering a clear review of the options and possibilities for commercial application.
Sustainable packaging is currently generating a great deal of interest among consumers, industry and the public authorities. Sustainable packaging can refer to many aspects of packaging including decreasing the amount of packaging used, improving recycling options of the packaging materials and also the use of environmentally friendly materials. Biobased materials are an important group of materials that can provide environmental benefits due to lower CO2 emissions during their manufacture and the use of plant-based feedstock instead of feedstock based on fossil fuel.
The Biobased Packaging catalogue
The Ministry of Economic Affairs had commissioned Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research to put together a reference work detailing the current applications options for biobased materials. The catalogue outlines these clearly and concisely, and demonstrates the extent to which these materials are already being successfully applied, in packaging for products ranging from fresh products like vegetables and dairy products, to household cleaning products, cosmetics, beverages and transportation packaging.
Interesting advantages of biobased plastics
The most successful applications are those in which the specific properties and advantages of the biobased plastics are taken advantage of. Biobased plastic packaging often offers enhanced ‘breathing’ properties, ensuring that fresh products such as lettuce or bread stay fresher, longer. A number of these plastics are naturally anti-static, which means that fewer additives are needed compared to conventional plastics. Compostable plastics are not required to be separately disposed of but can be disposed of together with the other organic household waste.
The new catalogue is intended for buyers, users and producers of packaging materials, as well as for policy officers at public organizations.