Bio tray awarded food contact certification

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Biodegradation

A tray derived from sugar cane waste with frozen ready meal and chilled food applications has received PIRA food contact certification, claims its UK manufacturer.

According to packaging supplier, Rockwell Solutions, its iTray has also been PIRA certified for chilling, freezing and dual oven usage.

The company said as the tray is made out of ground sugar cane waste, it is a sustainable option for food manufacturers; it added that the container is compostable, and also offers good moisture resistance through the application of a compostable coating based on sugar cane chaff.

The trays also provide a ten to 15 per cent weight reduction on a CPET equivalent, continued Rockwell, with film self vents on the container eliminating the need for piercing prior to cooking,

In addition, claims the company, the food container fulfils criteria outlined in the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) Recommendation XXXVI part 2:

“Compliance to this recommendation can be used to show a product's suitability for use in direct contact with all classes of food including hot, moist, dry and fatty foodstuffs and including use in cooking and baking applications.”

Biodegradability of the tray in an industrial composting environmental, added Rockwell, is achievable within 31 days.

Non-food sources

Communication spokesperson for European Bioplastics, Melanie Gentzik, told that while bioplastics have no impact on the current food supply and availability situation, technical solutions to use mainly non-food crops in their manufacturer are increasingly under investigation.

She called for all parties involved in their production to support sustainable development of bioplastics, and to take into account that no raw material has unlimited availability and therefore the most efficient use of resources must be achieved.

“Bioplastics should be regarded as a solution to promote sustainable development and not as a threat to it,”​ said Gentzik.

Market focus

Meanwhile, the BCC research group said that the market for biodegradable plastics, in terms of volume, reached 541 million lbs in 2007, and is expected to reach 1.2 billion lbs by 2012.

And market analysts, Freedonia, predicts that natural polymer demand will grow 7.1 per cent annually to $4bn in 2012, with expansion due in part to improved production technologies for materials such as PLA.

The group said that PLA will see significant growth in packaging areas such as thermoformed containers.

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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