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Performance Polymers

ecovio® (PBAT, PLA) – Certified Compostable Polymer With Bio-based Content

ecovio® is a high-quality and versatile bioplastic from BASF. The primary advantages: It is certified compostable and partly bio-based.

Benefits

ecovio®

  • is a finished compound
  • is certified compostable worldwide
  • has a variable bio-based content
  • is printable and weldable
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The main areas of use for ecovio® are plastic films used for e.g. organic waste bags, fruit and vegetable bags, carrier bags with dual-use (first for shopping, then for organic waste) or agricultural films. Furthermore, compostable packaging solutions such as paper-coating, shrink and cling films as well as injection molding and thermoformed products can be produced with ecovio®.

Key Properties

ecovio<sup>®</sup> Standards

Thanks to its special chemical structure, ecovio® can be biodegraded by microorganisms and their enzymes. Under the conditions of an industrial composting plant – respective temperature, high moisture, defined oxygen content – biodegradation only takes a few weeks. ecovio® offers various product grades that meet the following, international and national standards and regulations for industrial composting, among others:

With ecovio®, BASF offers a certified compostable polymer which also contains variable bio-based content. It consists of the compostable BASF polymer ecoflex®, polylactid acid (PLA) and other additives. In contrast to simple starch-based bioplastics, ecovio® is more resistant to mechanical stress and moisture.

ecovio® products are just as high-performing and strong in use as conventional plastics. A bag made of ecovio® can take the same load as its polyethylene counterpart. The product properties were designed in such a way that the products only fully biodegrade in compost after use.

New food packaging solution: Confoil and BASF cooperate to develop certified compostable dual ovenable paper tray for ready-to-eat meals

Pressefoto_Confoil_ecovio

The Australian food packaging manufacturer Confoil and BASF have cooperated to develop a certified compostable and dual ovenable food tray based on paper. The paper tray is coated on the inside with BASF’s ecovio® PS 1606, a partly bio-based and certified compostable biopolymer especially developed for coating food packaging made of paper or board. The trays called DualPakECO® are certified according to the Australian standard AS4736-2006 and food contact approved according to international requirements. They can be used for ready-to-eat meals like lasagne, curries and stir-fries available as cold or frozen in supermarkets as well as for catering and take-away from restaurants.

The trays extend the end-of-life options for paper-based packaging by being organically recyclable: They can be commercially composted with the organic waste collected in organic waste bins. Thus the new packaging solution supports organics recycling of food residues and food-soiled packaging which increases the diversion of food waste from landfill and incineration.

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Processing - ready for use

ecovio® is a finished product that can be used by the customer as drop-in solution with standard plastic production procedures. Additional blending is therefore not required.

One Biopolymer – Many Applications

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ecovio® is a certified compostable and mostly bio-based polymer for film applications.

  • Mostly biobased
  • Usable on blown film equipment for LDPE
  • Elastic
  • Moisture and tear resistant

Compostable shopping bags offer the customer an additional advantage. They are not only strong enough to be used many times as a shopping bag: In their final phase, the bags can be used for collection of organic waste.

Whether shopping bag or organic waste bag ‒ kitchen and food waste can be collected hygienically in ecovio® bags, then turned, together with the bag, into compost. Undesirable odor and pest infestation are prevented. Thanks to its good wet strength, liquid from teabags or the remains of fruit do not leak through, so there is no more laborious scrubbing of the organic waste bin.

The compostable product grade ecovio® FS is a new development from BASF: The material mainly consists of renewable raw materials and can be composted even faster. In Germany, bags made from this material can be used for the collection of organic waste in accordance with the German Biowaste Ordinance at the end of 2011.

Soil-biodegradable mulch films

Our certified soil-biodegradable grade ecovio® M2351 was especially developed for mulch films used in agriculture and horticulture to increase the yield, speed up harvesting as well as to save water and herbicides. Its big advantage: It is certified soil-biodegradable according to EN17033. This means that mulch films made of the biopolymer ecovio® M2351 are completely and biologically degraded by microorganisms like bacteria and fungi that exist naturally in the soil. Farmers can simply plough the mulch films made of ecovio® M 2351 back into the ground after harvest. This saves time and money - and it helps to avoid persistent microplastic in agricultural soil which would occur, if farmers used conventional mulch films made of non-biodegradable polyethylene (PE). Thus certified soil-biodegradable mulch films made of ecovio® M2351 contribute to sustainable agriculture and food production.
 

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ecovio® Mulch film with Lettuce

ecovio® coffee capsules

ecovio® can be used for a wide range of packaging applications. With ecovio®, compostable plastic parts can be produced on standard plastics manufacturing machines.

  • Mostly biobased
  • Usable on conventional plastics manufacturing machines
  • Runs on single- and multi-purpose tools
  • Suitable for food contact

Products made of ecovio® benefit from an optimal balance of stiffness and toughness. Depending on the application, the flow behavior is flexibly tunable: from a medium to a high flow capacity. The surface look ranges from beige to light gray, depending on the amount of mineral fillers. Especially for plastic components in packaging or for applications with high mechanical loads, these products are a good choice.

