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Sustainable Packaging

05/06/2019

In North America, most plastic packaging ends up in a landfill.  This is both an opportunity and a problem.  Imagine if this plastic could create a very meaningful amount of energy.  Conventional, compostable, and recyclable plastics can take hundreds of years to degrade, consuming valuable landfill space, and locking the energy potential of the plastic away.

However, today’s landfills are not the garbage heaps of yesterday. Thanks to increasingly stringent regulation, modern landfills are engineering marvels, designed to protect the soil, water, and air around them. You may be surprised to know that modern landfills are actually a source of renewable energy. As trash decomposes, it releases methane (commonly referred to as biogas). Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, so modern landfills are capped to capture this gas. The use of biogas offsets the use of fossil fuels to generate energy. The U.S. EPA endorses landfill gas as a renewable energy resource, along with wind, solar, and geothermal energy. When we refer to a “modern landfill”, we are referencing landfills that are capped to capture biogas and it for energy. In 2017, this included more than 370 landfills in the U.S. alone, which generate approximately 11.5 billion kWh of electricity annually.

What if our plastic waste could contribute to this renewable energy source? BioFlex™ films are designed to increase biogas production within modern landfills.

The Flexible Packaging Solution

BioFlex™ is sustainable packaging, designed for modern landfills.  BioFlex™ has been shown to increase the rate of Biogas production by up to 46.3% compared to traditional plastic packaging in the ideal conditions of a modern anerobic digestor landfill over the course of 695 days, using the ASTM D5511-12 test.  When disposed of in a landfill with modern biogas capture technologies, this energy can be harnessed as a source of renewable energy.  Such a facility may not exist in your area.

You may be surprised to learn that plastic is made of organic material – just like all food, plants, and animals.  BioFlex™ is designed to use the potential energy in plastic molecules, rather than locking it in a landfill.  BioFlex™ creates biogas from packaging that can be captured by landfills and used for energy to offset fossil fuels.  Every 1000 lbs. of discarded BioFlex™ packaging could power a small electric vehicle for approximately 13,000 km or power a home for 2 years!

Unlike other solutions, BioFlex™ utilizes existing infrastructure and does not require consumers to change their habits. This makes it very likely that a BioFlex™ package will end up in a landfill and fulfill its intended end-of-life – putting energy back into the grid!

As a brand owner or a consumer, it is always important to verify sustainable solutions and claims. BioFlex™ has been verified through standardized third-party testing including ASTM D5511, D5526, and BMP (Bio-Methane Potential) to confirm that BioFlex™ increases biogas production and does not merely break down into small pieces, which can be harmful to the environment.