Plastic and paper packaging processor Huhtamaki has been processing the Ingeo brand of polylactic acid-based bioplastics for almost 10 years, giving it a solid record of orders, but rare is the single event where more than a million cups have been needed.
Just that was needed in March, though, as the German city of Cologne celebrated Fasching, the German word for the party known in most of the world as Carnival or Mardi Gras. Cologne takes its annual Carnival celebration very seriously, with outrageously decorated floats and elaborate music and dance formations that have been honed through months of rehearsals.
Huhtamaki was tapped by the organizers of the event to help them eliminate the need for glass cold-drink cups and also to meet their sustainability goals. Huhtamaki markets its bioplastic packaging under the name BioWare, which it introduced in 2004; Ingeo is the brand used by supplier NatureWorks for its materials. "This is the second year for BioWare cups at the Cologne Carnival, and we hope to use them at the carnival for many years to come as they are safe, hygienic, and spare the environment," said Markus Rittersbach, chairman of the Cologne Carnival Festival Committee.
BioWare products are certified in accordance with EN13432, the European standard for compostability of packaging, and Huhtamaki says they have a lower environmental impact than their traditional counterparts.
As we reported in this article on bioplastics earlier this year, Huhtamaki is seeing strong demand growth for its bioplastics packaging range.