ConAgra shrinks petro plastic use

ConAgra Foods is not only using biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA) plastic to some of its packaged food products’ shrink films but the plastics themselves contain more than 50% recycled PLA.

The new recycled biodegradable shrink films can be found on tamper evident seals of ConAgra’s branded products such as Fleischmann’s Blue Bonnet and Parkay, and for printed shrink labels in Reddi Whip and PAM cooking spray.

ConAgra said the new technology was developed in partnership with Plastic Suppliers, Bluepack, and NatureWorks LLC. The company’s conversion to the new material will divert more than 350,000 pounds/year of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and more than 50,000 pounds/year. of polyethylene terephthalate glycol (PETG) from the company’s raw material stream.

2009 seems to be a booming year for bioplastic manufacturers. NatureWorks just announced its plans for another new manufacturing facility (partly maybe because of ConAgra??); Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Metabolix‘ bioplastic joint venture is expected to start producing corn-based polyhydroxy alkanoate (PHA) plastic in its new 110 million pounds/year plant in Clinton, Iowa, this Spring; and Teijin plans to soon mass produced its stereo-complex polylactic acid (PLA) plastic at the 10,000-ton level in 2010.More recent news about bioplastics here:

  • Compostable tableware and food packaging manufacturer StalkMarket Products launched the world’s first Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) certified compostable Ingeo™ hot cup and lid system. Ingeo is a trademark of NatureWorks bioplastic product.
  • Indiana Government Center’s cafeterias will be adopting bio-based plastic containers such as cold-drink cups and containers on their salad bars made from Cereplast compostables resins.
  • Bioverse, a developer of natural products to assist bioremediation of commercial and residential water features, has contracted ADM and Metabolix to purchase injection molding-grade Mirel bioplastic resin, which will be used for producing a new biodegradable version of its AquaSphere PRO pond and lake treatment system for golf courses.

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