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07-10-2014

European Research Project Biobottle Started

The Technological Institute of Plastic Aimplas, Valencia, Spain, is coordinating a research project carried out by seven companies and technological centers since May 2014. Along with its own researchers, they develop new materials to manufacture biodegradable packages for dairy products. The project is called Biobottle and its aim is to create multilayer and monolayer plastic bottles as well as bags to package dairy products which are not required to be separated of the rest of the organic wastes at the end of their brief lifespan. The project is part of the Seventh Framework Programme and funded with EUR 1 million.

Europe is the biggest consumer of dairy products in the world, but only among 10% and 15% of the 2 million tons of high density polyethylene bottles used for packaging are recycled (figure: Aimplas)

Europe is the biggest consumer of dairy products in the world, but only among 10% and 15% of the 2 million tons of high density polyethylene bottles used for packaging are recycled (figure: Aimplas)

Milk bottles and bags are packages which can be used only once, so a big volume of waste is generated. In addition, an exhaustive high temperature washing is required in its recycling to eliminate any remaining product and subsequent odors. Aimplas and the rest of Biobottle’s partners work on developing a biodegradable material which allows manufacturing big multilayer bottles or bags, like the ones of milk or milkshakes, as well as the monolayer bottles, which are smaller, used to package probiotic products.

One of the main difficulties with which the researchers of this project must deal is getting a biodegradable material which complies with the same requirements as the traditional packages used nowadays, including the resistance to thermal treatments such as the sterilization or pasteurization. For this, it is expected to modify the current commercial biodegradable materials through the reactive extrusion to overcome the thermal limitations in the biodegradable materials currently available in the market.

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AIMPLAS Instituto Tecnológico del Plástico

Gustave Eiffel 4
ES 46980 Paterna/Valencia
Tel.: +34 96 1366040

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