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Additive boosts green potential of PET, says BioSmart

By Jane Byrne , 26-Nov-2008
Last updated the 26-Nov-2008 at 13:41 GMT

A new additive renders polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles biodegradable over time, particularly if they are inadvertently disposed of or littered outdoors, claims the developer.

BioSmart said PET bottles using its additive, Bi-X007, are thermally stable, and have excellent storage and shelf life as well as good transportation stability.

Drink manufacturers, Canadian Gold Beverages and KBev, have announced the incorporation of the additive into their range of PET water and flavoured water bottles.

In a joint statement, the two companies said that they are committed to reducing their packaging footprint and added that the caps, ring, labels and packaging of the new bottle range including the shrink film and pallet wrap are all produced with the BioSmart additive to give the consumer a totally ‘green’ package.

Biodegradable answer

The drink manufacturers said that will continue to encourage consumers to recycle; however, they argue, that the new range of biodegradable water bottles provides an environmentally friendly solution for the percentage of PET products that get thrown in a landfill or littered.

According to the spokesperson for BioSmart, this new technology for the PET industry does not rely on composting and does not interfere with the recycle chain. “It fully breaks down and biodegrades in a landfill between 14-24 months.”

“In the final analysis, these plastics are capable of being allowed to re-enter the carbon cycle naturally, leaving no eco-toxic remnants behind,” he said.

PET potential

The spokesperson explained that, up until now, BioSmart has been using its Bi-X additives in plastic film packaging made from blends of low-density polyethylene (LDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP) and polystyrene (PS).

He claims that following the successful integration of the Bi-X007 additive into PET packaging, the company can now make plastics of all types fully biodegradable.

“This additive technology is 100 per cent adaptable to any form of product using a PET based resin, be it a thermo ‘injection moulded’ tray or other product type that uses a PET resin,” added the spokesperson

Compatibility

He told FoodProductionDaily.com that Bi-X range of additives does not alter in any major way the structural integrity of the plastic products, and, in many cases, it is difficult to distinguish between the standard or conventional product and the ‘eco friendly' product.

Extensive testing involving the use of the Bi-X additives at major plastic manufacturers’ facilities has shown conclusively that polymers integrated with the modifiers are compatible with and easily produced using existing equipment, with few alterations required, continued the spokesperson.

BioSmart said that they are planning to release the additive for PET packaging into markets other than North America in the coming months.

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