DSM Engineering Materials (Heerlen, the Netherlands) recently announces its partnership with sustainability-focused startup DiFOLD (Sofia, Bulgaria), developing foldable reusable products.
The startup has chosen DSM Engineering Materials’ Arnitel® Eco – a biobased thermoplastic copolyester – to manufacture its flagship Origami foldable water bottle. Adopting Arnitel ECO marks a major step forward in DiFOLD’s mission to reduce the environmental impact of packaging waste.
Inspired by the Japanese art of paper folding, the patented and award-winning design of DiFOLD’s Origami Bottle means it can fold down to less than 10 % of its original volume – greatly improving user convenience and reducing the carbon footprint of shipping. The Origami Bottle provides a durable, reusable, and recyclable alternative to single-use water bottles – helping to avoid plastic packaging waste. And because the bottles are made from DSM Engineering Materials’ Arnitel Eco, the environmental benefits are even greater.
Arnitel Eco is a biobased thermoplastic copolyester, partially derived from renewable rapeseed oil. This significantly reduces the material’s cradle-to-gate CO2 emissions – delivering a carbon footprint reduction of up to 50 % compared to traditional copolyesters. This measurement is based on an in-depth life cycle assessment (LCA), which includes every stage of the material’s production, from the growing of the feedstock crops to the finished product that leaves the factory.
These qualities make Arnitel Eco a perfect fit for DiFOLD’s Origami Bottle. According to the cofounders of DiFOLD, Radina Popova and Petar Zaharinov, circularity and durability were the key factors to consider when choosing a material for their unique product. “We wanted a biobased material that could be recycled, as well as having the specific mechanical properties required by the folding design. We are happy to say that Arnitel Eco offers the perfect balance of elasticity, plasticity, and circularity”, commented Popova and Zaharinov.
Arnitel Eco delivers high performance with a very low environmental impact. It is BPA-free and can withstand temperatures of between -30°C and +100°C. And it does not absorb the smells or tastes of liquids, giving it a long usable life. On top of this, Arnitel Eco can also be recycled without any loss of quality in the recovered material. This is essential in helping DiFOLD to meet its goal of creating a closed-loop recycling system for its products. As well as supplying the Arnitel Eco material, DSM Engineering Materials offered DiFOLD sustainability advice, technical recommendations, and regulatory compliance services.
Pim Janssen, Marketing Manager for Food Contact, Water Contact, and Appliance markets at DSM Engineering Materials, said, “We are pleased that our services and materials could help DiFOLD in their mission to minimize the impact of packaging on the environment – a topic which is also close to our hearts. By helping to de-fossilize the value chain, Arnitel Eco contributes to creating a circular economy for materials”. AT