Polymer company Cargill Dow has a new partner in Italy to help service the European food packaging industry. The companies are working together to offer thermoformed packaging to the bakery and convenience food markets made from NatureWorks' PLA - a renewable resource-based plastic derived from maize.
"Our objectives are to continue expanding product and service capabilities, without losing sight of our belief in sustainability," said Stefano Bertolini, chief executive of Amprica."Our relationship with Cargill Dow meets those objectives and allows us to offer the industry natural-based containers to package natural food products."
Established in 1932, Amprica is heavily involved in developing 'environmentally friendly' packaging. The company has recently replaced the plastic materials currently in use, such as PET, PVC and PS with NatureWorks PLA 'because it is more sustainable,' the company said in a statement this week. Amprica's production systems have been ISO 9002 certified since 1997 and manufactures their own moulds to provide 'product diversity, such as unique single serve baked-good trays and fresh-food containers.'
Bertolini added that the financial investment his company made in expanding their capabilities with PLA represents a commitment to their customers and a more sustainable future for food packaging. "The ultimate goal is customer satisfaction. NatureWorks helps us meet those expectations with quality parts that are not derived from a finite resource like petroleum, and offer environmentally friendly disposal options."
NatureWorks PLA performs like traditional petroleum-based plastics and offers characteristics such as gloss, clarity, strength, and flavour and aroma barrier - all popular in the food industry.
"NatureWorks is a more sustainable plastic with competitive performance quality, and therefore viewed by brand owners and retailers as a point of differentiation for products on their shelves," said Stefano Cavallo, business development manager for Southern Europe, Cargill Dow BV. "Working with Amprica, we're putting containers made with PLA where they belong in stores - in areas that use high volumes of highly disposable packaging, like the delicatessen and bakery."