Going shopping with renewable materials
The plastic Ecovio consists of Ecoflex and of polylactic acid (PLA), which is obtained from corn, a renewable raw material. Chemically speaking, Ecoflex is a petrochemical - based polyester. And yet, thanks to its special molecular structure, it can be digested by microbes under precisely defined conditions: it is completely biodegradable according to European standard EN 13432. Whereas Ecoflex makes the bag flexible, tear resistant, waterproof and suitable for printing - giving it the properties of a classic plastic - the stiff PLA contributes the renewable raw material.
The combination of Ecovio and Ecoflex allows film manufacturers such as Victor to produce plastic bags and other film products with tailor - made properties - a higher percentage of Ecoflex renders the film more flexible whereas a higher percentage of Ecovio renders it stiffer. Thus, Ecoflex makes it possible for renewable raw materials like PLA to now be employed in high - performance consumer products.
Biodegradable shopping bags offer customers an additional advantage: they not only are strong enough to be used multiple times as a shopping bag, but at the end of their days, they can also serve as a bag for collecting and disposing of organic kitchen garbage - in most of the German communities this is already permitted.
- The two plastics Ecoflex and Ecovio have been developed primarily for products such as shopping bags and bags for organic waste, which are transformed into valuable compost - together with the bio waste – in an industrial composting facility - explains Andreas Künkel, in charge of the development of biodegradable plastics at BASF. In these applications, the biodegradability of the materials constitutes a benefit for customers and environment.