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Sappi Debuts Compostable Packaging

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Papermaker works with Innovia to create anaerobic digestion-friendly packaging.

REW Staff April 8, 2013

Innovia Films and Sappi Fine Paper Europe have combined their compostable substrates, Innovia Films’ NatureFlex and Sappi’s Algro Nature, to offer a form of packaging that can either be composted at home or be handled through an anaerobic digestion process that turns waste into an energy source.

In a jointly issued news release, the companies note that in 2014 a new EU Packaging Directive is set to come into force that “will place the responsibility for ensuring that packaging is not excessive for the purpose intended and is suitable for recycling, energy recovery or composting” will rest with the packaging producer.

Antoine de Forton, Sappi’s business development manager, says, “Many European countries have realized that home composting is a viable opportunity for managing some of the domestic household waste stream. It empowers home owners to take responsibility for their own degradable waste. Packs made from compostable packaging such as the Innovia Films and Sappi solution makes this task much easier.”

Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, says post-consumer plastic scrap packaging material in the EU15, increased from 9.9 million metric tons in 1998 to 13.1 million metric tons in 2008. Of this, 40 percent of it was landfilled, 20 percent incinerated, 23 percent recycled and 17 percent composted.
 
Packaging made from thin layers of mixed materials or plastic film can be difficult to recycle, the companies note, but there is considerable energy value from this type of packaging.
 
Both NatureFlex and Algro Nature “have been fully tested and independently certified to be compostable, both in home and industrial environments, by Vinçotte’s OK Compost Home certification, and DIN E13432 certification by DIN CERTCO. In addition, the products are food-contact approved.

Sappi Fine Paper Europe’s Algro Nature is a one side coated, glossy paper and Leine Nature is its uncoated equivalent. (More information on Sappi Fine Paper’s sustainable practices in North America can be found here [http://www.recyclingtoday.com/rt0313-paper-consumer-sustainability.aspx].

“The combination of these natural materials provide the essential barrier requirements of each of the product groups represented by these prototype coffee, snack bar and single serve drink packs,” says Paul Barker, Innovia Films product manager, Cello. “In real applications this packaging would facilitate the disposal of the contents with the packaging into either home or industrial composting environments.”

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