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The Technological Institute of Plastic (AIMPLAS) is coordinating the two-year BIOBOTTLE European project in which eight partners participate in the obtaining of a new biodegradable and resistant to thermal treatments material to manufacture dairy products.
AIMPLAS is coordinating the research carried out by seven companies and technological centers since May 2013. Along with its own researchers, they develop new materials to manufacture biodegradable packages for dairy products. The project is called BIOBOTTLE and its aim is creating multilayer and monolayer plastic bottles, as well as bags to package dairy products which are not required to be separated of the rest of the organic wastes at the end of their brief lifespan.
According to AIMPLAS, European countries are the biggest consumer of dairy products in the world, with an average of 261 kg per year, according to the data provided by FAO in 2011. It supposes the generation of an important volume of wastes, principally high density polyethylene bottles. This material is completely recyclable and its post-consumption management should not be a problem, but, in fact, only between 10% and 15% of it is recycled, according to data in 2012.
AIMPLAS and the rest of BIOBOTTLE’s partners work on developing a biodegradable material which allow manufacturing big multilayer bottles or bags, like those used to package milk or milkshakes, as well as the monolayer bottles, which are smaller, used to package probiotic products.
The company explains the main difficulty researchers of this project must face is getting a biodegradable material which complies with the same requirements than the traditional packages used currently, including the resistance to thermal treatments such as the sterilisation or pasteurisation. Researchers are expecting to modify the current commercial biodegradable materials through the reactive extrusion to overcome the thermal limitations in the current biodegradable ones available in the market.
BIOBOTTLE is a European Project in the Seventh Framework Programme, with a fund of €1 million. Seven companies and technological centers from five different countries work with AIMPLAS: Germany (VLB), Bélgica (OWS), Italy (CNR), Portugal (VIZELPAS y ESPAÇOPLAS) and Spain (ALMUPLAS y ALJUAN).
Photo provided by Aimplas
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