News about the bioplastics industry

PHBOTTLE: New biodegradable packaging with antioxidant properties, made ​​from the sugars present in the wastewater

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AIMPLAS (Instituto Tecnológico del Plástico) and the  technology center Ainia participate in the project in addition to the company Citresa, the European Association of Fruit Juices (AIJN) and nine other international partners.
The project seeks to answer two of the most pressing current problems in the food industry: management of wastewater and the generation of biodegradable packaging for their products.

The stakes are clear: to provide sustainable solutions to environmental problems of the juice industry, based on the principle of  transforming wastes into new materials for use, with new features.The project PHBOTTLE, funded by the 7 th Framework Programme (Grant Agreement No. 280831), is to get in 42 months a new packaging for fruit with biodegradable and antioxidant properties (to lengthen the life of foods containing). A  package made from sugars and other residues rich in carbon, nitrogen and oxygen present in the waste water from  juices bottling industries.Involves applying the latest advances in microencapsulation, biotechnology and packaging technologies. Its development is being coordinated by ainia technology center, and an international consortium of eight companies and four research organizations.•
In Spain: ainia technology center, AIMPLAS (Technological Institute of Plastics) and Citrus Refreshing, SA
In Belgium: European Association of Fruit Juices (AIJN) and Omniform SA
In the Netherlands: TNO Technology Center
In Bulgaria: Sivel Limited
In Portugal: Logoplaste LDA Innovation Lab
In Argentina: National Institute of Industrial Technology (INTI)
In Mexico: Mega Empack Inc.
In Brazil: Logoplaste do Brasil LTDA
In Honduras: Vanguard SD RL

Wastewater valuable resource
The project is a reality: The juice industries consume a large amount of water, both in cleaning their equipment and facilities such as washing of fruits, etc..A waste water that has to be managed and that contains large amounts of organic waste in the form of sugars, which in turn are a large raw material and of great value to the production of bioplastics (plastics generated from organic waste at both degradable).The fruit juice industry in Europe play an important role in the management of waste water, because this type of industry comes to generate up to 129 275 000 liters of residual water.
Active microorganisms that convert the waste into new materials
PHBOTTLE, which is in its initial phase, is identifying microorganisms capable of converting organic waste sewage in a polymeric material (plastic) biodegradable, PHB (polyhydroxybutyrate).
After obtaining this material, its properties will be improved, in a second phase, with the incorporation of cellulose fibers and ingredients encapsulated with antioxidant properties, so that this material, when containing a food to be able to lengthen the asset's useful life and therefore their days marketing and consumption.
In a third phase, this material reinforced and improved in their properties, will mold and will be used to make bottles of juice. Finally, these bottles will be validated and tested, and used to bottle fruit juice .
Life Cycle Analysis
Another environmental objectives of the project are based on an analysis in all phases of project life cycle (LCA) of the new packaging. Involves determining the environmental impact of the material generated during the entire life thereof, from raw materials with which it occurs, until the moment when the final container is disposed, in order to achieve a 100% biodegradable packaging, with minimal environmental impact.Overall response to social demand According Ecoembes, the Spanish recycled seven out of ten household packaging in 2011. The minimum recycling rate established by the European Commission is at 55%, Spain has exceeded the average reaching 68.3%.
Other applications
The new material also apply to non-food packaging, mainly in packaging and plastic drugstore and automotive cleaning.
Note:  Original in Spanish

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