Company to produce compostable food packaging

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bioplastic

The Instone Group has joined the race to grab a slice of the
biodegradable food packaging market by launching a subsidiary that
will target the produce and meat segments.

New Ice, the new company, will develop, produce and market a range of compostable food packaging.

It will add more capacity in the market for those processors who want to make the switch to more environmentally-friendly packaging.

"The company has been operating in stealth mode for a few years and is months away from introducing a new class of biodegradable food and beverage containers that are compostable," Instone stated.

The packaging will target packagers of produce, meats and poultry.

New Ice has applied for process patents covering its potato starch formulation.

The formulation replaces plastic and Styrofoam food container products, the company claimed.

The packaging is being designed to conform to international ASTM 6400 standards for compostable materials.

New Ice is building its first manufacturing line in Durango, Colorado and is currently testing pre-production products, said Giles Instone, New Ice's founder.

The company also has established offices in the UK and Australia.

"We have spent the last six years researching and developing a new class of products that will revolutionise the entire life cycle for compostable food containers," he said.

"We've conceived an approach using a new process that will give food packagers an opportunity to be environmentally responsible, while protecting the quality of the food products that they sell."

The packaging products will not be available for a few months, he said.

New Ice is the not the first player to enter the biodegradable and compostable packging market.

Over the past five years packaging suppliers have been introducing various forms of biodegradable materials to replace plastics and foams.

These materials are made from a variety of plants, in the main corn, in response to projections that consumers and recycling regulations will drive demand for environmentally-friendly packaging.

Some companies predict that the market will grow by about 20 per cent a year, and the products are an alternative to petroleum-based packaging such as the widely-used polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

Earlier this month Cargill announced it was teaming up with Japan-based Teijin to produce polylactic acid (PLA).

A similar alliance has been formed between DuPont and Plantic.

Materials such as PLA and PHA are made from a variety of plants.

To produce PLA manufacturers use a chemical polymerisation process to transform renewable raw materials such as corn into a biodegradable biopolymer.

Meanwhile biodegradable polymers such as polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), PHV and PHB are produced by the actions of genetically modified micro-organisms.

Demand for bioplastics in Europe experienced its first boom last year, according to a survey by the European Bioplastics Association, which has about 70 members.

Currently bioplastics account for less than one percent of the European plastics market.

PLA is a plastic biopolymer, wholly derived from corn, which is compostable and biodegradable

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