News about the bioplastics industry

Mater-Bi® products recommended by AIAB

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Novamont, Europe’s leading manufacturer of naturally-sourced bioplastics, has renewed its partnership with the AIAB (Italian Organic Farming Association) in order to promote the use of certified biodegradable, compostable products made from Mater-Bi®. They can be used in a vast range of commodities and sectors: disposable tableware used in canteens, self-service restaurants and cafés, in shops, in biodegradable compost-friendly bags used for shopping or the collection of food waste, and even in biodegradable mulching sheets.

Mater-Bi® is a bio-polymer containing vegetable starches and oils, patented by Novamont and used to make biodegradable products. Under the agreement, these products will bear the "AIAB Recommended" logo, guaranteeing that they have been made from Mater-Bi®, with the aim of minimising the amount of waste generated, reducing the impact on the environment and contributing to the creation of innovative best practices.
Among the early results of the agreement is the AIAB-recommended Mater-Bi® mulch film, which will be launched at the AIAB Federal Congress to be held in Milan from 1-4 December. This innovative new product has been designed to introduce radical changes in the agricultural industry – and organic farming in particular – by completely eradicating the problem of removing and disposing of used mulch film, which creates plastic waste. Conventional mulch film needs to be removed and disposed of properly at the end of their useful life, a process which is both costly and labour-intensive.

The advantages of this solution have been illustrated by an LCA environmental impact analysis.
The study examined two disposal scenarios: the legal method and the illegal process of burning the sheets on the field. It was found that the use of Mater-Bi® mulch film could reduce the CO2 equivalents by 49% for each hectare of soil covered. That figure could rise as high as 73% in the second scenario, in which the law on disposal of mulch films is not complied with.

Considering the whole of the agricultural industry – which consumes about 43,000 tonnes of mulch film every year - replacing 50% of the traditional plastic film with Mater-Bi® film would slash the annual output of greenhouse gases by 32,500 tonnes (the amount of emissions produced by a town of 37,500 inhabitants), if the traditional plastic film is disposed of correctly.

“We are delighted to renew our mutually beneficial partnership with the AIAB in order to raise awareness among farmers and the general public about responsible, sustainable consumption and the production methods. We both share the belief that it is possible to achieve economies of scale which do not generate waste and can promote best practices, especially at local level, starting with the agricultural sector. Biodegradable and compostable products are a real example of this approach, which is based on cutting-edge sustainable technologies” commented Andrea Di Stefano, Novamont Director of Corporate Relations.

The Mater-Bi® mulch film contains renewable resources including non-GMO starches obtained from corn, other cereals and vegetable oils. Once buried, it degrades naturally into the soil. For farmers, the new film relieves them from the burden of having to remove the old film, saving them a considerable amount of time and also helping to protect and enrich the soil: a truly green method of farming that also protects the health of consumers.


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