Bioplastics is certainly the main topic discussed by plastics players nowadays. The targets globally pursued include to eliminate unnecessary packaging, move from single use to re-use attitude and promote the utilisation of materials made from renewable resources to be applied in different sectors. Since many governments have expressed the commitment towards an eco-friendly policy to free nature from plastic waste, companies involved in the plastic packaging field have to seek for new materials. They are therefore eager to receive a competent guidance and support by both machinery manufacturers and raw material suppliers on the choice of the material and on the technology to process it. Amut Group, highly regarded pioneer in testing materials, is ready for this duty and has already embraced the ''Go green'' way-to-produce since many years. Amut is used to help customers in finding eco solutions in partnership with raw materials suppliers.
Amut has started a collaboration with the company NatureWorks for extrusion and thermoforming food contact approved processes. NatureWorks is a world-leading biopolymers supplier which turns greenhouse gases into a portfolio of polylactic acid (PLA) performance materials called Ingeo. Since 2015, NatureWorks has partnered with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to support the foundation’s New Plastics Economy initiative, which is a comprehensive strategy for creating a global plastics system based on circular economy principles.
Amut-COMI tested Ingeo PLA on its thermoforming machines using rolls provided by Coexpan company. Coexpan is the Grupo Lantero division specialized in the manufacture of rigid plastic foils and thermoformed products providing packaging solutions at a global scale. The results were good: serviceware made with Ingeo well performs in hot and cold applications. Other tests scheduled will involve Amut/Erema extrusion line now proposed for r-PET foil food contact approved production. Amut and Erema are working together to offer a similar technology also for PLA treatment through a direct extrusion process.
Ingeo PLA is a thermoplastic material that shows high transparency, glossy and tear strength comparable with other thermoplastic materials such as PS or PP. It is easy to shape and has multiple end-of-life options including composting and recycling. The foils in made PLA assure a high food flavour and aroma preservation, making them ideal for items that require a higher product protection. Therefore, using the PLA material for packaging applications not only boost environment preservation but also ensures the maximum quality and efficiency of the products.
During Chinaplas Exhibition, held at Guangzhou from the 21st to the 24th of May, Amut-COMI will run the ACF model thermoforming machine with Ingeo PLA foil every day.