Biobased plastics often appear to have physiochemical properties (e.g. air / oxygen / water vapor permeability, modulus, etc.) that are particularly suitable for food packaging. However, they are still not used in large quantities in the German packaging marketplace.
In order to change this situation and increase the sustainability of the food packaging industry, the Fraunhofer has started a project entitled "Biobased plastics for food packaging" in collaboration with the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research IFEU and narocon Innovationsberatung. The background to this work is the German government’s bioeconomy strategy, namely the desire for a progressive changeover to a sustainable biobased economy.
The aim of the project is to determine the actions that are required to increase the use of biobased plastic packaging for food contact applications. The current market situation in Germany will be evaluated as will the potential market for biobased plastics in the food industry and the barriers which currently limit their application.
The Fraunhofer IVV has researched biopolymers for many years and is in a position to classify biobased packaging materials based on their technofunctional properties and evaluate their suitability for different food products. The compliance of materials with food legislation will also be appraised by the Fraunhofer IVV.
The two other project partners will assess health-related aspects and environmental effects during the whole life cycle of biobased plastic packaging materials, including disposal.
The project will result in specific actions being recommended to increase the acceptance and use of bioplastics for food packaging applications.