Fruit and veg-based bioplastics for fruit and veg: Bio-On and Rivoira form sustainability partnership
04 Jan 2019 --- Bioplastic innovators Bio-On and Italian fruit producers Rivoira have signed a strategic agreement to develop new bioplastic materials made from fruit and vegetable waste for the packaging of fresh fruits and vegetables. The ZEROPACK project, founded by Bio-On and now co-owned by Rivoria, will see the partnership produce 100 percent natural and biodegradable films, crates, small and large containers, fruit supports and labels.
The partnership is motivated by the belief that the demand for new eco-sustainable materials for packaging is constantly increasing and that consumers reward producers and distributors that respect the planet.
To accelerate the development of fruit and vegetable waste bioplastic solutions and quickly gain a leading position in this rapidly growing sector with a high demand for quality, ZEROPACK has acquired from Bio-On an exclusive license to utilize Bio-On technology for €10 million (US$11.4 million).
The technology is based on bioplastic research that Bio-On has been conducting for four years in Italian and US laboratories. The aim is to help limit the new environmental emergency represented by the enormous quantity of plastic waste. The partners believe that traditional plastics used to package food products do not allow for efficient recycling processes and often contain highly polluting components.
“This investment from Rivoira represents to us the entrance of a large company and we are particularly proud that a prestigious group like this recognizes the innovation and the potential of the new technologies developed by Bio-On in the field of food packaging,” explains Marco Astorri, President and CEO of Bio-On.
“Our bioplastic has all the qualities to revolutionize the world of food packaging through ZEROPACK. This is what people are asking for and we will do it together with ZEROPACK and the Rivoira group,” he says.
Moreover, thanks to the diversification of the Rivoira group, Zeropack will also have the possibility to use Bio-On technology in the mineral water field. The Rivoira group controls Fonti Alta Valle Po spa, owner of Acqua Eva, a young company with very strong expansion in the national and international market.
“We are happy to enter the world of packaging for the future and in particular to contribute with our experience and daily production quality to the creation of completely different products compared to those we can find on the market today,” adds Marco Rivoira, CEO Gruppo Rivoira.
“ZEROPACK anticipates the strategies of the Rivoira Group who are always looking for innovations. The mission is to provide total quality of both product and packaging. Producing the materials to revolutionize this sector, based on nature, will allow the giants of distribution to have a 100 percent sustainable alternative [to traditional plastics].”
All the bioplastics developed by Bio-On (PHAs or polyhydroxy-alkanoates and PHBs or poly-hydroxy-butyrates) are obtained from renewable plant sources without any competition with food chains.
According to Bio-On, they guarantee the same thermo-mechanical properties of traditional plastics with the advantage of being completely eco-friendly and 100 percent biodegradable in a natural way.
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