Conserving resources with expandable polystyrene food packaging
BASF’s biomass balance approach for conserving fossil resources continues to establish itself with Styropor produced from renewable resources, available for the first time on the market.
December 15, 2017
by Canadian Packaging staff
BASF’s customer Schaumaplast GmbH & Co.KG, an internationally active manufacturer of molded parts made from particle foams, is now offering packaging made from biomass-balanced Styropor.
The Styropor MB used is the first EPS (expandable polystyrene) on the market to be produced using BASF’s biomass balance approach. Following special balancing, the TÜV SÜD-certified (a Germany-based global testing, certification, inspection and training provider) method can be used to replace the fossil resources needed to manufacture Styropor entirely with renewable resources right at the start of the production process. Each biomass balance product thus helps to conserve fossil resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The formulation and quality of Styropor MB is unchanged compared to its fossil counterpart.
“At BASF we look at products across their full life cycle. Sustainably-produced raw materials therefore play a major role for us. Styropor packaging also offers the advantage that it is 98 per cent air and fully recyclable – consumers can simply dispose of it in their yellow bag or recycling bin,” says BASF vice-president global business management styrenic foams Dr. Klaus Ries.
Packaging manufacturers and end users benefit
“We are proud to be the first packaging manufacturer to launch a product made from biomass-balanced Styropor from BASF on the market. It is an innovation that scores points for its environmental impact without losing the foam’s tried-and-tested technical properties,” explains Bernhard Hauck, managing director at Schaumaplast in Reilingen, Germany.
Schaumaplast is able to meet the high sustainability requirements of its customer, the young start-up company IceGuerilla GmbH & Co. KG located in Beeskow, Germany.
Ice Guerilla sends ice cream right across Germany fresh and with excellent thermal insulation in Styropor packaging.
“Our quality ice cream is now delivered in high-quality packaging that is not only very good at keeping the product cool, but also helps the environment and climate by using renewable raw materials,” adds Ice Guerilla co-founder and managing director Ralf Schulze.
BASF now also offers other EPS grades as part of the biomass balance concept. These include other Styropor brands, but also some of the gray EPS versions from the Neopor range for insulation applications.
The biomass balance method In a similar way to feeding green electricity into the power grid, the biomass balance concept incorporates renewable resources in the existing Production Verbund (BASF’s traditional core competency and starting point for multiple value chains, from basic chemicals right through to consumer products and system solutions.).
The method permits biomass—for example in the form of biogas or bio-naphtha from certified sustainable production—to be used instead of fossil resources right at the start of the value chain and later to be allocated to the respective sales products in a defined way. This does not result in any change to the formulation and quality of the product. TÜV SÜD has now issued certificates for BASF products such as superabsorbers, engineering plastics, dispersions and a number of intermediates.
BASF’s biomass balance method has been developed together with TÜV SÜD and certified for the BASF production sites in Ludwigshafen and Schwarzheide in Germany, and Antwerp in Belgium also carries a TÜV SÜD certificate for the use of Styropor MB. This means that the company pledges to have the entire supply chain reviewed against high quality standards through to the end product on an annual basis. Suppliers and end customers can thus be certain of the origin of the raw materials and the sustainability of the concept. More information on TÜV SÜD at www.tuev-sued.de.
At BASF, employs approximately 114,000 employees in the BASF Group work with customers around the world. Its portfolio is organized into five segments: Chemicals, Performance Products, Functional Materials & Solutions, Agricultural Solutions and Oil & Gas. BASF generated sales of about €58 billion (~ CDN $87.4 billion) in 2016. Further information at www.basf.com.
The Schaumaplast Group manufactures parts made of EPS (airpop, styropor), EPP, and other innovative particle foams in Germany, Poland, and the U.S. Schaumaplast was founded in 1964 and now has over 200 employees at five production sites. A special business unit within Schaumaplast deals with refrigerated packaging: customized packaging solutions for the pharmaceutical and food industry are designed, thermally calculated, and thoroughly tested in climatic chambers. More information: https://schaumaplast.com/produkte/cold-chain/
IceGuerilla is an award-winning ice cream manufacturer located in Beeskow, Brandenburg, Germany. Currently, the production is being extended to be able to employ up to 35 people and to achieve a capacity of about 4.5 tonnes of ice cream per day in 2018. In 2012, IceGuerilla won the award for “best German vanilla ice cream”, and in November 2017, the company received the Future Prize of the State of Brandenburg. In addition to the online shop, the ice cream can be bought in three stores under the name of IceGuerilla within its own franchise concept. Chill out at www.iceguerilla.de.