Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Tests for a fiber package dedicated to precooked meals

The world is facing a steady increase in the consumption of precooked dishes. Beyond the consequences of this "diet" for human health, the packaging of such meals is very harmful to the environment. The black plastic used in pre-cooked packaging generates enormous problems of waste management since the lasers that process the waste to be recycled can not easily identify what type of material it is.

Consumers and producers, concerned about the impact of this type of packaging, agree to use more sustainable materials. The supermarkets have also agreed to gradually eliminate this type of packaging, a task in which a team of researchers and scientists financed by European funds will work.

A new tray designed by the Finnish container manufacturer Huhtamaki offers a viable alternative to black plastic. Developed in collaboration with the partners of the FRESH, Södra and SaladWorks project, the product is part of an effort to sell biological packaging for ready meals in the UK market.

The company tested its fiber-based packaging in May and June in two pre-cooked dishes of Italian cuisine. "We are confident that the new proposal will be well received and that it will be a turning point for the adoption of biological packaging in this segment," said Steve Davey de Huhtamaki in an article in the magazine "Packaging Europe". Recognizing the need for alternatives based on renewable materials, Huhtamaki is confident that the tests will lead to the adoption of biological packaging in this segment.

In a notice published on the website of the Finnish company it is explained that the new material has the texture of the board and is created with fiber derived from sources certified by the Forest Management Council. Created in 1993, this council works to ensure that forests around the world are managed in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

Developed by Södra, partner of FRESH, this renewable material is called Durapulp and is a biocomposite based on a mixture of cellulose and polylactic acid (PLA) that does not include genetically modified organisms in its raw material. "It is a renewable and adequate alternative for storing sensitive products such as food," said Catrin Gustavsson, Senior Vice President of Innovation and New Business Opportunities in Södra.

The FRESH project (FRESH - Fully bio based and bio degradable ready meal packaging), which will last three and a half years until 2020, aims to generate innovative alternatives based on high quality cellulose to the trays of plastics derived from fossil fuels through a new lamination technology. The objectives of the project are to achieve a much lower environmental footprint (a CO2 reduction of more than 80%) during the life cycle of the project compared to other packaging materials based on fossil fuels. Its general objective is to offer a complete value chain, from the production of materials to the end user, in which the technical and economic feasibility of an alternative to the containers for pre-cooked meals is fully biological and biodegradable.

The final product of FRESH could offer important environmental, economic and even job creation advantages. It would also demonstrate that it is an element of change for the distributors, the catering companies -for example, airlines and home food services for the elderly- and missions in remote areas that cover both civilian and military needs.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Six sentences about biodiversity

We collect six sentences about the importance of conserving the planet's biodiversity:

"It is a basic error to treat the Earth as if it were a business in liquidation." Herman Daly, economist.

"The species are like bricks in the construction of a building, we can lose one or two dozen bricks without the house wobbling, but if 20% of the species disappears, the entire structure is destabilized and collapses. ecosystem". Donald Falk, ecologist at the University of Arizona (USA).

"Natural species constitute the library with which genetic engineers work." Thomas E. Lovejoy, conservationist.

"Every time we lose a species we break a chain of life that has evolved over 3,500 million years." Jeffrey McNeely, IUCN scientist.

"Destroying the rainforests for money is like using a Renaissance artwork to make a fire to prepare dinner." E.O. Wilson, biologist.

"Once a species is extinguished, no law can make it return: it has left forever." Allen M. Solomon, ecologist.