Used plastic wrappings and containers make good fuel if incinerated, but are also dumped in huge quantities on landfill sites. Researchers are developing a compostable packaging tape that can be disposed of more cheaply, and ultimately creates less waste.
Companies often have to dig deep in their pockets to get rid of plastic packaging and the adhesive tape that holds it together. It costs about 100 euros to dispose of a metric ton of plastic waste by incineration and about 60 euros if it is dumped at a landfill site. “But there is another alternative – composting – that costs half as much as landfill disposal,” insists Dr. Ulrich Wesselmann, managing director of LogoTape, a company that manufactures self-adhesive tape products.
His company has teamed up with researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental, Safety and Energy Technology UMSICHT in Oberhausen to develop an entirely biodegradable packaging tape that, moreover, is made mainly from renewable resources. If oil prices continue to rise and manufacturing costs can be brought down, it will be possible to sell the “organic” packaging tape for about the same price as conventional products.
Johannes Ehrlenspiel | alfa
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