Foils as Fertilizer

Car manufacturer Skoda uses a new packaging concept for vehicle parts at its main plant in Mladá Boleslav: Biodegradable films replace the plastic films previously used. After use, the packaging material is composted and used as fertilizer, for example.

From its main plant in Mladá Boleslav in the Czech Republic, carmaker Skoda ships a large number of components every month to the Indian plant in Pune, among others. In order to meet the demand for packaging films for this in a more sustainable way, Skoda’s logistics department looked for biodegradable alternatives and tested a compostable film made from corn starch. Several trial shipments were then made to check whether the film would meet the strict requirements for transports in overseas containers.

Pilot project runs until summer 2021

The quality control was successful and there was no damage or traces of corrosion on the components. To check whether the packaging could be composted as planned, the logistics staff built composters on site using recycled material. In addition to the films, they also filled them with other organic waste. After six months, the films were largely biologically decomposed. Skoda Auto is now testing the practical suitability of the innovative film on a larger scale: a pilot project was launched in July 2020 and will initially run until June 2021.

The bio-films will replace around 500 kilograms of conventional plastic films every month. In Pune, the composted packaging is used as organic fertilizer for the trees in the logistics park, among other things. Since March 2019, employees from the logistics department and visitors alike have been able to plant a tree outside the factory gates, thus transforming former fallow land into a park.