According to Innovia, NatureFlex complies with specifications required for soil, home composting and waste water applications at ambient temperatures, as well as for industrial composting. Following a comprehensive life cycle assessment on its NatureFlex products during 2007, which was conducted to allow the company to quantify the environmental impact of the product on a ‘cradle to gate’ basis, Innovia Films was able to determine the carbon footprint of coated NatureFlex biodegradable and compostable packaging films in 2008.
“Reducing a company’s carbon footprint should principally be achieved through improvements in energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption, enhanced process technology and waste reduction,” says David Beeby, Innovia Films’ CEO. “We have already made significant cuts in this way and are committed to continuing this in the future. Any manufacturing process will inevitably have an environmental impact and our involvement in these initiatives allows us to offset the overall effect of NatureFlex production and reassure our customers it is actually CarbonZero at the point of dispatch from Innovia’s premises.”
Working with co2balance, Innovia Films decided to plant 3,000 trees in Cumbria, England. The planting of the new forest with a mix of British broad leafed trees within 30 km of its Wigton site was selected because NatureFlex is manufactured in Cumbria. The forest is directly owned and managed by co2balance, which will ensure that it is properly maintained in the future.
The NatureFlex range of films comprises a transparent cellulose base manufactured from sustainable wood pulp. By adding specially formulated biodegradable and compostable surface layers Innovia Films is able to control the moisture permeability of these films to produce material suitable across a whole range of applications from high moisture content fresh produce to more hygroscopic bakery products. They are stiffer and more oriented than many biopolymers, and they are ideal for use in standard flow-wrap and form-fill-seal equipment for food packaging. Glossy and transparent, they are also static-free for easy handling.