In recent years, the market sees that more and more bioplastics are used as packaging. It is important to make a distinction between bio-based and bio-degradable packaging.
These are made of renewable raw materials, such as starch, glucose, vegetable oils and cellulose. The raw materials are derived from different agricultural products or plant residues and subsequently transformed into basic substances to be processed into different types of bioplastics. Bio-based plastics are not necessarily biodegradable. In general, they have the same properties as their fossil predecessors. The big advantage of these raw materials is that they can be processed in an existing recycling process and that they can be re-used as basis for plastic products.
BioPET as a replacement for Virgin PET
BioPET has been around for some years now. It is a plastic based on 30% renewable raw material and 70% oil-based raw material. Coca-Cola, for example, has been using BioPET since 2009 in the form of the “Plant Bottle”. PET Power also offers its customers the possibility to use this type of plastic. The mechanical and thermical properties of BioPET are similar to other oil-based PET products. However, the colour tone may slightly differ, depending on the type. Tests with this type of material by PET Power’s R&D Department show that BioPET can be easily processed and that it is an equivalent substitute of “Virgin PET” (new polyethylene terephthalate).
New developments in PET packaging
Research is conducted into the use of 100% bio-based PET. PET Power is following these developments closely and collaborates with suppliers in joint testing.
Biodegradable plastics can be made from renewable raw materials and/or fossil fuel-based raw materials. They can be decomposed biologically by the action of living micro-organisms or by means of (industrial) composting.