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Development of Thermoplastic Material Food Packaging Considering Technical, Economic and Environmental Criteria

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This document presents an optimization methodology for an injection moulding food package. This methodology was based on economic, ecological and technical criteria, including barrier properties of the whole package, viability of injection and mechanical behavior. These technical criteria set cutoff values that limit packaging design. Once these cutoff values were calculated, an economic and environmental assessment was carried out in order to obtain several graphics that show the different solutions that are technically viable and allow us to choose the optimal one. This methodology was applied to a small-size non-respiring food packages. Four different thermoplastic materials (HDPE, LDPE, PET and PP) and two types of renewable resources based PLAs were studied. Some are discarded due to technical criteria and the other ones may be considered as optimal depending on which criteria is considered more important. If environmental criteria are applied, PLA would be the preferred option. However, economic factors show that PET is more cost-competitive. Final choice will depend on which decisive factor is chosen. The methodology applied was an effective tool to integrate the criteria that supports the decision making, considering technical, economical and environmental factors.
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Keywords: BIOPOLYMER; CAE DESIGN; INJECTION MOULDING; LCA; PACKAGING; PERMEABILITY; PLASTIC; POLYLACTID ACID

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 April 2013

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  • The goal of the creation of a biobased economy is challenging to agriculture, forestry, academia, government and industry. The extractable resources of the Earth are finite, regardless of the quibble over when they will be depleted. The economic, political and social demands for biobased chemicals, materials and energy are expected to radically transform the materials industries, particularly the plastics industry as well as the biofuel industry. These changes will be based on the principles of sustainability, eco-efficiency, industrial ecology, and green chemistry and engineering. In keeping with the growth of knowledge in this field, there is a strong need for a forum to share original research related to biobased materials and bioenergy. The Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy (JBMB) has been created as an international peer-reviewed periodical to fulfill the need for communication in these research areas. This journal will encompass related research activities in all fields of science, engineering and the life sciences.
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