A wrapper for Snickers candy bars made using waste material from the potato production stream has won this year's Global Bioplastics Award.
The wrapper beat out four other finalists to win the 2016 Global Bioplastics Award, presented Nov. 29 in Berlin at the European Bioplastics Conference.
The wrapper was a joint effort that began when the product manager at a Mars Inc. factor in Veghel, the Netherlands, approached materials company Rodenburg Biopolymers in search of a bio-based packaging for its candy bars that was just as good as the material it was currently using. It also wanted the source material to come from second generation feedstock, so it would not compete with the food supply, be able to produced at high production level and have a smaller carbon footprint than the current material.
“We told him we could do all that,” said Thijs Rodenburg, who heads up the materials firm, in a news release. “But then we had to do it.”
The company developed a compound for its Solanyl brand mainly based on starch derived from potato cutting waste — an industrial waste stream and second-generation biomass that in no way competes with food crops — and some polylactic acid.
Taghleef Industries manufactured the film on an existing biaxially oriented polypropylene line, while Mondi plc printed the packaging, but it took four production trials before an acceptable packaging film was manufactured.
The packaging was temporarily introduced in test markets in the Netherlands, France and Germany during 2015.
“Before, however, a comprehensive launch more work needs to be done. Nevertheless, it already is an awesome example of team spirit and will to succeed,” said the awards organizer, Bioplastics Magazine.