is a packaging expert in injection molding of plastics for food packaging. Their slogan
is “thinking out of the box”, and this is exactly what they did when they took part in this joint
development project – a joint development that involved
with its Ecovio® biopolymer,
for the manufacturing of the IML labels, and Taghleef Industries’ for the
supply of NATIVIA™ PLA film. The working group used existing and well established technologies,
designed for use with standard oil-based plastics, to produce a bio-based and compostable
injection molded thin-wall and in-mold decorated pot for food packaging. The major step ahead
was using the new, biodegradable and bio-based Ecovio® IS for injection molding, and the bio-
based and compostable metallised NATIVIA™ PLA film for the barrier label.
Ecovio® and NATIVIA™ are widely used in packaging applications. However, a known characteristic
of both materials is their poor barrier against moisture and gases, which does not allow their use
for shelf stable food products. As a consequence, the team decided to use a vacuum metallised
NATIVIA™ film for labelling the 0.6mm pot’s bottom and surrounding wall to provide barrier.
Druckhaus Rahning, a leading printing house specializing in the manufacturing of labels, used
their know-how to print the labels, by using a 5-color + lacquer reel-fed UV printer to produce both
the wrap around and bottom labels.
The measurement of O
permeation at 25°C and 40% relative humidity, according ASTM F1927–
07, revealed that by adding the metallised PLA label, the O
permeation was lowered to about
25% of the original Ecovio® O
permeation value, and 10 times lower than standard PP tubs.
Ecovio® consists of the compostable BASF polymer, Ecoflex®, and polylactic acid (PLA), which is derived from plant-
based starch. The main areas of use for Ecovio® are plastic films such as organic waste bags, dual-use bags (first
for shopping, then for organic waste), agricultural films, as well as paper-coating, shrink films, foam packaging and
injection molded products. Products made of Ecovio® is for injection molding benefit from an optimum balance of
rigidity and toughness. Flow behavior is easily adjusted according to the application – from medium to high flow
requirements. NATIVIA™ biaxially oriented, bio-based and compostable PLA films are widely used in various food
packaging applications, thanks to their high clarity, gloss, seal-ability and compatibility with existing packaging
machines. To date, they had never been tested for manufacturing labels for injection molding.
High Barrier In-Mould Labelling of Biodegradable
Pots and Tubs with
Italian Schools Choose NATIVIA™ Films
for Fruit Packs
The EU program ‘Frutta nelle Scuole’ (Fruit at School) was first introduced in 2009, involving
870,000 children in 5,000 schools in Italy, and resulted with an increased consumption of fruits
and vegetables among children. One of the supported initiatives consisted of distributing packs
of ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables in primary schools to children between the ages of 6 and
11 years. Fruit packs are designed to be easily consumed “on the go” by pupils, and NATIVIA™
bio-based and compostable PLA films have been chosen for the pillow packs of fresh cut apples
and pears, thanks to their performance and environmental benefits. Other varieties include
oranges, kiwis, carrots, cherry tomatoes and fennels.
Further information on the initiative can be found on:
INTERPACK – Review