Canadian Plastics

New Grades of Biodegradable Plastic

BASF Corp. has recently introduced a new class of fully biodegradable plastics, Ecoflex (71), with a profile of properties similar to LDPE, the company claims. Ecoflex, a biodegradable polyester, can ...

March 1, 1999   Canadian Plastics



BASF Corp. has recently introduced a new class of fully biodegradable plastics, Ecoflex (71), with a profile of properties similar to LDPE, the company claims. Ecoflex, a biodegradable polyester, can be processed on existing blown film processing lines and is suitable for most film applications. According to BASF, Ecoflex meets all the requirements of DIN V 54 900, which defines methods for testing the compostability of a polymeric material. Plastics such as Ecoflex are considered fully biodegradable if at least 60% of the organic carbon in the material is converted within a test period of not more than 180 days. Tests have shown that Ecoflex exceeds the standard, degrading more than 90% after only 80 days. BASF says possible applications for Ecoflex include compost bags, mulch covers and laminate coatings on drink cartons, fast food packaging and beverage cups.

Boidegardable and water-soluble Hydrolene is described as a “new generation” of plastic material by its Italian manufacturer, Idroplast S.p.A (72). According to the company, Hydrolene, based on polyvinyl alcohol and additives, becomes completely water soluble above a certain temperature, which makes it compatible with sewerage waste streams. It is inert to solvents, impermeable to gases, with barrier properties similar to EVA. Hydrolene can be processed on film extrusion equipment that has been modified to run the polymer. It can also be thermoformed.


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