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Futamura launches ‘first compostable ovenable film’
From:Packaging News

Sustainable cellulose films specialist Futamura has announced the launch of a new product to market, NatureFlex 30NVO, an ovenable grade of its landmark compostable NatureFlex films.

NatureFlex 30NVO is made from renewable wood pulp sourced from responsibly managed forestry. It is said to be the first certified compostable, heat-sealable film to market, which offers the heat resistance required for conventional and microwave ovens. The new ovenable film offers a host of benefits including heat sealability on both sides, semi-permeability to moisture, a good barrier to oxygen and mineral oils, grease and oil resistance, superb dead-fold, and is inherently anti-static.

In addition to its technical properties, NatureFlex 30NVO is ideal for printing and is suitable for lamination to other biopolymers to further enhance barrier and sealing properties.

Dr Lucy Cowton, sustainability manager, Futamura Cellulose Films, said; “This product has been under development for some time. We have under gone stringent internal trialling and are delighted to be able to launch this product. We receive a lot of requests for an ovenable film so know it is a requirement within the marketplace; particularly at a time when brand owners are looking to switch from single-use plastic packaging. This is another example of how NatureFlex films are not just a sustainable story; they offer outstanding technical performance, too.”

NatureFlex compostable films are an alternative to conventional packaging films, especially for those products that are contaminated by food waste. Futamura’s sales & marketing manager Andy Sweetman said; “Ovenable products are especially likely to be contaminated by food, which makes our 30 NVO film a key material for this market. While recycling infrastructure for flexible films is still in its infancy, it is non-existent for food contaminated film. There are over 50 facilities in the UK who will accept compostable packaging along with other organic waste, this is a viable alternative, but the infrastructure is not yet ideal. Our vision is for compostable packaging to be collected and revalorised along with food waste sent for organic recycling, especially once the mandated food waste collections are implemented in England in 2023.” Mr Sweetman added; “Futamura is working alongside its industry association, the BBIA, to ensure the necessary steps are in place for this to happen. However, we call upon retailers and brand owners to join us in driving this vision over the line.”

NatureFlex NVO is being trialled by a number of brand owners and is suitable for hot food-to-go items such as pies, pastries, hot baguettes, wraps and paninis.

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