BASF will focus on its products Ecoflex and Ecovio as biodegradable and compostable plastics for agricultural use. As a consequence, business with the additive Envirocare for oxo-biodegradable plastics was terminated effective July 1, 2010. Envirocare was part of the Ciba AG range and is used to manufacture polyethylene mulch films for agricultural use.
BASF has supplied biodegradable plastics for the manufacture of mulch films and other applications for many years in the form of Ecoflex and Ecovio. A 60,000 metric ton capacity expansion of the Ecoflex plant in Ludwigshafen is planned for the end of 2010 to meet rising market demand. "BASF has opted for biodegradable plastics that are fully biodegradable and compostable in accordance with standards such as European norm EN 13432," said Jürgen Keck, head of global business for biodegradable plastics at BASF in Ludwigshafen. "These standards are important from our point of view. They demand certain environmental features that our products can offer."
Under defined conditions, biodegradable plastics decompose fully to water, carbon dioxide and biomass. In the debate about bioplastic, biodegradability and compostability offer very specific benefits not only for agricultural use but also for food packaging and organic waste bags.