Multinational baking giant Grupo Bimbo SAB de CV of Mexico City has unveiled what it claims are the world's first oxo-biodegradable metalized polypropylene snack bags.
The packaging uses the d2w additive developed by Symphony Environmental Technologies plc of Borehamwood, England.
The bags' metal coating is aluminum, which keeps the contents fresh. The packages degrade between 3-5 years after the end of a product's predetermined useful life span, Symphony CEO Michael Laurier said May 12.
Bimbo is a partnership deal, Laurier said. They have been working with us to change all their packaging to d2w.
Bimbo, which produces 5,000 products in 18 countries and owns 150 brands, had net sales of $7.4 billion in 2008.
For now, Bimbo's Organizacón Barcel snack food subsidiary is using d2w in packaging for two products, Takis and Ricolino, which are sold in Mexico.
Laurier said Barcel plans to change all of its packaging to oxo-biodegradable.
According to Daniel Servitje Montull, Bimbo's managing director, Barcel's re-packaging program will take until the end of 2010 to complete.
Gabino GÃ³mez Carbajal, Barcel's managing director, said the company had made a considerable investment in developing the degrading technology in coordination with Mexico's state-owned research organization Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (Conacyt). He declined to be precise as to the size of the investment.
Symphony, which is publicly traded, has 30 full-time employees and clients in 50 countries. In Mexico, it already works with departmental store chain Liverpool, sports store chain Deportes Martí and clothing store chain Zara.
Symphony forecasts sales of £8 million ($12.2 million) this year, up from £5 million ($7.6 million) in 2008.
In several presentations in Mexico City, Laurier said plastic is a product that the world can't stop using.
We are one of the few companies that stand up and say you cannot and should not ban plastics, he said. We're saying there's nothing wrong with plastics.