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ISSN 1862-5258

05 | 2008 Special editorial focus: Bottle Applications



Vol. 3

Bioplastics From Non-Food Sources

Don’t worry, the raw material for Ecovio® is renewable.

Ecovio ®, a biodegradable plastic from the PlasticsPlus TM product line, is keeping up with the times when it comes to plastic bags and food packaging. Ecovio ® is made of corn starch, a renewable raw material, and it has properties like HD-PE, which translates into a double plus point for you. Films made of Ecovio ® are water-resistant, very strong and degrade completely in composting facilities within just a few weeks. I N N O V AT I O N





dear readers I am sure that, like me, for many of you the Munich Oktoberfest, the famous beer festival, is always a special experience. And when you look at this page you may almost think that you‘ve picked up the Bavarian edition - the bioplastics MAGAZINE team just got back from holding its own show in Munich! It‘s fair to say that at our event, the 1st PLA World Congress on September 9th and 10th, we didn’t have anything like the 6.2 million visitors that the Oktoberfest attracted in 2007, but we did draw about 170 delegates from 36 countries. The number of delegates, and their enthusiasm for the subject, was very pleasing, and clearly showed the high level of international interest in the potential, the versatility, the new developments and the challenges presented by PLA. The congress was rounded off with a social ‘get together’ in the Hofbräuhaus, Munich‘s famous beer hall. Once again we didn’t manage to drink anything like the 60,000 hectolitres of beer that are sold during the Oktoberfest, but neither did we create the 650 tonnes of trash, which after the Oktoberfest will hopefully renew an interest, especially in the minds of the Bavarians, in the subject of biopackaging. Not exactly Bavarian, but other topics in this issue which we are sure you will find of interest focus on the latest developments and trends in the fields of bottles, caps etc. and bioplastics made from non-food sources. ISSN 1862-52


So we hope that you enjoy reading this issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE, and we bid you, as they say in Bavaria, a cheerful

05 | 2008 Special editor

ial focus: Bottle Application s Bioplastics From Non-Food Sourc es




Samuel Brangenberg

Vol. 3


bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/08] Vol. 3

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

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Impressum Content Materials

Nano-Alloy Technology for High- Performance PLA Applications 10

Bottle Applications

Pure, Light, Mountain Water - Bottled in Ingeo™ 12

Australia’s First Natural Spring Water in PLA Bottles 14

Not only Celebrities like New Zealand’s PLA-bottled “Good Water” 16

Closures made from bio-plastics 18

Primo Water offer Mineral enriched Water in PLA bottles 20

Bio-Bottle Meets Private Label Water 22

“EcoSield” PLA bottles 24

Impact of Dry and Wet Sterilisation on PLA Bottles 26

05|2008 Editorial News Suppliers Guide Event Calendar




40 03




Event Review

1 PLA World Congress a Great Success st


he 1st PLA World Congress hosted by bioplastics MAGAZINE (September 9th and 10th in Munich, Germany) attracted about 170 experts and interested delegates from more than 35 countries. Delegates from the packaging and other industries, universities, research institutes and similar organisations, as well as dedicated PLA experts, came from all over Europe, North America and countries as far away as Costa Rica, Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka. The Congress was opened with a key-note speech of Professor Endres from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Hanover, Germany. In the first session the audience received the long-expected confirmation that Pyramid bioplastics, represented by their CEO Bernd Merzenich, will build a 60,000 tonnes/annum PLA plant in Germany (see news on page 5). Speakers from Uhde Inventa-Fischer, Purac and Sulzer continued the first session with the basics of PLA. How is starch (e.g. from corn) converted into lactic acid and then into PLA? What can be done to purify lactide or what is the secret behind d- and l-isomers, mesomers and stereocomplexing. Remy Jongboom of Biopearls presented a broad choice of different application possibilities apart from the classic film or packaging applications. Examples were injection moulded parts produced from tailor-made PLA blends, including such items as tomato clips and DVD cases, as well as geo-textiles. The special market situation of PLA for stretch blow moulded bottles was explained by NatureWorks with the examples from the Italian Sant’Anna and German happYwater both reported about in more detail in this issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE. The next sessions, with contributions from FKuR, DuPont, Cereplast, Clariant, PolyOne and the University of Wageningen, were all about blending PLA with other materials and available additives to improve the properties of PLA, such as impact resistance, thermal properties, processing behaviour etc.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

