Italian foodstore chain Unicoop Florence has replaced the traditional polyethylene bags in all its 98 outlets by completely biodegradable and compostable bags made of Mater-Bi, a family of bioplastics developed by Novamont. Novamont's Mater-Bi bioplastics are naturally biodegradable and compostable in compliance with EU regulations UNI EN 13432 and UNI EN 14995. Mater-Bi is said to have a resistance and strength very similar to traditional plastics, but "biodegrades in composting" in just a few weeks. The new bags will fully replace over 50 million plastic carrier bags and, given that they can be re-used for separate waste collection, they will become a powerful tool for promoting quality collection of organic refuse, thus also helping quality recycling of other refuse components.
The carrier bags will be manufactured using a second generation material, the result of progress made at the Novamont's biorefinery in Terni (Italy), with an improved polymer in terms of renewable raw material content obtained from non-food raw materials, thus reducing environmental impact. This is a tangible solution to the demand for low environmental impact materials made from renewable resources of agricultural origin, thereby reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses and saving consumption of energy and non-renewable resources. The new bag boasts, among many other international
certifications, the new "CIC Compostable" logo which allows immediate identification of the compostable bags.