New compostable bags: a 'breakthrough' in the waste war

By Paul Gander

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carbon dioxide

The success of a new fresh produce film appears to demonstrate that biodegradability alone counts for less than protective performance.

EVAP Environmental Packaging will only say that its gas-permeable film, which is compostable to EN13432 standards, includes "a high content of a plant-derived renewable resource"​.

The film is being used by Asda and Tesco to pack potatoes. "Moisture travels through the film, and you can control carbon dioxide and other gas content,"​ said EVAP md Peter Ibbotson.

Tesco claimed the film enabled it to double 'best before' dates on fresh produce. In a statement, potato buyer Andy Blackett called it "a massive breakthrough in the fight against food waste"​.

Applications would depend on its ability to extend shelf-life, said Ibbotson. "There are some cheese products, for instance, where you want to control gases, and some breads and pastries."​ In these areas, the extra cost of the film would be offset by reductions in waste, he said. This would not necessarily be true of other applications, such as lidding, which requires a gas barrier.

Longer shelf-life gives flexibility and cuts waste. In a statement from the Waste & Resources Action Programme, director of design and waste prevention Richard Swannell said: "Consumers will have more time to eat the potatoes they buy, which will help reduce the amount we throw away."

Although it was clearly important in the development of the film, EVAP played down the importance of its biodegradability and compostability. "We're talking to the majority of major multiples,"​ said Ibbotson. "The key thing is that we're reducing food waste."

It's important that the film is from renewable resources, he said. But he described composting as "controversial"​, and pointed out that since successful home composting is largely temperature-dependent, the film is only classified as being industrially compostable.

Related news

Related products

show more

Modern ERP system enables food waste reduction

Modern ERP system enables food waste reduction

Epicor | 05-Sep-2019 | Technical / White Paper

We’re all becoming increasingly aware and mindful of wastage in our personal lives. Food waste is already a significant concern for the food and beverage...

Listeria Management & Drainage: 5 Essential Steps

Listeria Management & Drainage: 5 Essential Steps

Aco Building Drainage | 26-Apr-2019 | Technical / White Paper

Listeria is widely recognised as a universal problem for food and drink manufacturers. To ensure effective listeria management and control, food and drink...

Minimise the impact of product recalls Post-Brexit

Minimise the impact of product recalls Post-Brexit

Epicor | 10-Dec-2018 | Technical / White Paper

The impact of Brexit on current legislation is a topic of much conversation and debate. When it comes to product recalls the uncertainty around what may...

Follow us

Featured Events

View more

Products

View more

Webinars