February 22, 2021
Croatian EcoCortec® bioplastics plant has successfully finalized its role as a partner in the €1.95 million European BIOCOMPACK project. As a result of the hard work of all ten project partners, latest technology biodegradable materials in paper and cardboard packaging were introduced. BIOCOMPACK started in 2017 and finished by the end of 2020, achieving its goals. Instead of the often-used plastic boxes, the idea now is to utilize recyclable paper and plastic packaging. These two materials, which can be found combined in a lot of packaging, are very difficult to recycle when they are used together.
For this reason, BIOCOMPACK has created prototypes of combined paper and plastic packaging that are biodegradable and compostable. The project was supported by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme, funded under the European Regional Development Fund. EcoCortec®, a manufacturer of environmentally responsible packaging materials for corrosion protection, was one of the 10 international partners joining the project.
Non-recyclable combined plastic and paper packaging accounts for 32.2 million tons of waste per year in the EU, according to the recent figures. The appearance of microplastics in recycled paper secondary materials and compost is also a major concern. This huge problem calls for a paradigm shift and it would be ideal if all plastics could be thrown entirely into the compost but we are not completely there yet. However BIOCOMPACK is a huge step in that direction. During the past three years, stronger connections were built between R&D institutions and companies in the area of paper-plastics and packaging solutions. EcoCortec® was mostly involved in the development of the audit tool and the business support service concerning tool testing, feedback on usefulness and quality of the tools. The plant also participated in pilot actions and supported the preparation of case studies.
EcoCortec® has been promoting safe, environmentally sustainable packaging solutions for the last 15 years. The plant utilizes Cortec’s patented VpCI® Technology and offers films, papers, and bags from renewable, biobased materials. VpCI® film has already had a large impact on making corrosion protection more environmentally friendly by reducing the need for traditional hazardous rust preventatives. Recently the plant launched EcoShield®, biobased recyclable barrier paper and linerboard. This repulpable, USDA certified paper is the latest environmentally safe alternative to polyethylene and wax papers with comparable water vapor barrier properties. It passed recyclability testing per EU Standards (UNI 11743:2019 and the System of Evaluation Aticelca 501:2019). This Paper and Linerboard can be used in a variety of applications, such as packaging oily and greasy parts or protecting other moisture sensitive components. From highly-effective film and foam technology to premium custom converted papers, EcoCortec® plant exports its wide range of products all over the world. The plant’s team raised this standard to an even higher level by creating a plastics recycling center, which uses state-of-the-art reprocessing equipment. EcoCortec® looks forward to economic and environmental benefits and hopes to be a model for other manufacturers to follow in opting for sustainable technologies.
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