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Cascades launches oxo-degradable polystyrene foam containers

Kingsley Falls, Que.-based packaging manufacturer Cascades Inc. has officially launched its Bioxo line of food cont...


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March 19, 2007 by Canadian Plastics

Kingsley Falls, Que.-based packaging manufacturer Cascades Inc. has officially launched its Bioxo line of food containers. The containers are made from oxo-degradable polystyrene foam, and are designed to degrade within three years.

“Bioxo is the culmination of extensive research, a lengthy development process and exchaustive testing to confirm the product’s performance,” said Cascades Specialty Products Group (SPG) president and chief operating officer Mario Plourde.

The company said that it manufactures several hundred million food containers each year, and hopes to sell the Bioxo line to firms operating in the agri-food and restaurant industries.

Bioxo is oxo-degradable due to the addition of Totally Degradable Plastic Additives (TDPA) from Vancouver, B.C.-based EPI Environmental Products Inc. The degradant accelerates oxidation without significantly altering the plastic’s properties, allowing it to degrade faster than traditional plastics. Oxygen, together with heat, UV radiation or mechanical stress, transforms the Bioxo polystyrene foam into a fine powder.

“Bioxo confirms Cacades’ role as a leader in environmental protection,” said Plourde. “We were the first to commercialize CGC free polystyrene foam in 1988. Sustainable development has been one of our guiding principles throughout 40 years of developing and manufacturing products.”

Cascades also noted that it had received letters of non-objection from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its new line of food containers. The company has obtained exclusive Canadian and US rights to use EPI’s TDPA process for an unspecified number of years.

The company was founded in 1964, and produces packaging and tissue products. Cascades employs approximately 14,000 employees in more than 100 production units in North America and Europe.