Italy-based Novamont is using vegetable oil derived from the thistle plant to make the latest generation of MaterBi, its range of compostable and biodegradable resins.
At K 2013, sales manager Alberto Castellanza said the company started to investigate thistles as a feedstock after investing, along with petrochemicals producer Versalis, in a bio refinery in Sardinia, Italy.
“Thistles need very little water or fertiliser, so it is the perfect crop for Sardinian weather, which is hot and dry and has very little rain,” he told European Plastics News.
Another advantage is that there is no competition with feedstocks, he added.
Castellanza said the fourth generation material allows Novamont to target a wider range of applications, a variety of which are on show at the company’s stand at K.
One new application is a transparent film for food packaging, which contain a high proportion of renewable raw materials and are made using a lower level of greenhouse gas emissions.
Novamont has tested packaging for bread, cold meats, small fruits, coffee and chocolate, and claims the film shows good mechanical properties, twistability, clarity and sealability. It is biodegradable and compostable in compliance with the EN 13432 standard.
Sticking with the food theme, the firm is launching at K two new grades - DI01A and DI02A – which can be injection moulded into disposable items for the restaurant trade. They mould in a similar way to PP and contain up to 80% renewable content.
The company has also created a new transparent mulch film for agricultural applications.