BASF says its biodegradable plastic Ecovio FS film is being used in a pilot project by German waste management service AWB. Ecovio FS film is made from combination of petroleum-based Ecoflex FS biodegradable polyester (also produced by BASF) and corn starch-based PLA (polylactic acid).
Starting April 6, a 3-month test will be conducted to see whether the bags are suitable for collecting organic waste and how the bags would do on a large scale at an organic composting plant.
In the district of Bad Durkheim, 65,000 households will each receive 10 Ecovio-based bags free of charge by mail along with information material. More bags will be available at several distribution points throughout the district. Residents are encouraged to use the bags for their food waste and then dispose them in an organic waste bin. BASF said the bags are not however suitable for home composting.
BASF and AWB are cooperating with additional partners, the Weltplast company, which is producing the organic waste bags using Ecovio granules provided free-of-charge by BASF; and GML and Veolia Umweltservice GmbH, which are carrying out the actual composting at the Grünstadt organic composting plant.
The independent consulting company IBK-Solutions will be monitoring the project and performing the scientific evaluation. Once the project has been concluded, all of the companies involved and the local residents will be informed about the results. Should the pilot project be successful, then the bags will be permanently approved and made available throughout the district of Bad Dürkheim .
The bags used in the Bad Dürkheim project consist of more than 50% renewable raw materials. By the way, here is a video of some of the tests BASF and GML did on the compostability of Ecovio FS-based bags. The companies also compared the bag to oxo-degradable plastic and traditional PE plastic.