FAQs

PLANTIC™

Product

What is PLANTIC™?

Plantic Eco Plastic is high barrier multilayer rigid and semi rigid sheet used for packaging refrigerated goods such as meats, fish and fresh pasta. The core layer of the structure is predominately made from corn starch and constitutes about 80% of the total structure. The skin layers are primarily polyethylene and polypropylene.

What is high barrier material?

High barrier materials, in a packaging context are materials which provide a barrier for gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide. High barrier materials have low transmission rates for these gases either due to physical or chemical molecular nature of the products.

Is PLANTIC™ manufacturing a high energy demand process?

No. Plantic core layer is extruded in a conventional Plastic extrusion extruder. This energy demand of this process is similar to other conventional Plastics. The raw material extraction for Plantic sheet being primarily corn harvesting and starch extraction is less energy consuming that that of crude oil extraction from the oil rigs and shore. Thus the cumulative energy demand for Plantic extruded sheet manufacturing is up to 50% less than that of conventional polymers.

Is PLANTIC™ food contact approved?

Yes. Plantic eco Plastic is food contact approved to European, USA and Australian food compliance legislation.

Can PLANTIC™ be micro-waved?

No. Plantic eco Plastic™ is not designed for microwave or oven applications. The package will deform and degrade due to heat.

Do I need to purchase new or modified equipment to process PLANTIC™?

No. Plantic eco Plastic products are thermoformable and vacuum formable on all industry standards forming equipment. Plantic Technologies Ltd can and will provide thermoforming guidelines and complimentary initial training for processing Plantic eco Plastic.

Does PLANTIC™ cost more than conventional polymers?

The ongoing varying cost of ethylene based polymers continues to reinforce the growing need for renewable-resource-based alternatives. Currently Plantic eco Plastic™ biopolymer is comparable in cost to other conventional plastics packaging materials. Longer term, Plantic eco Plastic™ has the potential to be at a cost advantage – compared to petroleum-based polymers.

Is PLANTIC™ available in different colours?

Yes. Plantic eco Plastic standard colours are Black, White and Clear. Plantic eco Plastic can be constructed in any number of other colours. Colour production is subject to the colour matching and approval process. Minimum quantities, a price premium and confirmed orders will apply.

Is PLANTIC™ available in roll stock as well as preformed trays?

Yes. Plantic eco Plastic can be purchased as roll stock or preformed trays. For standard commercial products availability please contact: sales@plantic.com.au.

Is PLANTIC™ sealable to current market lidding films?

Yes. Plantic eco Plastic products are sealable to PE and PP based lidding films.

What consumer goods can be packaged in PLANTIC™ products?

Any fresh product products such as meat, chicken, fish, fresh salads and fresh pasta can be packed in Plantic eco Plastic. Plantic eco Plastic products have an exceptional oxygen and carbon dioxide barrier so in many cases there is an ability to extend the shelf life of products and significantly reduce or eliminate wastage.

What grades of PLANTIC™ are available?

There are 4 grades of Plantic eco Plastic available. The grades are used for different applications and are listed below: Plantic eco Plastic; High Barrier, Roll Stack, Vacuum pack and Peel Pack.

What thickness is PLANTIC™ available in?

The standard Plantic eco Plastic materials are manufactured in the thickness range from 300µm to 550µm.

Who are the main producers of PLANTIC™ globally?

Plantic Technologies Ltd is currently the only producer of eco Plastic. The technology of Plantic eco Plastic is the Intellectual Property of Plantic Technologies Ltd.

Will PLANTIC™ degrade on store shelves?

No, Plantic eco Plastic™ is maintains product integrity during use. No, Plantic eco Plastic™ is similar to other Plastic structures used for packaging, similar to other conventional plastics which maintains product integrity during use.

Environment

Can PLANTIC™ be incinerated?

Yes. It can be incinerated. Due to high calorific value of starch, the heat value captured from this process is similar to fossil based materials. Due to the carbon cycle for plant based materials, majority of the CO2 emitted to the atmosphere during incineration will be consumed back by the corn plant during photosynthesis.

Does the energy used to grow and harvest the field corn used to produce PLANTIC™ offset the LCA benefits?

