On September 18, the Washington, DC-based Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) Bioplastics Division announced Danimer Scientific (Bainbridge, GA) and PepsiCo (Purchase, NY) as the joint winners of the 2018 Innovation in Bioplastics Award. The two companies developed the next generation of bio-based and compostable flexible packaging using Danimer 24365B & Danimer 01112 Resins. This new industrial compostable snack bag was judged to have the right balance of sustainability, performance and cost.
The annual Innovation in Bioplastics Award goes to companies applying bioplastics to innovative, purposeful product design.
“We are excited to honor Danimer and PepsiCo for their unique and creative application of bioplastics innovation,” said PLASTICS’ President & CEO, William R. Carteaux. “These innovations are a major contribution in progressing bioplastics forward as a competitive option in more applications across various industries. What an amazing way to kick off Bioplastics Week.”
The industrial compostable snack bag is comparable in feel, noise and performance to PepsiCo’s current bags and certified to be industrially compostable by TUV Austria. The new Danimer resins that are blends of biopolymers and mineral filler give the bag its white exterior and can be processed in blown film lines for improved economics. The new bio-based structures are currently being piloted in a limited test in the U.S. and Chile, with plans for a test in India later this year.
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“We would like to thank the Plastics Industry Association for recognizing the work PepsiCo and our team are doing to create sustainable food packaging,” said Scott Tuten, Chief Marketing Officer at Danimer Scientific. “As the industry becomes more environmentally conscious, we look forward to continuing our partnership with PepsiCo to develop quality, compostable and biodegradable plastic products for a wide variety of applications.”
“PepsiCo and Danimer have a shared vision for a future of food packaging that is more sustainable without compromising food safety or quality,” said Garry Kohl, Senior Director R&D Global Packaging Innovation for Snacks & Foods at PepsiCo. “We are proud to be recognized for this work, which supports PepsiCo’s stated goal to make 100-percent of our packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.”
A history of collaboration around PHA
Danimer and PepsiCo are collaborating on a third-generation chip bag that is based on Danimer’s polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), a naturally occurring polyester, that will be fully biodegradable in home-composting environments.
In fact, Informa sister publication Packaging Digest reported on Kohl’s remarks about this innovation in March from The Packaging Conference.
Kohl presented a graphic (seen at right) showing the bag structure that had three diverse layers of PHA.
“We’re even looking at biodegradable packaging that you could flush down your toilet,” Kohl said. “Our goal is to develop packaging that [truly] disappears in the ocean.”
Why PHA? “It’s the only material certified for marine degradation,” he explained.
Furthermore, PlasticsToday reported on the partnership in March 2017 (see Danimer Scientific, PepsiCo agreement expands biodegradable resins for flexible packaging).
The brand’s pursuit of sustainable packaging was underway years earlier for the Sun Chips snacks bags when the key ingredient was polylactic acid (PLA) as shown in this feature posted in March 2010 (Biodegradable Frito-Lay bags getting yanked from shelves).