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A greener way to snack.

The primary function of food packaging is to protect the quality and freshness of the product. Plastics and polymers are ideal for this purpose, but greater concern of the volume of waste produced by such packaging, as well the use of fossil fuels, has prompted companies such as Frito Lay North America, Plano, Texas, to develop greener solutions.

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With the assistance of four other companies--Natureworks, Minnetonka, Minn.; SKC Films, Covington, Ga.; Toray Plastics America, North Kingstown, R.I.; and Bryce, Memphis, Tenn.--Frito Lay has introduced SunChips Compostable Packaging, a 100% compostable packaging solution for its multigrain snack product line. The packaging is made of more than 90% polylactic acid (PLA), derived from corn, and is designed to completely biodegrade in a hot, active compost bin in 14 weeks.

Because PLA is hydrophilic and wants to absorb moisture, Frito Lay needed to also develop a high moisture barrier lamination film, applied between a metallic barrier layer and the PLA inner layer, to prevent damage to the food. It marks one of the first non-petroleum packaging products for the 1 billion lbs/year market.

* Frito Lay North America, www.fritolay.com

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Title Annotation:Materials Sciences; SunChips Compostable Packaging
Comment:A greener way to snack.(Materials Sciences)(SunChips Compostable Packaging)
Publication:R & D
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 2010
Words:192
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