With the certified compostable plastic ecovio® for mulch films, fruit and vegetable bags, BASF has developed a material portfolio to contribute towards a Circular Economy. Now numerous studies by independent research institutions confirm the advantages of ecovio® for the production, packaging and transport as well as waste collection of food, based on the material’s certified biodegradability in industrial and home composting as well as in soil. The studies show that food waste is reduced, nutrients are returned to the soil by means of greater volumes of compost generated and the accumulation of plastics in soil is avoided.
ecovio® Key Features
ecovio® M 2351 from BASF is a certified (EN 17033) soil-biodegradable plastic for mulch films, consisting of the biodegradable copolyester ecoflex® (PBAT) and other biodegradable polymers made from renewable raw materials. Films made from ecovio® M 2351 can be left in the soil after harvesting, rather than being laboriously removed and recycled. Naturally occurring microorganisms in the soil, such as bacteria or fungi, recognize the structure of an ecovio® M 2351 mulch film as food that they can metabolize. The remaining end products after biodegradation by microorganisms are CO2, water and biomass.
Avoiding Food Waste with ecovio®
ecovio® helps food to stay fresh for a longer time based on a study by the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria which measured the shelf life of different types of fruit and vegetables stored in bags made of PE and of ecovio®. Fruit and vegetable bags made of ecovio® show better water vapor and oxygen transmission rates: This leads to an optimal humidity and oxygen concentration for different fruit and vegetables in a bag with the right volume. This in turn results in a longer shelf life: For example, tomatoes can be stored for up to four times longer in ecovio® bags than in PE bags. In this way, intelligent packaging can reduce food waste. In addition, fruit and vegetable bags made from ecovio® are not just carrier and storage bags: reused as organic waste bags, they can improve the collection and recovery of food waste.
Collecting More Organic Waste with Compostable Dual-Use Bags
Compostable dual-use bags made from ecovio® enable larger amounts of kitchen waste to be collected for organic recovery in a clean, safe and easy way – and without sodden bags and unpleasant odors, since ecovio® is tear and wet resistant. Under the conditions of an industrial composting plant, ecovio® is fully biodegraded by microorganisms and their enzymes within a few weeks (as defined by EN 13432). The valuable compost can subsequently be used to increase the nutrient density in the soil, thus closing the nutrient cycle.