Sirmax Group will debut at Interpack 2023, the international trade fair for packaging machinery and products, with a series of innovations in the field of sustainable packaging. From May 4 to 10, at booth D13 in Hall 9, the Italian group – Europe's leading independent producer and among the world's top producers of polypropylene compounds, engineering plastics, post-consumer compounds, and bio-compounds – will present udates on two of its fast- growing business units: Bioplastics and recycled plastics.
Compostable bioplastics, under the BioComp brand, are completely biodegradable and compostable materials that can be disposed of as organic waste. Their physical and mechanical characteristics mean they can replace traditional plastics such as polyethylene (LD-PE, HD-PE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS) in different fields. Given their composition derived from plant-derived biomass, they also have the added benefit of being Bio-Based by nature.
The compound derived from post-consumer plastic (disposed of as urban waste) is intended for the production of recycled HD-PE (high-density polyethylene) granules and thermoplastic recycled polypropylene granules, also from urban waste, which are then used as a ‘refined’ raw material to make compounds for durable goods.
Rigid food packaging, new formulations for thermoforming
Within the BioComp family, Sirmax has fine-tuned and optimized new formulations which are specifically dedicated to injection molding and extrusion, both of ready-made items and sheets for thermoforming. The granules, which are bio-compostable, are intended for the manufacture of plates, cutlery, glasses, food take-out trays, and, more generally, for anything involving rigid food packaging, which can then be disposed of with the organic waste. The same material can also be specially modified to create an injection molding version suitable, for example, for coffee capsules. These materials are commercially recognized with the ‘IM’ abbreviation.
Complete solutions for coffee capsules
On the subject of coffee capsules (which are currently mostly made of aluminum or traditional plastic and have recently been subject to new regulatory developments at European level), Sirmax has developed a complete solution that provides both the material for making the rigid capsule –with mechanical and thermal characteristics able to withstand high temperatures – and a special barrier film material, i.e., the flexible covering of the capsule that comes in contact with food.
More generally, the historical products in the Biocomp range, identified through ‘BF’ codes, cover a wide variety of applications in the flexible packaging sector, and therefore lend themselves to being processed through blown extrusion to make bags for fruit and vegetables (disposed of as organic waste) and various types of shopping bags. All BioComp branded products are also UNI EN 13432 compliant and OK Compost Industrial certified. Some grades even boast the more stringent OK Compost HOME certification.
This means that once the manufactured good has disposed of and sent to the appropriate composting center, it will return as useful fertilizer for new crops, alongside other organic waste. In fact, certified non-toxicity tests have established that the material, once broken down and turned into compost, does not affect the properties of the soil itself but contributes to the lush growth of plants.
The next big thing for animal lovers: Fully compostable Dog Poop Bags
Dog Poop Bags are a new all-Italian product intended for the collection of dog droppings by BioSave PlasticFree, a Gubbio-based startup, and made with Sirmax bioplastics. Traditional plastic bags create mixed waste destined to saturate landfills, to be incinerated or, in the worst-case scenario, to be abandoned in the environment, producing pollution. BioSave PlasticFree bags are fully recyclable, 100% compostable and UNI EN 13432 certified as OK Compost HOME. This is a unique product that responds to European directives on waste reduction as it can be disposed of as organic waste.
“This product will also be on display at our stand, and we will deliver a free sample to all our visitors as part of a 100% green kit created especially for the event,” states Alberto Zanon, Biocomp sales director at Sirmax Group. “Alongside this new product, we will also present a wide range of specific OK Compost HOME certified grades used for packaging film, which can be directly disposed of as organic waste in home composting systems. Sirmax Group's research supports partners and clients not only in the conception of new products, but also in the formulation of increasingly green and high-performance plastics, with a view to reducing waste, increasing recyclability, and generating less waste in the environment.”
“We are happy to be able to collaborate with the Sirmax Group in the creation of this product, which is currently unique in the Italian market, certified according to the most stringent regulations, and 100% made in Italy,” adds Gabriele Lepri, BioSave CEO. “In this sector, in fact, we have noticed that the main competition comes from companies in the Far East that are unable to guarantee the same quality and therefore market products that are declared sustainable but lack any official certification.”
Bottle to bottle: Recycled Sirmax plastic for detergent containers, made from 100% post-consumer waste
At Interpack, the Sirmax Group will also present a 100% recycled post-consumer compound intended for the detergent sector. These granules are intended for bottle to bottle recycling, i.e., for the production of bottles and jerry cans for household cleaning/personal hygiene products and liquid products used in the construction industry, starting from virgin plastic bottles and containers born with the same use destination. Sirmax's initiative starts from a specific market need: To date, bottle to bottle recycling mainly uses blends of recycled plastic and virgin plastic. In contrast, Sirmax aims to use 100% post-consumer, higher quality plastic, producing a material that is suitable for processing through blow molding.
“Sirmax is adding a new piece to the packaging sector by providing a sustainable material for the detergent sector which can be a viable alternative to virgin material. This process is not just recycling, but upcycling: Reusing objects to create higher quality products,” says Mauro Zurlo, Recycling sales director at Sirmax Group.
Sirmax Group in the bio!PAC conference space
Sirmax Group's new products will also be presented as part of the fifth edition of bio!PAC, the conference review organized by Bioplastic Magazine as part of Interpack. On May 9, at 11:25 a.m., Alberto Marcolongo, manager for the development of new biodegradable and compostable products, and Davide Gatto, BioComp products sales manager, will speak on the topic of European regulations. At this historic moment, in light of new regulations for sustainable plastic production, the Group's focus on supporting technical improvement is at its highest.
With the same themes and news, Sirmax Group will also be present at PRSE, the Plastics Recycling Show Europe in Amsterdam on May 10 and 11 (booth C62).