PACK2EARTH- Development of home compostable packaging
ITENE has developed together with the company Pack2Earth a high-barrier home compostable material to obtain a long shelf life in semi-liquid products. Two formulations have been carried out for the production of flexible and rigid packaging obtaining, in both cases, a compound that can be processed with conventional equipment.
In addition, the suitability of these developments for food contact has been tested and their domestic compostability has been verified. It has also been successfully tested the printing of sustainable inks that allow graphically customising the packaging of this material without affecting its compostability.
The development of compostable packaging is one of the alternatives that Europe is proposing to meet environmental requirements by 2030. By then, all packaging must be recyclable, compostable or reusable.
The demand for sustainable alternatives is growing. Major brands have ambitious targets to reduce the volume of fossil-based materials in their materials. Consumers perceive a high added value in this type of solution, especially those concerned about healthy and responsible eating, as they look for consistency between sustainable products and sustainable packaging.
About Pack2Earth and the Metamorphosis project
Pack2Earth was born as a division of Food Sourcing Specialists and is dedicated to innovation in packaging. Food Sourcing Specialists is a company born in 2014 as a distributor of sports nutrition and organic and healthy food products.
Its co-founders, passionate about mountain sports, started out wanting to revolutionise the world of sports nutrition with their own products packaged in home compostable materials but could not find a solution for semi-liquid products that suited their needs.
They decided to go it alone and received support from the European Union through the Metamorphosis project, co-funded by the Horizon 2020 programme.
For its implementation, Pack2Earth decided to search for a technology partner and thus started collaborating with ITENE to develop a home compostable material with improved properties to extend the shelf life of semi-liquid products.
In 2022, due to the high demand for pilots and market interest in the solutions offered by Pack2Earth, it is established as an R&D&I company in the development of sustainable materials.
Objective and expected results
The objective for ITENE is to offer a “ready to market” material that meets all product needs, legislative requirements and market demands.
In this case, we developed with Pack2Earth a high-barrier home compostable material for the long shelf life of semi-liquid products.
Specifically, we developed a formulation for the extrusion of flexible film for the production of different types of packaging such as a pouch. A compound has also been developed to allow the injection of rigid material in the form of, for example, cups and caps.
These developments have the following characteristics:
- The processability of these materials is similar to conventional materials.
- They achieve the required barrier properties to ensure proper product preservation.
- They are printable to achieve the finish desired by the customer. To this end, the incorporation of sustainable inks has been successfully tested to allow the packaging to be graphically personalised without losing its domestic compostability.
- They are suitable for contact with foodstuffs in accordance with food legislation.
- They are sealed together so that they can form a package with flexible and rigid parts, which is fully compostable at home.
- They are home compostable according to the home composting requirements of Din Certco and TUV Austria.