BASF's expanded production site for its biodegradable Ecoflex plastics has started operations, boosting annual capacity by 60,000 tonnes from 14,000 to 74,000 tonnes/yr. In conjunction with this new capacity, BASF will also expand its compounding capabilities for its Ecovio product, which mixes Ecoflex with up to 75% renewable raw materials. BASF said the market for biodegradable and biobased plastics is currently growing by more than 20%/yr.
Ecoflex has the properties of conventional polyethylene but is fully biodegradable under industrial composting conditions, satisfying DIN EN 13432 standards, according to BASF. Typical applications for Ecovio and Ecoflex include shopping bags, organic waste bags, mulch films for agricultural applications, and food packaging. More recently, BASF has introduced Ecovio FS Paper, which is used to provide a biodegradable waterproof coating on the interior surfaces of paper cups and cardboard containers....