A compostable shrink-wrap developed in South Australia for cucumbers has been adapted to magazine film. Its Adelaide manufacturer, BioBag World Australia, created the film last year with a number of supermarket chains now using the product for fruit and vegetables.
The bio-wrap was first used on cucumbers sold at South Australian independent grocer Drakes Supermarkets following a partnership with produce and packaging business IG Fresh Produce.
According to managing director Scott Morton, the development of the plastics alternative mailing film was the result of a partnership with South Australian-based Direct Mail Centre of Australia. “It took us about a month to develop the first film wrap, which was an industrial compost version. We then tried to take it one step further and created a new version suitable for home compost… so that even outside of South Australia, where industrial compost isn’t necessarily available, we would have a solution.”
The bioplastics film is made from Novamont’s Mater-Bi compostable resin, which uses substances obtained from plants including non-genetically modified corn starch.
The company’s Adelaide operation is the Australian base of BioBag World, which is headquartered in Norway. According to the State Government’s environmental services body Green Industries SA, plastics production rose from 15 million tonnes in 1964 to 311 million tonnes in 2014. Green Industries SA expects plastics waste to double in the next 20 years.