Performance Polymers

Certified compostable ecovio® for rigid food packaging: the best combination of sustainability, functionality and design

Certified compostable ecovio® for rigid food packaging:
the best combination of sustainability, functionality and design

Packaging is the largest market segment in the plastics industry. Climate change and the future shortage of fossil resources have accelerated the search for alternative concepts to conventional plastics packaging. Approaches to reuse and recycle plastics in closed loops are developing to reach a circular economy. Certified compostable bioplastics are expanding their reach into the segment of rigid packaging for food due to the demands of converters and with brand owners driving the development of e.g. new solutions that can be organically recycled.

ecovio® Rigid packaging ecovio 14787

BASF’s certified compostable biopolymer ecovio® is a compound of biodegradable and bio-based polyesters such as PBAT (polybutylene adipate terephthalate) and PLA (polylactic acid). It can be used for a wide range of rigid packaging applications in contact with food. With ecovio®, certified compostable plastic parts can be produced on standard plastics manufacturing machines – either for fresh or dry food, with or without barrier properties, with similar mechanical properties to polypropylene (PP), high-impact polystyrene (HiPS) or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS). BASF offers grades with a range of bio-based content.

Thus, rigid packaging made of ecovio® offers the same benefits as conventional plastics packaging while having the added bonus of being certified compostable and thus supporting organics recycling:


Design freedom


Light weight


Safe transport and storage


Good carrier for printed advertising and required information

ecovio® Bags Element

This is sustainable about ecovio® for rigid packaging

ecovio® Thermoform 13663

Rigid packaging made with certified compostable ecovio® has the same performance as conventional materials, but with the additional value of diverting food scraps from landfill or incineration to organics recycling: Applications that are soiled with food or organic matter after usage, can be collected in the organics bin together with the organic waste and composted in commercial or industrial composting facilities according to local infrastructure and legislation.

Thus, certified compostable ecovio® increases the collection of organic waste which helps to return valuable nutrients to the soil by closing the loop towards a circular economy for food production and consumption. Food waste is diverted from landfill and incineration, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating valuable compost and biogas. Compost is a valuable soil amendment as it contributes to climate resiliency: it increases the water holding capacity of soil, improves soil structure to prevent erosion and restores organic carbon to depleted topsoils.

ecovio® Thermoform 10636

What are suitable applications for certified compostable rigid packaging?

The recommended applications for the usage of certified compostable ecovio® are rigid packaging items in contact with food or organic matter:

ecovio® 5255

• Single-serve coffee capsules

ecovio® Thermoform 9735

• Trays for meals and foods like sweets, meat, fruit, vegetables


• Plates, cups, pots, lids

ecovio® 3350 Gruppe

• Cutlery, stirrers

Key benefits of ecovio® for rigid packaging

• Food contact compliant acc. to FDA (US), and European legislation

• Certified compostable according to international standards, e.g. EN 13432, ASTM D6400, AS 4736, GBT 41010

• Certified bio-based content

• Processable on conventional injection-molding and thermoforming machines

• Optimum balance of rigidity and impact resistance

• High-temperature resistant

• Odorless compared to other biopolymers on the market

• Versatile coloring


ecovio® Bags Element

Bioplastics packaging – the next step: single-serve coffee capsules suitable for organics recycling

The mechanical recycling of conventional coffee capsules is neither effective nor economically sensible. The currently widespread multi-component systems consisting of coffee, and conventional plastic or aluminum are rarely mechanically recycled.

The weight of the average capsule consists of 80% coffee. Consumers usually do not dispose of the coffee grounds separately from the plastic or aluminum capsules - even though coffee is an excellent addition to the compost as it contains nitrogen. Thus, the valuable organic material goes to landfill or incineration.


ecovio® is a high-quality and versatile biopolymer for single-serve coffee capsules. With certified compostable capsules made of ecovio® the coffee grounds can be composted together with its packaging. Compostable coffee capsules, certified according to standards like EN 13432, will disintegrate and biodegrade in industrial composting facilities without adversely influencing the compost quality, nor leaving persistent microplastic in the compost.

What are the advantages of ecovio® for coffee capsules?

Application possibilities: thermoformed or injection-molded capsules

Study assesses certified compostable coffee capsules as most sustainable solution

Wageningen University & Research has assessed the environmental impacts and circularity of different materials for single serve coffee capsules, when subjected to various end-of-life scenarios. 

When both material circularity and greenhouse gas emissions are considered, compostable capsules are the most sustainable option.

Go to study

ecovio® Bags Element

Processing of ecovio® – the ideal material for rigid packaging applications

ecovio® grades for rigid packaging can be processed on standard plastic processing machines for injection molding and thermoforming. It can be used to replace conventional plastics like PP, HiPS or ABS.

Easy and precise injection molding with ecovio® IS and IA

The ecovio® injection-molding grades IS and IA are semi-crystalline plastics, which solidify in an almost amorphous state. They simplify processing also of large, dimensionally stable components. It is possible with some adjustment to achieve similar molding shrinkages longitudinally and transversely – the best prerequisites for the production of low-warp components that are subsequently fitted together.

  • Suitable for thin-walled, complex designs
  • Cycle times comparable to standard materials
  • Noticeably increased flowability vs. other biopolymers for injection-molding
  • Narrow processing window between 180°C and 210°C depending on the molding and tool equipment

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Temperature control of ecovio®  IS and IA

Tailored grades for cast/flat film extrusion and thermoforming

The ecovio® grades T and TA were especially developed for cast/flat film extrusion and subsequent thermoforming ensuring high design freedom. With ecovio® T and TA, processing on conventional sheeting equipment is possible with and without calenders.

The result: A stiff yet tough sheet which wraps well – prerequisite for the thermoforming of demanding components:

  • inline or offline thermoforming
  • processing window: 105°C to 140°C
  • thermoforming through a die with or without pre-stretching

Read on

Excellent material features of ecovio® T and TA for thermoforming

Choose the suitable material for your rigid packaging component!

The ecovio® grades for rigid packaging are noted for their excellent balance between high rigidity and good impact resistance. They are similar in terms of mechanics compared to polypropylene (PP), high-impact polystyrene (HiPS) or acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS).

Injection molding grades

ecovio® 60 IA1552

Thermoforming grades

ecovio® 80 T23T8

ecovio® 60 TA12T1


ecovio® IS / T: higher stiffness

➔ best for applications with high mechanical loads

ecovio® IA / TA: heat resistant up to 95°C

➔ best for thin-walled applications with hot contents or for use at elevated temperatures

At a glance: Key technical data of ecovio® grades for rigid packaging

  Thermoforming Injection molding

ecovio® 80 T23T8

ecovio® 60 TA12T1 ecovio® IS1335 ecovio® 60 IA1552
Mechanical properties

comparable to


comparable to


comparable to


comparable to


Heat resistance (HDT B) 55°C 95°C 55°C 93°C

Melt volume rate

(190°C; 2.16 kg) [ml/10 min]

5 2 9 17
Food contact compliance

Bio-based content

(certified TÜV)

80% 60% 80% 60%

Compostability (industrial)

(certified DIN Certco, TÜV, BPI)

1.1 mm film  ✔ 0.5 mm film  ✔ 1.1 mm film  ✔ 0.5 mm film  ✔

Coloring possibilities

ecovio® Batch BASF Colorsolutions

When selecting the color masterbatches, good compatibility with ecovio® should be ensured in order to prevent any impact on its property profile. We recommend using certified compostable color masterbatches such as Sicoversal® B by Sun Chemical Corporation.

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