Biome Bioplastics and Futamura have formed a partnership to demonstrate a range of bio-based and compostable multilayer films. The companies say the materials offer competitive performance, while tackling the negative environmental impact of traditional oil-based, non-recyclable multilayer packaging.

White multilayer films offer excellent protection to both fresh products and dry foods, they cannot be recycled and lack and viable disposal route. Developing a sustainable alternative to multilayer pouches is one of the biggest challenges facing the UK packaging industry if it is to meet the UK Plastic Pact target of 70% plastic packaging either effectively recycled or composted by 2025.

For the new compostable multilayer films, the two companies have combined Biome’s range of biodegradable sealant resins with Futamura’s composable NatureFlex cellulose films to create a range of laminated flexible structures. They say the films are compliant to the European industrial composting standard EN13432, meaning they will disintegrate by 90% within 12 weeks and biodegrade by 90% to water, CO2 and biomass within 180 days. The materials have also been tested and proved to be non-toxic to both soil and plant life.

Furthermore, the companies say the pouches can also be easily printed using both conventional and digital print processes, allowing manufacturers to create highly decorated branding to ensure their pack stands out on shelves, while the puncture resistance is similar to products currently available on the market.

“This range of multilayer films allows brand owners to move away from non-recyclable packaging and show that they are at the forefront of the drive to create a circular economy for plastics," said Myriam Moeyersons, Sales Manager at Biome Bioplastics. "There is no time to lose if we are to bear down on packaging waste and achieve the aims of the UK Plastics Pact. We must immediately start implementing changes to existing packaging.”