Bioplastics to be used at London 2012 Olympics

01 June 2011 12:44  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Food packaging made from materials that can be composted will be widely used at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, a UK-based industry body for bio-renewable products said on Wednesday.

Bioplastics will be used in fast-food wrappers, sandwich boxes and drink cartons available at next year's Olympic Games, said the UK-based National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials (NNFCC).

After they are disposed of, the materials will be suitable for anaerobic digestion (AD), allowing them to be made into renewable energy, the organisation said.

“AD is breaking down organic material like compostable food packaging and turning it into methane or carbon dioxide, and that methane can be burned and create heat,” said Matthew Aylott, science and technology writer at NNFCC. 

The packaging will be labelled as suitable for compost, so that customers who have used the materials can discard them in special bins for collection, after which they will be processed at a new AD plant being built in Dagenham, UK, said Aylott.

There is currently no AD plant in London. The plant being built in Dagenham, in east London, will be able to convert around 50,000 tonnes/year of food waste for renewable energy, said Aylott.

“The London Olympics has given us a unique opportunity to showcase the benefits of using compostable packaging, particularly for food, and recovering its stored energy at end-of-life using anaerobic digestion,” said John Williams, head of materials for energy and industry at the NNFCC.

According to the NNFCC, around 6.5m people will attend the 2012 Olympics and generate over 3,300 tonnes of food-packaging waste in the space of 17 days.

Bookmark Doris de Guzman’s Green Chemicals blog for views on sustainability issues

By: Tanzeel Akhtar
+44 208 652 3214

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