We've been trying to find something like this for AGES!!! Finally, our packaging supplier caught our attention with *NatureFlex.

Made from natural, renewable resources such as wood pulp (essentially cellulose), and is both biodegradable and compostable makes it one of the most eco-friendly products we are switching to, initially for our Soaps and Bath Salts, and eventually for anything that needs wrapping in an 'oil-friendly' way.

In addition to being environmentally friendly, *NaturFlex Biodegradable Cellophane Bags are static-free and can be heat sealed.  These clear bags will not biodegrade or show any loss in mechanical properties on the shelf. Biodegradation will only be initiated in a soil, compost, or waste-water environment where micro-organisms are present.

What Is Cellulose and why does it matter?

Essentially, cellulose is an organic compound. In nature, it gives plants their rigidity. When it was first isolated in 1838 by French chemist Anselme Payen, it actually paved the way for the Cellophane Bag and the plastic equivalent which is used today – the Polypropylene Bag.

The polypropylene bag will be the one you see on the shelves in 99% of shops today, but most people still refer to it by its old name of Cellophane. I personally think that people prefer the name of Cellophane for this clear plastic film, and they simply do not know that the bag they think is Cellophane is actually Polypropylene.

Cellulose is mainly used to produce paperboard and paper. Smaller quantities are converted into a wide variety of derivative products such as cellophane and rayon. Conversion of cellulose from energy crops into biofuels such as cellulosic ethanol is under development as a renewable fuel source. Cellulose for industrial use is mainly obtained from wood pulp and cotton.

Why did we stop using Cellulose?

Cost. The new polypropylene was first used commercially in 1957 and since then we have not looked back. It is today used to make chairs, nappies, jewelry, and medical supplies to name but a few – and of course – clear bags. 

After polyethylene, polypropylene is the most important plastic with revenues expected to exceed US$145 billion by 2019. In 2013, the global market for polypropylene was about 55 million tonnes.

*  NatureFlex™ is a range of speciality packaging films developed by Futamura to offer packaging material options that give strong environmental support towards increasing consumer demand for more environmentally responsible packaging. These bio-films are based strongly on renewable resources (wood-pulp from managed plantations) and are certified to the European (EN13432) and American (ASTM D6400) norms for Industrially compostable packaging.  In addition, the majority of grades have been certified by TÜV Austria to the OK Compost Home standard for home composting and certain grades have been proven to biodegrade in a waste-water environment. Further testing has proven that most NatureFlex™ grades are also suitable for anaerobic digestion.