Cellophane is the oldest transparent packaging product used to encase cookies, candies, and nuts. First marketed in the United States in 1924, cellophane was the major packaging film used until the 1960s. In the more environmentally-conscious market of today, cellophane is returning in popularity. As cellophane is 100% biodegradable, it is seen as a more earth-friendly alternative to existing wrappings. Cellophane also has an average water vapor rating and excellent machinability and heat sealability, adding to its current popularity in the food-wrapping market.
How is it made?
Unlike the man-made polymers in plastics, which are largely derived from petroleum, cellophane is a natural polymer made from cellulose, a component of plants and trees. Cellophane is not made from rainforest trees, but rather from trees farmed and harvested specifically for cellophane production.
Is it earth-friendly?
Cellulose belongs to a class of compounds known in organic chemistry as carbohydrates. The base unit of cellulose is the glucose molecule. Thousands of these glucose molecules are brought together in the plant growth cycle to form long chains, termed cellulose. These chains are in turn broken down in the production process to form cellulose film used in either an uncoated or coated form in packaging.
When buried, uncoated cellulose film is generally found to degrade within 10 to 30 days; PVDC-coated film is found to degrade in 90 to 120 days and nitrocellulose-coated cellulose is found to degrade in 60 to 90 days.
Tests have shown that the average total time for complete bio-degradation of cellulose film is from 28 to 60 days for uncoated products, and from 80 to 120 days for coated cellulose products. In lake water, the rate of bio-degradation is 10 days for uncoated film and 30 days for coated cellulose film. Even materials which are thought of as highly degradable, like paper and green leaves, take longer to degrade than cellulose film products. Conversely, plastics, polyvinyl chloride, polyethene, polyethlene terepthatlate, and oriented-polypropylene show almost no sign of degradation after long periods of burial.
What is Sodium lactate
"Sodium lactate is the sodium salt of lactic acid, and has a mild saline taste. It is produced by fermentation of a sugar source, such as corn or beets, and then, by neutralizing the resulting lactic acid to create a compound having the formula NaC3H5O3.
As a food additive, sodium lactate has the E number E325 and is naturally a liquid product, but also is available in powder form. It acts as a preservative, acidity regulator, and bulking agent. Sodium lactate is sometimes used in shampoo products and other similar items such as liquid soaps, as it is an effective humectant and moisturizer.