Italian bioplastics firm Bio-on srl plans to enter the packaging market through Zeropack, a joint venture that will use bioplastic materials to make packaging for fruits and vegetables.
Bologna-based Bio-on is partnering with Italian agricultural firm Gruppo Rivoira in Zeropack. Bio-on officials said in a news release that Zeropack has been formed "for the exploitation of patents aimed to revolutionize the world of food packaging in the fruits and vegetable sector through the use of bioplastics."
"The aim [of Zeropack] is to allow all distributors to serve customers with sustainable and environmental friendly products," they added.
Zeropack will be able to produce films, crates, small and large containers and labels based on bioplastic, officials said. These items will be produced from fruit and vegetable waste and will be 100 percent natural and biodegradable. Zeropack has licensed Bio-on's bioplastics technology to support its efforts.
Using this technology "will help to limit the new environmental emergency represented by the enormous quantity of plastic waste," officials said.
"We are particularly proud that a prestigious group like Rivoira … recognizes the innovation and the potentiality of the new technologies developed by Bio-on in the field of food packaging," Bio-on President and CEO Marco Astorri added.
Gruppo Rivoira CEO Marco Rivoira said that Zeropack "anticipates the strategies of the Rivoira Group, which is always looking for innovations."
"To study materials to revolutionize this sector, starting from nature … will allow the giants of distribution to have a 100 percent sustainable alternative," he added.
Gruppo Rivoira was founded in 1950 and now ranks as one of Europe's largest fruit producers and distributors. The firm supplies more than 200 million pounds of apples, peaches, kiwis, nectarines, plums, pears, grapes, cherries, mangoes and pomegranates every year, mainly from Italy, where it operates six farms.
Bio-on has developed a process in which sugar cane or sugar beet pulp is fermented to make PHA resins. Last year, the firm announced plans to build a PHA plant in Russia through a partnership with industrial investment firm TAIF JSC.