Huhtamaki Introduce a Complete Range of Compostable Foodservice Packaging

A worldwide manufacturer of consumer packaging, Huhtamaki introduces BioWare, a complete range of single-use cold drink cups, plates, containers and cutlery, all based on renewable raw materials and compostable after use.

Huhtamaki is the first to manufacture and commercialize such a complete range of compostable foodservice packaging. Designed to fulfil the needs of various foodservice operators, these products work in uses ranging from outdoor festivals and mass events to catering and daily food and beverage service. After use, all products in the BioWare line can be returned to the earth through composting.

“BioWare is a commitment to the future and offers uncompromised performance with a lower environmental impact”, says Timo Tiilikainen, Marketing & Development Manager from Foodservice Europe in Huhtamaki. “With this range Huhtamaki wants to help the foodservice operators to enhance their environmental image as well as offer an interesting option also from the waste handling point of view.”

BioWare disposables are available across Europe to beverage companies, breweries and foodservice operators such as catering and quick service restaurants. “No compromises are made on the quality of the products; the beer and water cups are of high clarity and the plates sturdy and durable. All products can be customized to suit various events and operators”, Tiilikainen assures.

The cold drink cups are made from a corn based resin called NatureWorks® PLA. The material is fully natural, made from annually renewable resources and certified for compostability. The technology to produce NatureWorks PLA breaks down the plant starches into natural sugars. The carbon and other elements are used to make polylactide (PLA) in a simple fermentation and separation process. Products made of this material are perfectly clear and sturdy, well suited for serving all cold drinks including water, beer, soft drinks and shakes.

When disposed of in industrial composting conditions, products made with NatureWorks PLA compost into water, carbon dioxide and organic material. “We can run NatureWorks PLA on our existing production lines. To achieve this was a challenge which involved the best know how and resources in the group, but with full commitment we succeeded and now the lines run smoothly in industrial scale”, says Dietmar Johann, Operations & Logistics Manager from Huhtamaki in Alf, Germany. “Now we can offer our customers responsible choice without compromises in functionality”.

The plates and bowls of the BioWare range are Huhtamaki’s Chinet® products, made from 100% molded fiber. After profound laboratory testing, Chinet® plates are certified for compostability according to EN 13432, the respective European standard. Chinet® plates are made from Huhtamaki’s own post industrial paper cup cuttings in the European manufacturing unit in Norway with a proprietary smooth-molding process and they are recognized for their rigidity, functionality and premium finish. Today, the origin of the fiber material is well traceable and the fiber comes from forests that are under sustainable forestry programs.

“Interest for environmentally sound tableware has already been visible in the market, and now we have a solid supply of suitable raw materials available. We took the opportunity and built up a complete range, which we will continue to develop further,” says Tiilikainen.

Use of the compostable products enables the event caterers or for example quick service restaurants to eventually combine the waste streams of food and packaging. Already today, this can work well on mass events. For example Alken Maes, the second largest Belgian brewery, successfully used the BioWare beer cups in the summer festivals in 2004 after which the cups were composted.

“We are excited to see the wide variety of applications NatureWorks PLA can have in the foodservice industry,” says Lisa Owen, global business leader for rigid packaging, from the raw material supplier Cargill Dow LLC. “Huhtamaki’s BioWare line demonstrates the value a nature-based material can bring to this industry”.

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