BASF celebrates 25th birthday of ecoflex®, the world’s first PBAT biopolymer
Since 1998, ecoflex® is the first commercially available biodegradable and certified compostable biopolymer on the market Biopolymer innovations based on ecoflex® have helped to solve many challenges in the plastics market ecoflex® has opened up new end-of-life options for plastics enabling organics recycling and thus contributing to a circular economy
BASF celebrates the 25th birthday of its biopolymer ecoflex® (PBAT: polybutylene adipate terephthalate). It was introduced on the plastics market in 1998 and is the world’s first biodegradable and certified compostable polymer. Since that time customers have come to know and trust ecoflex® for its consistently high quality and performance. BASF has continued to invest in ecoflex® and developed a biopolymers portfolio which is unsurpassed in the industry. ecoflex® comes in a wide range of grades including fossil-based ecoflex® F as well as partially bio-based ecoflex® FS and FG. All BASF PBAT grades are certified industrial compostable under the most demanding global standards including EN 13432, AS4736 and ASTM 6400. In addition, ecoflex® can also be biodegraded by microorganisms under home composting conditions as well as in agricultural soil (EN 17033).
The BASF co-polyester is one of a few certified compostable polymers complying with the requirements of the European food contact regulation and the US Food Contact Substance Notification of FDA. Ecoflex® is the base polymer for BASF’s certified compostable compound ecovio®. With compounding capacities in all regions BASF can thus offer first-class material performance and tailored services to support the global film, packaging and agricultural markets.
Along with the material ecoflex®, BASF offers customers additional benefits including excellent regulatory support, conformity with global supply chain regulations and a wealth of application development experience which comes from being a market pioneer. «We are proud to be the pioneer in the biopolymer market thinking about circular economy solutions when the term was not yet in everybody’s mouth», says Marcel Philipp Barth, head of global business management Biopolymers at BASF: «Since its launch 25 years ago, ecoflex® has delivered high quality and consistent performance to our customers and enabled many compostable applications that are on the market today. We are looking forward to continue shaping this industry and supporting our valued customers and partners around the globe. As the trusted partner of major brands, based on ecoflex® we develop innovative packaging solutions that meet new market requirements. For example, in 2023 we launched new ecovio® grades that extend the end-of-life options for paper-based packaging by being certified home as well as industrially compostable.»
ecoflex® is an ideal blend partner for the production of plastics from renewable raw materials like polylactic acid (PLA) and starch, making many applications possible in the first place. Thus, ecoflex® provides the certified compostable BASF compound ecovio® with special material properties such as flexibility and toughness. Studies show the advantages of ecovio® for production, packaging and shelf life of food as well as for the collection of food waste. These advantages are based on the material’s certified biodegradability in commercial and home composting as well as in agricultural soil: Food waste is reduced, nutrients are returned to the soil by means of greater volumes of compost and the accumulation of persistent microplastic in agricultural soil is avoided. This contributes to a circular economy by closing the nutrient cycle via organics recycling.
Further information: www.ecoflex.basf.com and www.biopolymers.basf.com
About BASF’s Performance Materials division
BASF’s Performance Materials division is at the forefront of the much-needed sustainability transformation in plastics. Our products are co-created with customers around the globe to bring innovations to four major industry sectors transportation, consumer goods, industrial applications, and construction. Our R&D focuses on all stages of the plastics journey: Make, Use and Recycle. The MAKE phase is about improving how plastics are made, from product design to the choice of raw materials and the manufacturing process itself. The USE phase enhances plastics’ strengths such as light weight, robustness, and thermal resistance. At the end of the product lifecycle, the RECYCLE phase looks at how to close the loop to achieve a circular economy. In 2022, the Performance Materials division achieved global sales of ˆ8.5 billion.
At BASF, we create chemistry for a sustainable future. We combine economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. More than 111,000 employees in the BASF Group contribute to the success of our customers in nearly all sectors and almost every country in the world. Our portfolio comprises six segments: Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions. BASF generated sales of ˆ87.3 billion in 2022. BASF shares are traded on the stock exchange in Frankfurt (BAS) and as American Depositary Receipts (BASFY) in the United States. Further information at www.basf.com.