Packaging R&D and Innovations

Milk-Based Biodegradable and Water-Soluble Packaging

French company Lactips developed a patented, milk-based thermoplastic packaging material that is biodegradable and water-soluble at low temperatures through a project called Ecolactifilm.

The Lactips packaging film is based on casein – a protein derived from milk – and breaks down harmlessly in water or home compost. The film takes three weeks to biodegrade.

‘It is a truly disruptive innovation, and we can now make what was previously not possible,’ said Jean-Antoine Rochette, chief financial officer of Lactips and the company’s project officer for Ecolactifilm.

The Lactips material:

  • has a good oxygen barrier to keep goods fresh;
  • can be printed with labels or usage instructions;
  • can be used for water treatment, agrochemicals, dishwasher capsules and food packaging.
  • fully water-soluble at cold temperatures
  • is produced from milk that is unfit for human consumption for its non-food applications.
  • is produced as small plastic pellets called nurdles that, with some adjustments, can be used in existing plastic processing machinery.
  • saves energy because it can be formed at lower temperatures than oil-based plastics.