Grupo Bimbo’s subsidiary company, Organización Barcel, held a press conference today to announce that it has begun to use metalized polypropylene packaging in its products. This material contains a pro-degradation additive, which includes a bio-degradation function to the packaging once their useful life is over.
We have acquired a forefront position in the development of environmentally friendly technology; and our disposable degradable metallized packaging disintegrate within a period of between three and five years at the most.
Barcel is preparing to include degradable packaging for all its products by the end of 2010
Daniel Servitje, Grupo Bimbo CEO, together with Gabino Gómez Carbajal, President, Organización Barcel, Patricia Villalobos, Ph.D., Grupo Bimbo Research and Development Director, Juan Méndez Novell, Ph.D., CIQA Director General (Centro de Investigaciones en Química Aplicada of CONACYT) and Michael Laurier, Symphony General Manager, announced that Barcel will be the first snacks company in the world to incorporate this degradable and environmentally friendly material in its packaging. Starting today, the TAKIS product line, will be offering packaging with this technology, which will gradually be used with other Ricolino products, so that metalized degradable packaging will be used for all product lines by the end of 2010.
Gabino Gómez Carbajal, President, Organización Barcel, said that although a considerable investment was required to develop this technology in coordination with CONACYT (Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología), what most matters to Barcel is that, in the long term, it be profitable in environmental terms. He added that Barcel seeks to set a precedent, hoping that in this way, other companies will follow this initiative and also start to use such degradable materials in their processes.
He added that Organización Barcel has ongoing lines of research and development in association with CONACYT in this area of food packaging innovation and sustainability.
In Mexico, Barcel is the first company to make use of this packaging material developed by Symphony, a UK company. The technology was created with the aim of preserving the freshness, flavor and characteristics of products thus packaged, just as well as when using traditional wrappings.
Patricia Villalobos, Ph.D. Grupo Bimbo Research and Development Director, confirmed that:“consumers may feel fully confident that products will continue to be exactly the same, and will now help to produce less waste in the environment.”
Basically the technology consists of including a pro-degradation additive to the metallized packaging production process. This additive helps accelerate packaging degradation once its useful life is over.
The process is as follows:
First, the pro-degradation additive is incorporated to the resin when manufacturing the packaging material; this helps break the long molecular plastic chains. Thus, the plastic begins to degrade as soon as its predetermined useful life comes to an end. This breakdown process is the result of oxidation, and finally, whatever microorganisms are present in the environment, complete the process through biodegradation.
Grupo Bimbo CEO, Daniel Servitje, also stated that this action is part of the Grupo Bimbo Program: “Committed to the Environment,” within which, Barcel has spearheaded efforts to make its processes and all those in GB lead to improvements in five Program Areas:
– Reducing emissions into the air
– Saving energy
– Saving water
– Comprehensive solid waste management
– Entrepreneurial social responsibility in environmental affairs.