Rodenburg presents Mars biobased wrapper, during the Innovation Takes Roots conference in Orlando. The joint project with Mars, Rodenburg, Taghleef and Mondi has resulted in an innovative, biobased packaging, based on second-generation feedstock.

Thijs Rodenburg had the honor to be one of the plenary speakers at this year’s Innovation Takes Root conference in Orlando, Florida. Rodenburg presented their cooperation with global confectionary company Mars to develop new biobased wrappers for the company’s chocolate candy bars.

The result is a food grade polymer film compound called Solanyl based on TPS Solanyl and PLA that meets the specified requirements. It is compostable, biodegradable and takes only a third of energy to produce compared to oil-based alternatives such as polypropylene. Because the starch is derived from an industrial waste stream, it is a second-generation biomass that in no way competes with food crops.

Read more about this presentation on in an article by Karen Laird

Karen Laird at explains; the project, which received funding under the EU Eco-Innovation program, was set up as a “co-creation” effort, with Rodenburg developing the material, the Italian film specialist Taghleef producing the film and Mondi, a Polish based international packaging group, who would manufacture the actual packaging.

“The first version, a film compounded based on starch with additives, did not have a good enough performance,” said Thijs. “So we kept trying and at a certain point, by calculated trial and error came up with an acceptable film. However, when Taghleef produced the film and Mondi used it for printing, it was found to wrinkle. Modifications were able to solve that problem.”

The feedback from the market has been excellent. The initiative is a European one. “But of course, we’re hoping that Mars will take it to the US,” said Thijs.

As he pointed out: “The technology has economic benefits and reduces waste streams in the process. And Mars can run the packaging line at full speed, no problems. All in all, a successful project that went from creation to market in five years!”

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