Package clarity in the news again today with Bologna-based Ilip announcing that it is designing and manufacturing packaging for fresh produce using NatureWorks PLA - a bio-based polymer derived from 100 per cent annually renewable resources, produced by Cargill Dow.
Ilip is one of Europe's largest producers of packaging for agricultural products, making a wide range of punnets, trays and fruit inserts. In addition to NatureWorks PLA, Ilip uses PET and polypropylene for its packaging applications.
"The quality performance and competitive advantage of using a maize-based polymer for food packaging led us to NatureWorks," said Riccardo Pianesani, vice president, Ilip. "We're confident that retailers will be receptive to our new packaging and hope to have products packaged in NatureWorks PLA on store shelves by early spring 2003."
The new product made its debut at Fruit Logistica 2003 in Berlin last month. According to Ilip the high performance characteristics of NatureWorks, such as strength and clarity, make it perfect for fresh produce applications such as the rigid container Ilip produces.
"Package clarity is extremely important to consumers when gauging the freshness of a product," said Lisa Owen, rigids leader, Cargill Dow LLC. "NatureWorks is a very clear packaging material that offers fresh food retailers the opportunity to separate their product from the competition."
NatureWorks PLA - made using an abundant supply of carbon found in maize to produce a resin - comes from an annually renewable resource and is fully compostable. The end-result is a resin called polylactide (PLA) that, according to Cargill Dow, can require 20 per cent to 50 per cent less fossil fuel than petroleum-based plastics.
"Our new partnership with Ilip further expands the presence of NatureWorks PLA as a food packaging material throughout Europe," added Owen.