Biopac has announced its role in ECLIPSE, an international consortium, which has bagged a €5m funding in a bid to develop new packaging using natural materials.
According to the UK-based developer and supplier of packaging and catering disposables, the new packaging is set to reduce dependency on fossil fuels.
Using non-edible waste and micro-algae, ECLIPSE will develop fully sustainable packaging in order to produce environmentally friendly biopolymers.
By increasing the added value of algae waste, the project aims at decreasing the production costs of both polylactic acid or PLA and algae-based biodiesel.
The renewable and compostable alternative aims to exhibit similar characteristics to the films that are used in packaging solutions.
The new natural material will possess good mechanical characteristics including light, moisture, gas and odor barrier properties that are similar to polyethylene or PET used in beverage, food and other liquid containers.
Biopac technical director Mark Brigden said the consortium can overcome the handicaps that prevent natural materials such as PLA from achieving a bigger share of the packaging market.
"Flexible pouches and agricultural bags are target markets and will utilise the breakthrough improvements in the performance and characteristics of the new material. This advanced research keeps Europe at the forefront of packaging innovation," Brigden said.