Ecovio® is a high-quality bioplastic developed by BASF, characterized by its compostability and partial bio-based composition. This innovative material represents a significant advancement in the field of sustainable plastics, offering a blend of environmental benefits and practical performance.
Composition and Sustainability
- Certified Compostable: Ecovio® is globally recognized for its compostability. It degrades within weeks under industrial composting conditions, thanks to its unique chemical structure that allows microorganisms and enzymes to break it down.
- Bio-based Content: The polymer is partly made from renewable resources, comprising BASF's compostable polymer ecoflex®, polylactic acid (PLA), and other additives. This composition sets it apart from simpler starch-based bioplastics, enhancing its resistance to mechanical stress and moisture.
- High Performance: In terms of functionality, Ecovio® matches conventional plastics. It is robust, capable of handling similar loads, and maintains its integrity under various conditions.
- Versatility: The material is suitable for printing and welding, and its properties can be adjusted to meet specific needs, such as varying degrees of bio-based content.
- Plastic Films: Ecovio® is primarily used in making plastic films for organic waste bags, fruit and vegetable bags, dual-use carrier bags, and agricultural films.
- Packaging Solutions: It's also utilized in compostable packaging options like paper-coating, shrink and cling films, injection molding, and thermoformed products.
- Food and Drink Containers: The material is ideal for dairy product containers, sandwich wrappings, bowls for snacks, and to-go cups, thanks to its barrier properties against liquids, fats, and oils.
Innovations and Developments
- Home-Compostable Grade: A new addition to the Ecovio® range is a home-compostable grade for extrusion coating on paper and board, suitable for both cold and hot food packaging. This variant exhibits excellent barrier properties and adhesion to various paper types.
- Processing Readiness: Ecovio® is a finished product, ready for use in standard plastic production processes without additional blending.
Specific Products and Uses
- Organic Waste and Carrier Bags: These bags are not only strong and durable but also double as organic waste collectors, aiding in hygienic disposal and composting.
- Mulch Film: The soil-biodegradable grade of Ecovio® is used in agriculture for mulch films, enhancing crop yield and reducing the need for water and herbicides.
- Injection Molding: Ecovio® is suitable for creating compostable plastic parts on standard manufacturing machines, with applications in packaging and high-load items.
- Compostable Coffee Capsules: In collaboration with the Swiss Coffee Company, BASF has developed coffee capsules made from Ecovio®, combining convenience with sustainability.
- Paper Coatings: Ecovio® is used for coating paper and paperboard, providing excellent barrier properties and suitability for food contact.
Collaborations and Projects
- Confoil Partnership: BASF and Confoil have developed a compostable, ovenable paper tray for ready-to-eat meals, coated with Ecovio® PS 1606, enhancing the recyclability of food packaging.