The trend for the development of next generation bioplastics will be led by the emergence of conventional materials such as polyethylene made from renewable and non-food sources, said Nestle’s global packaging chief.
In the second part of this exclusive insight into the company’s current thinking on packaging, Dr Anne Roulin told FoodproductionDaily.com why the limitations of ‘first generation’ materials such as polylactic acid (PLA) had seen the industry shift its long-term focus elsewhere.
Second generation bioplastics were already coming on-stream and were demonstrating the kind of properties that brand owners like Nestle believed could be employed more widely across their product portfolio.
The appearance of polyethylene from sugar cane, PET from plant-based materials and even the prospect of polypropylene in the next few years underlines where eco-packaging innovation is heading, declared Dr Roulin.
A third generation of such plastics from non-food sources such as algae, cellulose, waste products and drought resistant plants were now also in the pipeline – but Nestle predicted that nothing would be coming through until 2015 and beyond.