Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products

Date:
December 4, 2012
Source:
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT)
Summary:
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a technique to significantly improve the quality of bio-based plastic packaging. The new generation of bio-based plastic packaging is not only eco-friendly but also has several superior qualities compared to traditional plastic packaging. The plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products. The volume of oil used every year in the production of plastics equates to approximately five per cent of the world's total oil consumption. Approximately 40 per cent of all plastics are used in packaging, which puts special pressure on the packaging industry to reduce dependence on oil.

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a technique to significantly improve the quality of bio-based plastic packaging. The new generation of bio-based plastic packaging is not only eco-friendly but also has several superior qualities compared to traditional plastic packaging. The plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products. The volume of oil used every year in the production of plastics equates to approximately five per cent of the world's total oil consumption. Approximately 40 per cent of all plastics are used in packaging, which puts special pressure on the packaging industry to reduce dependence on oil.

The use of renewable natural resources in industrial applications reduces dependence on oil and the carbon footprint attributable to consumption. A transition to bio-based economy nevertheless requires products that are not only ecologically sustainable but also competitive in terms of quality.

VTT has developed a technique that enables the production of the PGA monomer glycolic acid from bio-based materials more efficiently than before.

"Bio-based plastics are a tangible step closer to a bio-based economy. This new generation of plastic packaging not only reduces our dependence on oil but also offers superior quality compared to traditional plastic packaging," explains Research Professor Ali Harlin from VTT.

Bio-based PGA plastic has excellent barrier properties. Adding PGA into the structure of traditional plastic packaging significantly improves its quality. In addition to strength and heat resistance, plastic packaging also needs to be airtight, vapour-proof and grease-resistant. Bio-based PGA plastic is between 20 and 30 per cent stronger than PLA -- the most popular biodegradable plastic on the market -- and able to withstand temperatures 20 degrees Celsius higher. It also breaks down more quickly than PLA, but its biodegradability can be regulated if necessary.

Growing market

Bio-based plastic opens up new business opportunities for the forest industry: The estimated total volume of the global packaging market is approximately EUR 500 billion. The Chinese and Indian markets, for example, are growing rapidly. Ethical consumption principles and legislative changes are steering the packaging industry towards sustainable development. At the moment, bio-based plastic accounts for approximately one per cent of global plastic production.

The volume of oil used every year in the production of plastics equates to approximately five per cent of the world's total oil consumption. Approximately 40 per cent of all plastics are used in packaging, which puts special pressure on the packaging industry to reduce dependence on oil. According to lifecycle analyses, carbon dioxide emissions from bio-based plastics can be as much as 70 per cent lower than from oil-based plastics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). "Plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204081138.htm>.
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). (2012, December 4). Plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204081138.htm
Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT). "Plastic packaging industry is moving towards completely bio-based products." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204081138.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins