The project ran between May 2021 and February 2022.
GoneShells is an innovative concept of biodegradable materials that challenges our conventional idea of how a packaging can be designed with the aim of offering an alternative to paper, plastic and glass for packaging of food. The materials consist of a starch-based core coated with a bio-based biodegradable barrier against liquid, oil and oxygen. With a transparent, flexible packaging with a different perception than traditional packaging materials provide, as well as the possibility to make them edible, new opportunities open up to arouse interest not only from a sustainability perspective, but also in terms of new ways for how food packaging can be designed.
The purpose of the hypothesis is to verify that a type of flexible starch-based material can be coated with a bio-based barrier and show that these components can meet the specifications required for food packaging. If this can be proven in combination with the development of prototypes, the potential for upscaling and commercialization is substantial. Since the concept can replace both fossil-based raw materials for packaging with renewable bio-based ones, and enables efficient decomposition of the packaging after use, there is already a great interest from stakeholders.
The hypothesis that a starch-based material can be coated with a bio-based barrier and that the formed components can meet the specifications required for food packaging was verified in the project. Although not meeting the requirements for the preferred area of use – packaging for fruit juices – the project was able to show that the concept is viable for single-use food packaging solutions for which the contact time with water is shorter (food trays, packaging for dry goods etc.), and that the combination of a starch-based materials coated with a biobased barrier have the potential of substituting single-use plastics for many applications. By demonstrating that equipment used for conventional industrial thermoplastic processing (i.e., extrudering and injection moulding) can be used for processing of the starch-based formulation, the prospect of the concept for reaching a fast-track to industrial scale has increased.
Tomorrow Machine and Eckes-Granini Sweden (main actors) along with RISE Bioeconomy and Health (consultant) and F&B Happy (reference person).
The project’s total budget was 1 MSEK.