Coop supermarket has launched a compostable bioplastic for its Änglamark own-brand frozen berries using Invercote Bio packaging.
The product comes in a 100% compostable clamshell container developed by printers Trosa Tryckeri in collaboration with berry supplier Olle Svenssons Partiaffär.
Coop selected the paperboard material Invercote Bio, by Iggesund because it is a virgin-fibre-based board coated with bioplastic and Iggesund used the bioplastic Mater-Bi from Italian company Novamont.
Solid bleached board
Staffan Sjöberg, public relations manager, Invercote, told FoodProductionDaily.com it has been working with Novamont for nearly five years because of the quality of its product and it does not use any starch or genetically modified substances.
“The product is a combination of paperboard and bioplastics. There are many hands involved in such a project because several parties were involved in choosing the material,” he said.
“Iggesund Paperboard's products include Invercote solid bleached board and Incada, a folding box board.
“When we defend paper-based products against other types of packaging we have quite a good case history because it is based on renewable materials and has a low carbon footprint so the more people care about the environmental aspects in their choice, the better it is for us.”
Free from starch
Jonas Adler , Iggesund Paperboard, commercial manager for Invercote Bio, said the bioplastic was free from starch made from genetically modified maize but the main challenge was to find a bioplastic material that could be extruded with good results.
“These issues of extrusion and adhesives usage underline the fact that this is a young material but it is continually being improved. At the same time, more brand owners are prepared to pay a little more for the superior environmental properties,” he said.
Other challenges included finding a heat-setting adhesive that works well technically during production and withstands the tough environment it is exposed to in freezers.
"Invercote has a very good printing surface and behaves predictably. What was new for us was the bioplastic, which posed a challenge with regard to the choice of adhesive,” said Henrik Bjurbäck, project manager, Coop.
“We solved that issue after contacts with both Iggesund and a broad network of adhesives suppliers.”
The result is better for the environment but costs more due to the advanced properties of the bioplastic compared with those of traditional PE coatings.
“This decision was totally in line with our sustainability policy and is actually not that unusual because we incorporate sustainability thinking into all our business deliberations,” said Louise König, sustainability manager, Coop.
Bjurbäck added the packaging stands out from traditional rectangular cartons in the display freezer and can be used as a serving dish.
“The bioplastic makes the packaging compostable so the used packaging can go into the same waste stream as any remaining contents,” he said.
Iggesund Paperboard will be exhibiting its Invercote Bio product at The Eco Pack & Packaging Innovations tradeshow from February 26-27 at the Birmingham NEC, in the UK.