After more than two years of research, the Japanese chemical group Kaneka’s Belgian site has developed a completely new organic packaging material which can not only be recycled by composting but, of course, is also biodegradable.
This innovation is the fruit of a marriage between their two main areas of expertise: fermentation and macromolecular technology. The parent company in Japan has developed a brand new material, a natural and biodegradable polymer produced by fermenting vegetable oil. For now, this is being produced exclusively in Japan, but Kaneka Westerlo has now incorporated this material into its foam production technology. This results in the development of small foam granules which, in turn, constitute the raw material for a completely new packaging material.
This material has many benefits. Since it consists of natural materials, it is fully recyclable by composting or even biodegradable if it should end up in the natural environment or the sea. In the longer term, therefore, it could be an environmentally friendly alternative to a wide variety of packaging materials.
This new packaging material has earned Kaneka a place as one of the 6 finalists for the essenscia Innovation Award.