EU Dibbiopack project

Bio-plastic packaging

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The EU Dibbiopack project has developed a series of multi-functional packaging products that are biobased, compostable and biodegradable, and will contribute to the growth
of a truly circular economy.

The project has created its innovative packaging from polymers with three sectors in mind – pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and the food industry. These polymers are labeled as ‘smart’
due to bio-plastic materials presenting new characteristics that turn them into real actors for product preservation. They do this by increasing product durability, maintaining quality and reporting to the consumer on content preservation conditions.

Solutions for a circular economy

The materials used to create the packaging products are environmentfriendly and produced from renewable sources. They are sustainable and contribute to the creation of a circular
economy, which is currently a major European ambition following an ambitious package put forward by the European Commission in December 2015.

Currently an average of 200 plastic bags per person per year are used in Europe. The majority of these bags fall under the category of lighter plastic, thus being the least reused and the most difficult to recycle. The same can be said of thousands of bottles and packaging units, of any kind, made from petroleum products. Half of these will be dumped and will take centuries to degrade.

To address the need to reduce Europe’s usage of these environmentally damaging products, the Dibbiopack project aims to help companies and consumers in the transition to a more efficient economy by providing solutions for a reduction in petroleumbased packaging. In the longer-term, more sectors other than the three specifically focused on by the project – waste packing and disposal, may also benefit from the project’s novel packaging applications.

Eco-design innovations

When designing its products, the project has specifically employed nanofibers as these provide the packaging with durability and mechanical properties similar to those found in
conventional plastics. These nanofibers do not come into direct contact with the product being packaged

To keep the content apart, biodegradable labels are used. Additionally, these labels incorporate anti-microbial agents that are released in the event of humidity, thus checking bacteria emergence.

The packaging designs also incorporate sensors that change their color according to the amount of oxygen present within the packaging. This is to provide more information about
the products and the processes of the packaging value chain that increase the safety and quality of the products throughout the supply chain.

This improves the shelf-life of the packaged products

With the incorporation of these sensors, any valuable information on content condition is readily available without the need for any actual content contact due to the use of an RFID
antenna integrated in a mobile phone or Tablet. This leads to more convenience for traceability and access to information records.

Finally, the packaging also uses biodegradable films with enhanced barrier properties, due to a three-coating solution that combines biodegradable organic-coating materials with other plasma-applied inorganic ones.

The impact, resilience, and growth of responsible packaging in a wide region are daily chronicled by Packaging South Asia.

A multi-channel B2B publication and digital platform such as Packaging South Asia is always aware of the prospect of new beginnings and renewal. Its 16-year-old print monthly, based in New Delhi, India has demonstrated its commitment to progress and growth. The Indian and Asian packaging industries have shown resilience in the face of ongoing challenges over the past three years.

As we present our publishing plan for 2023, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2023 will reach 6.3%. Packaging industry growth has exceeded GDP growth even when allowing for inflation in the past three years.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 33% over the past three years. With orders in place, we expect another 33% capacity addition from 2023 to 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels have grown similarly. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

Even given the disruptions of supply chains, raw material prices, and the challenge of responsible and sustainable packaging, packaging in all its creative forms and purposes has significant headroom to grow in India and Asia. Our context and coverage engulf the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and further – to waste collection and recycling. We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers.

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