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Greening of an Industry: Kmart customers test compostable plastic bags

Just days after Germany’s Aldi supermarket chain announced it would offer its customers shopping bags converted from BASF’s biodegradable plastic Ecovio, retail chain Kmart says it intends to offer its customers in Australia compostable shopping bags extruded and converted by Biograde Ltd. (Melbourne).

(Melbourne). Biograde does its film processing at its site in Nanjing, China, which no doubt helped it earn a $1.2 million contract to supply the Beijing 2008 Olympic and Paralympic Games with biodegradable packaging, but may hinder its efforts at Kmart. The Biograde bags will be competing with reusable paper bags that are converted in Australia.

The Biograde bags are part of a trial starting this month across the retailer’s 12 stores in South Australia to determine what kind of bags will be offered to customers after the South Australian Government ban on plastic checkout bags takes effect in early May. Customers requiring a bag will select from Biograde’s compostable bags or reusable paper bags at a charge of Australian $0.15 per bag.

Biograde has developed its own proprietary blend, based on cornstarch. The Biograde bags are the same shape and size as existing plastic bags and comply with Australian Standard AS 4736-2006, European EN13432, North America’s ASTMD6400, Japanese GreenPla and China Environment Label standards. [email protected]

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