BASF has developed a new biodegradable plastic material that combines the company’s biodegradable, but petrochemical-based, Ecoflex polyester with NatureWorks’ polylactic acid (PLA), a corn-based bioplastic.
The first Ecovio LBX 8145 grade contains 45% by weight of PLA that is chemically bound to the Ecoflex. BASF said the first application will be in flexible films used for shopping bags. In Europe, Ecovio samples will be available in Europe in December, with commercial quantities said to be available in March 2006. It is planned to introduce Ecovio in Asia and NAFTA during the second half of 2006.
Apart from offering Ecovio to film processors, BASF will also supply the “basic component” as Ecovio L, so that processors can combine it with Ecoflex or PLA themselves to obtain softer or harder formulations than the first LBX 8145 grade or to modify Ecovio L to make it suitable for injection-moulding or deep-drawing applications. BASF predicts that demand for biodegradable plastics will grow by more than 20% a year during the next five years.
www.prw.com, news of 2005-11-29.