Biopolymer from wood and PLA as food packaging

Biopolymers from wood fibres and polylactide (PLA) are an alternative to traditional food packaging made from plastics. Wood and PLA are 100 % biobased and open up new opportunities to fulfil the requests of industry and consumers for ecological and food-grade packaging.

Society is becoming more and more environmentally conscious and consumer interest in green food packaging alternatives is increasing, facing the food industry with new challenges. On the one hand, consumers are buying unpackaged foods more frequently; on the other hand, the demand for environmental-friendly food packaging is growing. If packaging cannot be avoided for some products, then biopolymers are an alternative. At the same time, the demand for new bioplastics that are suitable for contact with food is on the rise.

Cups from biopolymer for contact with food

These cups were manufactured from JELUPLAST®. Picture: ©

Eco-friendly plastics

With our JELUPLAST® product range, we offer a wood-based bioplastic to the industry that can be used in a highly versatile manner. JELUPLAST® consists of wood fibres that are embedded in a plastic matrix. When these two raw materials are compounded, the material is condensed, thus improving the material’s properties. Depending on the ingredients and additives used, our JELUPLAST® bioplastic achieves a strength and rigidity that make it suitable for use as food packaging:

  • Suitable for contact with food
  • Harmless to health
  • Thermostable
  • Resistant to mechanical pressures
  • Eco-friendly disposal

Wood-PLA biopolymer: a biobased plastic

Depending on the application area our customers work in, we recommend using biopolymers with different ingredients and properties. We offer, among other things, a biopolymer made from wood fibres and polylactide (PLA) as a premixed compound. In this bioplastic, polylactide forms the matrix in which our wood fibres are embedded. The granules to be used for further processing consist of 50% wood fibres and 47% PLA. Additives improve the biopolymer properties. The granules can be formed three-dimensionally using injection moulding techniques just like traditional plastics.

Our wood- and PLA-based biopolymer is a composite that is devoid of traditional plastics. Wood fibres and PLA are 100% obtained from renewable and carbon-neutral resources. The wood used for our biopolymers derives from native forests and is PEFC-certified. It is processed further in its natural state without being chemically prepared. Our polylactide is manufactured from natural plant starch, and all the ingredients we use are suitable for contact with food.

Customisable properties

Besides the wood-PLA compound, our JELUPLAST® product range also comprises further bioplastics. We manufacture premixed compounds from wood fibres and polyethylene or polypropylene. Our bioplastics can be used to manufacture disposable items such as tableware and cutlery as well as bowls, cups and portion containers. Even aluminium and aluminium-containing composites can be replaced with our biobased biopolymers.

Additives can be used to customise the biopolymer properties. At the customer’s request we produce numerous bespoke blends that we optimise for specific applications. This allows us to vary properties such as strength, rigidity and water absorbency. Need a custom compound that is tailored to your application? Talk to us. We’ll be happy to advise you.

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