By Aleksi Palmroth and Ari Rosling (Arctic Biomaterials, Finland)
Pictured: Arctic Biomaterials focuses on strong biodegradable materials reinforced with degradable glass fibers (Source: Arctic Biomaterials).
For companies to switch production to bio-based biodegradable plastic alternatives, their implementation must be economical. This can be achieved by keeping the production process in mind when developing novel materials. In the BIO-PLASTICS EUROPE project, Arctic Biomaterials (ABM) has developed bio-based and biodegradable composites for reusable cutleries and rigid packaging applications. The proprietary degradable glass fibers of the company enable rigid and temperature resistant materials with composting as an additional end-of-life alternative.
The materials produced by the company were thoroughly characterized by the project partners during the first test round. Based on these tests, a new development round has just begun. Ari Rosling (R&D Director at ABM) is pleased with the latest developments and says that the company is now optimizing the materials to satisfy the market needs: “We have received a lot of useful and interesting results and feedback from the project partners. For example, our novel materials have shown no signs of toxicity or other adverse effects in plants or brine shrimps. We now have a solid ground for developing the formulations further. The new iteration round is done to enable more economical materials with even faster injection molding cycle times. These things are crucial for penetrating the market. And that is of course our aim.”
The latest development steps of the materials are about to be finalized, after which the samples will be produced and distributed to the project partners to start testing round II. At the same time, companies manufacturing injection molded cutlery will be invited to test these novel materials as a proof-of-concept.