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The Swiss Coffee Company’s special products please the palate. This young company promotes sustainability in coffee production, packaging, and waste disposal. BASF is involved, because its compostable plastic ecovio® is used in the Swiss company’s coffee capsules and packaging.

Whether filter coffee, espresso, cappuccino, or latte macchiato – coffee is Germany’s drink of choice. And the trend is toward brewing single cups quickly and conveniently, at the touch of a button. In addition, the coffee should be of high quality with a delicious taste and full aroma. So it’s not surprising that coffee from pads and capsules is booming.

According to the Deutscher Kaffeeverband (German Coffee Association), the market for coffee capsules in Germany alone grew by 16 percent from 2011 to 2012. That means two billion capsules or 10,000 tons of capsule waste. Most of these single-portion capsules, which consist in large part of aluminum, generally end up as residual waste. And that’s where BASF comes into play.

“We have developed a coffee capsule made of ecovio® for the Swiss Coffee Company. It’s biodegradable and can be composted together with the coffee grounds,” says Martin Bussmann, Global New Business Development for biodegradable polymers from BASF.

The capsules are made of the new, injection-molded grade ecovio® IS 1335. This plastic has to possess special production properties. On the one hand, it needs to be flowable so it can distribute well when injected into a hollow cavity. On the other hand, it has to cool down quickly in the mold so the finished capsule can be promptly removed. ecovio® meets these requirements.

In addition, the capsules have a special design, which enables them to withstand high pressure and heat that arise in the machine during the brewing process when hot water is forced into them through tiny holes.

The material for the aroma-proof capsule packaging is also based on ecovio®. “Conventional disposable capsules made of aluminum protect the coffee powder from oxygen and light,” says Bussmann. This keeps the coffee aroma inside the capsules. “For plastic capsules,” he explains, “the job is done by the aroma-proof packaging that the capsules come in.”

The outer layer of this packaging is made of paper, the middle layer is a thin barrier film, and the inner sealing layer is ecovio®. The three layers are bonded together with the compostable laminating adhesive Epotal® Eco from BASF. This packaging protects each individual capsule from light, oxygen, and moisture, therefore preserving the aroma. The entire packaging is also biodegradable and compostable.

The Swiss Coffee Company has been offering coffee in Germany and Switzerland under the trade name “beanarella” in these compostable ecovio® capsules since October 2013, as well as the associated coffee machines. The company only uses coffee that is organic and fair trade. The coffee capsules and machines are available from the beanarella online shop.

ecovio® Cups

ecovio® PS was specially developed for coating paper and paperboard.

  • Mostly biobased
  • Good barrier properties against liquids, fat and mineral oil
  • Suitable for food contact

The certified compostable and mostly biobased polymer has multiple advantageous properties. In extrusion coating, ecovio® PS offers a low coating thickness at high coating rates and process stability.

The good adhesion of ecovio® PS to many types of paper and paperboard, its temperature stability up to 100°C and sealing capacity comparable to PE make it ideal for the production of paper- and paperboard-based packaging and disposable tableware, e.g., cups, paper plates, or wrapping paper.

In addition to the option of composting packaging which is contaminated with the remains of food after use, ecovio® PS also offers the option of paper recycling.

ecovio® fruit and vegetable bag

Fruit and vegetable bags made of certified compostable ecovio® help to close the loop of the food value chain

  • Blown films can be extruded up to 12 µm
  • High tear and wear stability
  • Approved for food contact
  • Reduce food losses due to the good breathability

Fruit and vegetable bags made of ecovio® are more than simple carrier bags. They can be reused as organic waste bags and thus improve the collection and recovery of organic food waste. The ecovio® bags also comply with the recent standards in France and Italy for compostable fruit and vegetable bags made of renewable resources. In France, for example, single-use plastic bags that are thinner than 50 micrometer have to consist of at least 40 percent of renewable resources and be home-compostable. Thus bags made of ecovio® support a safer, cleaner and easier food waste collection, closing the loop of the food value chain.

Transforming Visions into Realities

Discover our Product Range

Product Family Product Product Details
Agricultural Applications ecovio® M2351 Information & Certificates

Product Family Product Product Details
Consumer bags ecovio® F2223 Information & Certificates
Consumer bags ecovio® F2224 Information & Certificates
Consumer bags ecovio® F2331 Information & Certificates
Consumer bags ecovio® F2332 Information & Certificates
Consumer bags ecovio® F2341 Information & Certificates
Consumer bags ecovio® F23B1 Information & Certificates
Consumer bags ecovio® FS22C3 Information & Certificates
Consumer bags ecovio® FS2312 Information & Certificates
Consumer bags ecovio® FS2341 Information & Certificates
Consumer bags ecovio® FT2341 Information & Certificates

Product Family Product Product Details
Flexible Packaging ecovio® PS1606 Information & Certificates

Product Family Product Product Details
Rigid Packaging ecovio® IA1652 Information & Certificates
Rigid Packaging ecovio® IS1335 Information & Certificates
Rigid Packaging ecovio® T2308 Information & Certificates
Rigid Packaging ecovio® TA1241 Information & Certificates

More on BASF’s certified biodegradable plastics

Please find out more about BASF’s Biopolymers and ecoflex®, another certified biodegradable plastic.

Contact a BASF expert to learn more about ecovio®!

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