Company NewsNovember 30, 2023

How one start-up is engineering the way to plastic-free packaging

With a vision for a plastic-free future, Atacama Biomaterials is creating a durable option for sustainable packaging.
Avatar Shoshana Kranish

Deep in the heart of a desert might be the last place you’d expect to find a plastic wasteland. But for Chile’s Atacama Desert, that’s precisely what it’s become: a dumping ground.

Inspired by a love for the desert and their commitment to a world as free of plastic as possible, one start-up is leading a revolution in leveraging technology for a more sustainable future. Atacama Biomaterials has a simple mission: to accelerate the engineering of sustainable packaging.  

A win for both the environment and for consumers, they’re using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform – including BIOVIA, ENOVIA, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS – to achieve their goal of sustainably creating quality products.

Where sustainability meets packaging

A member of the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab accelerator program, Atacama Biomaterials uses robotics and artificial intelligence to unlock agile, tailored innovation for more sustainable packaging solutions. Woodpack, a compostable flexible film that can be fashioned into a number of materials, is produced with a super-low carbon footprint thanks to the use of tech in its manufacturing.

When you consider how much consumers interact with plastic on a daily basis, it’s clear that a drastic change needs to be made if places like the Atacama Desert are to be spared from serious pollution. And this is where the start-up’s plastic-free, sustainable packaging comes in.

Their Woodpack bag can be used for a number of applications in e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, food  and retail. With so many different options on the market, it can be difficult to find a single solution that’s sturdy and truly sustainable. But Woodpack’s durability is a key component of its design, as is its adaptability to be used for anything from a garment wrap or envelope to a grocery bag. And since it’s made from exclusively biodegradable materials, it’s fully recyclable and compostable, with no exceptions.

Putting technology to the test

When it comes to sustainable packaging, the need for durability and functionality is paramount. So Atacama Biomaterials needed to find a way to test and optimize their product to make it long-lasting, but without producing excess waste. The ethos of the company is a commitment to sustainability, and they aren’t sacrificing that at any stage of their processes.

Simulating thermal interaction and material flow with SOLIDWORKS enables Atacama Biomaterials to understand what changes need to be made to their products without producing excess waste. Whatever reformulations need to be done are then carried out by the company’s robotics and AI-informed manufacturing technology. Atacama Biomaterials’ dedication to a circular, sustainable economy isn’t just apparent in what it produces, but how it does so.

From conception to consumer, they’re committed to finding innovative ways to deploy technological tools to achieve sustainability in the packaged goods space. Collaborating with the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab has helped Atacama in its goals to scale their operations to become a commercially viable solution and lead the industry to a more eco-friendly future.

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