The Singapore-based company's AgroResin product is already being used in the Asian market. The product has already received certification within the EU as biodegradable packaging for food. Sincethe packaging is made from naturally abundant materials such as palm-oil or wheat straw fibres, the process is compatible with existing moulded pulp manufacturing processes.
AgroResin packaging can be used in a wide range of food contact applications, from fresh produce, dried food and bakery products to frozen food, the company stated in an announcement.
The demand for environmentally-friendly biodegradable packaging is a growth area, reflecting consumer and retailer awareness of the issue of waste disposal. The market is also being driven bylegislation, such as the EU's directive on packaging and packaging waste, requiring companies and retailers to cut down on the waste produced by their food products.
In the UK, for example, food processors will come under greater pressure to ship their products in environmentally-friendly materials after retail outlets announced last month the formation of analliance to reduce packaging and food waste at landfills. The new programme, made up of the leading UK retailers, is being launched under the Waste & Resources Action Programme (Wrap).
In the EU biodegradable packaging must be capable of undergoing physical, chemical, thermal or biological decomposition such that most of the finished compost ultimately decomposes into carbondioxide, biomass and water.
Grenidea's AgroResin packaging is made from the by-products of the palm oil industry. It can also be made from agricultural fibres, such aswheat straw, that are common by-products of annual crops. By contrast, the raw materials for moulded pulp packaging can take five to seven years to mature, the company stated.
"If your company is a moulded pulp manufacturer, you can use AgroResin material with your existing processes," Grenidea stated in an announcement. "There is no need to makenew, significant investments in manufacturing."
AgroResin is also wood free, pulp free, emission free, and chemical free.
Grenidea will introduce AgroResin into the US market at the beginning of 2006. The company says it plans to target the fresh fruits and vegetable packaging segment of the market first.