German chemical company BASF and Italy-based industrial manufacturer of machines and films for food packaging Fabbri Group have developed a sustainable solution for cling film used in fresh-food packaging
Based on BASF’s certified compostable ecovio, Fabbri Group produces the transparent stretch film Nature Fresh. Meat, seafood, fruits and vegetables can be wrapped manually or with automatic packaging equipment, along with industrial stretch packaging.
Nature Fresh is the first certified compostable cling film that combines optimal breathability for an extended shelf life of fresh food with high transparency and excellent mechanical properties for automatic packaging. Nature Fresh is food-contact approved, according to the USA and European standards.
Closing the nutrient loop towards a circular economy
The film helps to keep food fresh for a longer period of time when compared to polyvinyl chloride (PVC) alternatives used for cling film such as polyethylene (PE). As a consequence, the greenhouse gas emissions originating from food that is produced and distributed, but ultimately wasted, can be reduced.
After using, Nature Fresh can be composted together with other food waste in home compost or industrial compost according to national legislation. It enables organic recycling and helps to close the nutrient loop towards a circular economy.
Nature Fresh film, made of ecovio, is the certified compostable alternative to cling films made of PVC and PE, which are so far used in fresh food packaging. Additionally, ecovio shows a better water vapour transmission than PE, which is essential for optimal fresh food packaging.
Market is looking for an alternative to PVC
Carsten Sinkel from global business development biopolymers at BASF said, “PE films are lacking in performance, often leading to the reduced shelf life of packed fresh food. This results in considerable greenhouse gas emissions from food waste.”
Fruits and vegetables, for example, are responsible for 33 per cent greenhouse gas emissions from all food waste globally. The compostable ecovio aims to enable the production of a cling film that prolongs the shelf life of fresh food and at the same time can be composted after use together with organic waste according to national legislation, Sinkel explained.
The EU Waste Framework Directive promotes solutions to reduce food waste and increase organic waste collection.
BASF and Fabbri Group have joined to develop a cling film which can be used on stretch wrapping machines. Stefano Mele, CEO at Fabbri Group, commented that the Nature Fresh solution is combined with the Automac NF wrappers. With this, the food packaging industry is benefitted.
“In this way, our certified compostable cling film can be used together with trays and labels of the same kind in order to have a complete compostable packaging,” Mele added.