In each issue of the European Bioplastics Newsletter, we present 5 facts about a member of European Bioplastics. In this issue, Dr. Afsaneh Nabifar, Head of Global Market Development Biopolymers at BASF, shares some interesting insights on her company.
5 Facts about: BASF, Germany
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. About 110,000 employees in the BASF Group work on contributing to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world.
For more than 30 years, the Biopolymers team at BASF has been researching biodegradable, bio-based and certified compostable biopolymers. The continuous development of these high-performance plastics takes place in close cooperation with customers, research institutes, and local authorities. With our many years of experience and expertise we can help our customers operate more successfully. The outstanding infrastructure of BASF and our roots within society enable customers and employees to benefit from the exchange of knowledge and global networking. The focus always lies on the biopolymer’s best environmental performance in regard to advancing organic recycling, no matter if the material contains fossil or renewable resources. For each individual application, environmental safety, cost efficiency, and the social consequences have to be examined for its entire life cycle in order to find the most suitable material with the greatest benefit.
ecoflex® is the first biodegradable and compostable polyester by BASF which is on the market since 1998. ecoflex® grades are certified according to international and national standards and can be biodegraded by microorganisms under industrial or home composting conditions or even in agricultural soil. ecoflex® is one of the few compostable polymers complying with the requirements of the European food contact regulation and the US Food Contact Substance Notification of FDA. Furthermore, scientifically recognized tests have proven in practice that ecoflex® has no negative consequences for nature or the environment. ecoflex® is an ideal blend component with several renewable raw materials like starch, PLA to offer partly bio-based products that can be used in different application areas.
Introduced in 2006, ecovio® grades are ecoflex®- based compounds from BASF with special material properties such as flexibility, toughness and varying levels of bio-based content, added in order to fulfill specific requirements in various applications and country legislations. The main application areas for ecovio® are bags for organic waste or fruit and vegetables, cling films and agricultural mulch films. Compostable packaging solutions such as paper coating and lamination films, as well as thermoformed and injection-molded products such as coffee capsules can also be manufactured with ecovio®. ecovio® grades are co-created together with our customers while supporting them every step of the value-chain. BASF’s unique value proposition is expertise offered to our customers globally, on topics related to biodegradability, microplastics, certification, product development, sustainability, and legislation. More information at www.ecovio.basf.com.
Both ecoflex® and ecovio® compounds are high-quality and versatile polymers that can make an important contribution to circular economy by increasing organic recycling and closing the loop of the food value chain. These products can contribute to returning nutrients to the soil by means of greater volumes of compost generated or by avoiding the accumulation of microplastics in agricultural soil caused by thin mulch films made of polyethylene.