The aim of the EU project FORBIOPLAST is to develop biodegradable food packaging from forestry and paper industry waste. Wood and paper mill by-products are intended to replace the fossil-fuel resources that are common today.
“In the project we use our packing and processing expertise to help develop new and more eco-friendly fish crates,” says Morten Sivertsvik, head of process technology research at the food research institute Nofima. “In addition, Nofima is responsible for the practical testing of several types of bioplastic materials. We have examined whether these materials are suitable as food packaging.”
One of the types of bioplastics that the researchers at Nofima are going to inspect is polylactic acid (PLA), which is naturally biodegradable. Can PLA enhanced with wood fibre create materials that are suitable for food packaging? The sealing qualities of the new products are currently undergoing optimization tests, health safety tests, and migration analyses. These tests will be followed by practical processing and packaging test runs.