Plans to speed up expansion of biodegradable polymer / Food contact approvals granted in EU, USA and Japan
Kaneka (Osaka / Japan; www.kaneka.co.jp) intends to accelerate expansion of its “PHBH” biodegradable polymer following the receipt of food contact approvals in Europe, Japan and USA earlier this year. The company has been piloting PHBH at its Takasago headquarters in Japan since 2011. Production is currently running at 1,000 t/y and being upscaled to 5,000 t/y by December 2019 – see Plasteurope.com of 24.09.2018.

Produced via a microorganism fermentation process in which plant oils and their fatty acids are used as a primary raw material, the polymer is biodegradable in natural environments, including marine waters, and is also recyclable through composting.

In August 2019, Kaneka obtained extended food contract approval for all food types in the EU, meaning that PHBH can be used for articles such as cutlery, straws, cups in addition to dry food contact applications such as fruit and vegetable bags.

PHBH was also added in May 2019 to the positive list of the Japan Hygienic Olefin and Styrene Plastics Association (JHOSPA, www.jhospa.gr.jp), allowing it to be used in the country for food utensils, containers and packaging materials.

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA, Silver Spring, Maryland; www.fda.gov) cleared PHBH as a food contact material in March this year.

Kaneka has also received several certifications from standards organisation TÜV (www.tuv.com) for PHBH’s bio-based content, biodegradable properties in soil and seawater and composting ability.

The PHBH foam particles can be moulded with existing equipment into food and non-food packaging without sacrificing the key features of polyolefin foams, Kaneka added.

The Japanese chemical group showcased the plant-based material at major plastics trade fair "K 2019" (www.k-online.com).
30.10.2019 Plasteurope.com [243760-0]
Published on 30.10.2019
Kaneka: Einsatz von PHBH im Lebensmittelkontakt kommt voranGerman version of this article...

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