The total energy required to grow and harvest the corn actually adds benefits to our LCA due to the plants’ absorption of CO2 and sunlight during photosynthesis. In addition, Plantic is continuing to evaluate alternative energy sources that will make the life cycle even better in the future.

How is PLANTIC™ environmentally friendly?

Plantic eco Plastic is made primarily from renewable resources – mainly starch from corn. Plantic eco Plastic consumes less energy used to create traditional packaging plastics. Plantic eco Plastic has a carbon footprint that is significantly lower than traditional packaging plastics.

Is it true that corn based plastics are using food grade grains?

Plantic eco Plastic is manufactured using a corn crop that is specifically grown for Plantic Technologies Ltd. The whole of the harvested crop us utilised and Plantic Technologies Ltd use the extracted starch – with the by-product going to animal food and fertiliser. Due to a highly efficient conversion rate there is minimal crop space required, and our crop has no impact on food growing land space requirements. Plantic eco Plastic raw material extraction is complimentary to the food chain helping to keep our food costs down. The corn crop for Plantic Technologies Ltd is grown on non-irrigation land and natural resources such as water is not depleted.

Is PLANTIC™ biodegradable?

No. The total construction of Plantic eco Plastic is not biodegradable due to the presence of the non-biodegradable skin layers. The substantial core of Plantic eco Plastic is a biobased, renewably sourced product. Note: The core layer, Plantic® R1 or Plantic® HP1 are both certified as biodegradable and compostable in compliance with EN13432.

Is PLANTIC™ certified as biobased?

Yes. Plantic eco Plastic is certified as a biobased product by Vincotte. The certification is of 3 stars which certify that eco Plastic is made of up to 80% renewable content.

Is PLANTIC™ recyclable?

Plantic eco Plastic is currently not widely recycled in local body or regional recycling processes. The process to separate the starch core and PE or PP skins has been developed. Plantic eco Plastic is not considered a significant contaminant in mixed polymer recycling processes. Depending on the geographical location and waste stream management of the area, No.7 of the recycling numbers for plastics can be applied to Plantic eco Plastic.

What are biobased products?

Biobased product, was defined by the United States Secretary of Agriculture in the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 as follows, "The term ‘‘biobased product’’ means a product determined by the Secretary to be a commercial or industrial product (other than food or feed) that is composed, in whole or in significant part, of biological products or renewable domestic agricultural materials (including plant, animal, and marine materials) or forestry materials OR an intermediate feedstock[1].

ASTM D6866 is used extensively to certify the biobased content of bioplastics. ASTM D6866 is the method approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for determining the renewable/biobased content of natural range materials like ethanol additives, biodiesel additives, and other biobased products[2]. Borrowing on the principles of radiocarbon dating, ASTM D6866 is able to determine the renewable carbon content of almost any type of solid, liquid, or gaseous products. The method provides a percentage determination of fossil carbon content versus renewable or biomass carbon content of a product or fuel blend.

What happens when PLANTIC™ is put into landfill?

When disposed in landfill, the biobased part of Plantic eco Plastic™ will start to degrade much faster than fossil based plastic. The fossil based part of Plantic eco Plastic will remain in landfill. The benefit of Plantic eco plastic in landfill over fully sourced fossil based materials is reducing solid waste due to partial degradation.

What is an LCA?

Life cycle analysis (LCA) is a systems analysis tool to account for all the environmental impacts associated with a product or service, from cradle to grave. The basic data set for an LCA is a life cycle inventory (LCI). In the LCA the LCI data is converted into a series of impact categories (non-renewable energy use, climate change, etc.) and is followed by an assessment of how relevant these impacts are. Some commonly used terminologies about the LCA and environmental profiling of products are listed below: Cradle to Factory Gate: Begins with extracting raw materials from the earth and ends with the product leaving the factory.

Cradle to Grave: Begins with raw materials and ends with the final disposal of the product (compost, landfill etc).

Life Cycle Inventory (LCI): Gives the total energy use, raw material use, air and water emissions and the total solid waste produced from the cradle to the grave (grave being the ultimate disposal). The LCI is basically the same as an eco-profile, but it covers the complete life cycle. So, the LCI of Ingeo “pellets” (or resin) does not exist because the pellets aren't usually thrown away. An LCI could be completed on an Ingeo bottle or Ingeo clamshell.

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