NatureWorks focuses on functional extensions of Ingeo bioplastics


NatureWorks is one of the world’s leading suppliers of bioplastics, and Ingeo is a naturally advanced plastic made from renewable resources.

Prevent spent coffee capsules ending up in landfills

“The market is more aware of the applications of bioplastics, therefore NatureWorks develops new grades to speed up the process,” explained Mark Vergauwen, Global Segment Lead, Rigids.

At the show, the company featured the results of the investments it’s making to support the functionality needed for compostable coffee capsules.

For several years, NatureWorks, compounders, converters and coffee companies have engaged in comprehensive research efforts using Ingeo to solve the many technical challenges.

These technical challenges include making the capsules that meet temperature, pressure and filtration requirements yet are still compostable, according to Mark Vergauwen

The opportunity to replace PS for dairy packaging

“Another area that Natureworks is actively creating

the awareness is the opportunity to replace polystyrene (PS) for form, fill and

seal (FFS) dairy packaging,” said Mark Vergauwen.

The company thus illustrated the latest Ingeo-based transparent packaging for FFS diary and dessert packaging. These FFS cups have high transparency, provide stiffness, and source less material than PS.

As introduced, one recent example of a breakthrough in this application comes from Chinese OEM Hangzhou Zhongya Machinary Co. Zhongya recently validated processing of Ingeo sheet on the company’s FFS machines. Zhongya reported that Ingeo offers advantages over PS in terms of oxygen and aroma barrier.

Newgame-changer for flexible packaging

NaturWorks showcased new high barrier property films as well. The new and game-changing Ingeo-based EarthFirst UL is an ultra-thin, bio-based sealant web used for flexible packaging. It lowers the cost of sealant films used while offering environmental advantages.

“By replacing the internal layer of packaging material with Ingeo, the weight of the packaging can be reduced heavily, and it is a very huge reduction up to 65%,” remarked Stefano Cavallo, Global Segment Lead, Films and Cards.

He explained that one main advantage of the EarthFirst UL is its high stiffness, and therefore it can replace and perform well as other materials with less weight.

In addition, when compared to LLDPE, EarthFirst UL forms superior seals at lower seal initation temperatures. Its naturally high dyne levels make it excellent as a laminate to PET, metPET, PP, Nylon and paper substrates. It has an effective aroma barrier, grease-resistant attributes, and is available in 9, 12 and 15 micron gauges (.36mil, .48mil and


As said, EarthFirst UL is ideal for food packaging applications using single-serve pillow pouches, coffee frac-packs, gusseted stand-up pouches, frozen foods and multi-wall bags.

A new cost-effective grade for 3D printing filament

With its 3D series of Ingeo grades, NatureWorks is also a leading supplier of PLA to the 3D filament manufacturing industry. The company developed Ingeo 3D870 to meet the growing demand by industrial companies for a material that combines the properties of ABS and the printability of Ingeo PLA.

Ingeo 3D870 was developed mainly for industrial prototyping and additive manufacturing purposes, said Pauline Ning, Marketing Manager, Asia Pacific.

According to NatureWorks, filament manufacturers that have trialed the product say no materials available that provide the combination of superior processing, printability and printed part performance characteristics. Ingeo 3D870 complies with chemical

inventory listings in key markets in North America, Asia and Europe. Parts

produced with the formulation exceed ABS 3D parts in impact strength and, with

post-print annealing, rival ABS heat resistance.

For development strategy, NatureWorks is strengthening its cooperation with downstream manufacturers and brands. “It is difficult for material suppliers to develop all the commercial applications by its own, therefore collaborations across the supply chain is very important,” concluded Ian K.W. Toh, Commercial Director, Asia Pacific.

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