The DualPakECO trays are made from lightweight paperboard and coated with BASF’s biopolymer ecovio PS 1606 for use in the microwave and conventional ovens

Certified compostable paper trays for ready-to-eat meals with ecovio® coating

Certified compostable paper trays for ready-to-eat meals with ecovio coating. (Credit: BASF SE)

Australian food packaging maker Confoil and German chemical company BASF have jointly developed a certified compostable and dual ovenable food tray based on paper.

The interior of the paper tray is coated with BASF’s ecovio PS 1606, a biopolymer that was created specifically for coating food packaging made of paper or board and is certified biodegradable.

DualPakECO trays have received food contact approval in accordance with international standards and Australian standard AS4736-2006 certification.

They can be used for catering and takeout from restaurants as well as for ready-to-eat meals like lasagne, curries, and stir-fries that are sold cold or frozen in supermarkets.

The trays also increase the alternatives for paper-based packaging at the end of their useful life since they are biologically recyclable and can be professionally composted along with the organic trash gathered in organic waste bins.

For ready-to-eat meals, the new certified compostable alternative to traditional PET packaging can be refrigerated or frozen, cooked in ordinary ovens or microwaves.

Confoil CEO Alison Buxton said: “We wanted to create a paper-based food tray that meets all the food industries’ requirements but with the added benefit that it is certified compostable.

“With BASF’s certified compostable biopolymer ecovio PS 1606 we have found the ideal component to take the next step towards sustainable solutions in our portfolio and to help our customers reach their sustainability targets at the same time.

“Our joint development represents a shift to paper-based and certified compostable material in order to support the Australian 2025 National Plastics Plan which aims at reducing the impact of packaging on the environment.”

The composting testing revealed that DualPakECO trays decompose into the water, carbon dioxide, and nutrient-rich compost under industrial composting circumstances.

The BASF biopolymer also makes it possible to utilise recycled paper in culinary applications because of its high migration barrier qualities.

The large proportion of renewable raw materials results in a lower carbon footprint for the material, which enables reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.