Natural biological packaging materials will stick to environmental protection in the end

In the future, natural biological packaging materials will continue to improve and innovate with the support of science and technology, gradually improve in immaturity, or will occupy a considerable market share in the packaging industry.

In recent years, the research and development of degradable plastics and biological materials have greatly promoted the development of the global packaging materials industry and become a popular choice for packagers. However, the degradation rate of the degradable plastic itself in the soil is slow and cannot be recycled in time; it cannot be completely degraded, and there will be application defects such as visual stains, which limits its application prospects. Therefore, with the advantages of complete environmental protection, natural biological packaging materials have become one of the packaging materials with the most development potential.

Plant fiber packaging materials

The natural composition of plant fiber packaging materials is more than 80%, and the articles made of it can be naturally degraded even after being discarded in the natural environment. In addition, plant fiber packaging materials also have high strength, small density, natural surface texture, The novel texture and other characteristics have attracted special attention in the field of packaging.

The application of plant fibers in packaging materials mainly includes two kinds of composite materials, that is, a composite material in which vegetable fibers and starch are combined, and a composite material in which vegetable fibers and high polymer materials are combined. The chemical structure of plant fiber and starch is similar, and the two have good compatibility. After the two are chemically modified and subjected to crosslinking and other chemical reactions under specific process conditions to compound, the mechanical capacity and water resistance of starch And thermal stability will be significantly improved and improved. Adding appropriate amounts of plant fibers to polymers such as plastics can greatly improve the material's degradability and environmental friendliness. However, there is a big difference in properties between plant fibers and polymers, so plant fibers are usually modified by physical or chemical methods, and then combined with polymer molecules.

In view of the various advantages of plant fiber packaging materials, domestic and foreign research in this regard is not rare. Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands uses wheat, corn, potato starch to develop biodegradable bioplastics without petrochemical products, and adds hemp fibers to increase its strength. The plastic can be used in packaging coatings, food storage boxes, and trash lining , Shopping bags and agricultural films. The straw board made of straw has good thermal insulation, heat insulation, energy saving and other functions. It has good breathability, high impact strength, and has stronger waterproof and shock resistance compared with traditional materials. In addition, the straw board is used as packaging material, and its unit mass is only 1/10 of the same volume of cardboard material. In recent years, domestic researchers have developed special paperboards for disposable tableware with straw pulp as the main raw material, which has the functions of hot water resistance, no leakage, no layering, oil resistance and heat sealing, and can be used for production writing after recycling Paper etc. The film fresh-keeping bag made by mixing the mugwort powder and additives has the functions of antibacterial, mildewproof, insectproof and medicinal. It can also be washed and used repeatedly.

Plant fiber has a wide range of sources and low prices, and it plays a very important role in the development and research of natural biological packaging materials. According to the characteristics of plant fiber itself, the future development and application may be mainly reflected in the following three aspects.

1. Further improve the water resistance of plant fibers. Plant fiber contains a large number of hydroxyl groups and has strong hydrophilicity. In order to enhance the water resistance of plant fiber composite materials, it needs to be appropriately modified.

2. Further improve the pollution-free production process. Treating plant fibers with lye is the most traditional modification method to improve the bonding strength with other materials. However, since most processes need to wash the treated plant fibers, it will inevitably cause pollution in the process. The latest plant fiber treatment method, steam explosion treatment, is a non-polluting plant fiber modification method with good application prospects.

3. Reduce the production cost of compounding plant cellulose and other materials, so as to improve the competitiveness of plant fiber composites in the market.

In recent years, plastic products that cannot be naturally degraded due to human production and living activities have caused severe white pollution, which has caused great pressure on the global environment, coupled with the increasing depletion of petroleum resources worldwide. The development and use of degradable materials provides great opportunities. In the future, natural biological packaging materials will continue to improve and innovate with the support of science and technology, gradually improve in immaturity, or will occupy a considerable market share in the packaging industry.

Starch packaging materials

Starch is a very common polysaccharide, which is the product of photosynthesis by plants. It includes more than 100 types of cereal starch, potato starch, bean starch and other starches. As a natural biological packaging material, starch packaging material has multiple application advantages, including: â‘  will not pollute the environment; â‘¡ because it is a renewable resource, it will not face the threat of lack of energy resources; â‘¢ can replace part of the polymerization Packaging materials, especially in the application of edible packaging materials, have achieved certain results. Of course, in order to better meet the needs of industrial production, we must use chemical or physical methods to treat natural starch to overcome its lack of cold water solubility, poor freeze-thaw stability and other properties, and then improve its original There are performances and even new ones. In recent years, researchers have mixed starch with polyhydrocarbyl butyrate (PHB), polylactic acid (PLA) and other fully degradable polymer materials to form a composite packaging material that greatly reduces the application cost of packaging materials.

Nowadays, the main starch packaging materials used in the industry include modified starch packaging materials, allosteric starch materials, and compound starch packaging materials. Starch-based bioplastics have also been widely used. According to incomplete estimates, its annual output has exceeded 25,000 tons, of which more than 75% is used in the packaging industry. The main products are packaging plastics, packaging bags, and packaging films. It can be said that starch-based bioplastics have become a major alternative to traditional packaging plastics.

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