Südzucker has announced that one of its projects on biobased plastic packaging has been granted funding from the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).
The projected entitled 'Biobased plastic packaging for food' aims to develop ideas for improving possible applications of biobased plastics in the food industry.
BMEL is funding four different research concepts through its project agency Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e. V. (FNR).
Biobased Plastic Packaging
Freiberger, a Südzucker subsidiary and leading manufacturer of frozen pizzas, uses plastic films as packaging materials at various stages.
Over the last few years, it has been working intensively to reduce the amount of plastic used, in line with its motto: as much as necessary, as little as possible.
Films from bulk or outer packaging that accumulate at retailers can be specifically collected and added to the recycling process, Südzucker noted.
However, the primary film in which the pizza is wrapped ends up as waste for end consumers, who usually have no guaranteed access to proper collection for recycling.
Südzucker's BioPrima project will address this problem by researching and developing plastic films using starch-based renewable raw materials in the highest possible proportion.
The use of the starch-based plastic AGENACOMP from the Austrian subsidiary AGRANA Beteiligungs-AG will enhance the biodegradability of the packaging and make it home-compostable, the sugar giant added.
The company is also evaluating the possibility of recycling these films.
Südzucker is also participating in another bioplastics project in Straubing, funded by the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy.
The project is testing bags from renewable raw materials that are biodegradable and home-compostable.
The company is tracking and analysing the complete compostability of these bags with other project partners.
In the trial phase, these bags can be disposed of in the organic waste garbage bin, the company added.
Dr Wolfgang Kraus, head of Südzucker Research, said, "Südzucker Group develops and offers not only the raw material but also the production know-how for bio-based plastics for a world with less fossil-based plastic waste.
"As a partner in the field test of bio bags, it is our goal to participate in the development of sustainable economic cycles and put them into practice."