Event Review

A “Bavarian Night” in Munich‘s famous Hofbräuhaus beer hall offered another chance for intensive networking and establishing personal contacts. The second day started with a comprehensive session about PLA films. Brückner Maschinenbau opened this session with information about biaxial stretching machinery for BO-PLA. Presentations about different film applications (Sidaplax and Polyfilms) were followed by a talk about Ceramis SiOx coating for barrier improvement by Alcan. Foamed PLA trays for (e.g.) meat packaging were presented by Coopbox Europe. Presentations about reinforcing PLA with different (including natural) fibres and automotive applications as well as barrier improved bottles rounded off the afternoon. His own opinion about LCAs and how to argue the real value propositions of bioplastics towards customers and stakeholders was given by Professor Ramani Narayan in the final presentation of this conference. The day ended with a panel discussion about end-oflife options, and - similarly to the same discussion during the 1st PLA Bottle conference last year - it can be said that composting is not necessarily the best option for all applications. Composting, yes where real added benefit can be exploited, for example by packaging vegetables in PLA which can then be disposed of together with the vegetables for composting if they become spoilt on a supermarket shelf. Otherwise recycling (physical as well as chemical) – and here the critical mass has clearly not yet been reached – or waste-to-energy (incineration with energy recovery or biogas production) seem viable alternatives. As the conference was considered by many – delegates, speakers, and the organisers – as a great success, the next PLA World Congress will be a definite diary date.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


Nano-Alloy Technology for High-Performance PLA Applications Article contributed by Pierre Oliver Muench, Assistant Manager, Plastics Department, Resin, Toray International Europe GmbH

Introduction Against the backdrop of global warming, curbing CO2 increase in the atmosphere has become a pressing issue. As conventional plastics are manufactured using fossil fuels such as petroleum, incineration or other forms of disposal of these plastics generate CO2. Bioplastics, such as polylactide (PLA) on the other hand, are manufactured from plant-based materials, and any CO2 emitted during their incineration or biodegradation will not increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, as the carbon emitted is what the plant, its raw material, originally absorbed through photosynthesis. This makes it carbon neutral, which is the most important feature of bioplastics. In addition, being plant-based gives such plastics a gentle image and awareness about them has been steadily growing among general consumers in recent years.

Endeavors in the plastics business Among bio-based plastic products, Japanese Toray Industries Inc. has also been focusing its efforts on PLA injection molding materials and films. In injection molding, PLA on its own had drawbacks such as slow crystallization, insufficient durability and heat resistance. However, by employing Toray’s proprietary nano-alloy technology and techniques to improve shockproofing and hydrolysis resistance, the company was able to dramatically improve the material’s heat resistance properties such as deflection temperature under load as well as moldability, impact resistance and durability (dry and wet heat). The injection moldable plastics thus developed have already been introduced into the market. Nano-alloy technology enables the forming of microscopic network structure inside the polymer by finely dispersing minute amount of high-performance polymer in PLA at a nanometric level. Compared to conventional


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


polymer alloys, the addition of small quantities of alloys helps in achieving great improvements in properties, when nano-alloy technology is employed. In development of the nano-alloy for PLA-based injection moldable plastics, Toray focused on the molecular interaction of PLA and high-performance polymer and succeeded in achieving desired levels of properties by combining compound technology. The technologies accelerate the crystallization process and enable molding under normal injection molding conditions. Also, while deflection temperature under load, the standard measure of heat resistance, is 56°C for PLA alone, it is above 100°C with the nano-alloy high-performance polymer. Furthermore, the company also succeeded in the development of PLA resin with high impact resistance similar to that of ABS resins and high level of flame resistance without using halogenated fire retardants, which could generate hazardous substances, to produce and market a halogen-free flame retardant PLA plastic with heat resistance, moldability, durability and impact resistance. These products have already been introduced in the market. These successes have opened the door for Toray’s PLA plastics in high-performance applications such as electric and electronic fields and automobile parts applications, the fields which previously have been considered to be difficult to break into with the standalone PLA-based products.

its use as electronic equipment body, which was achieved using Toray’s proprietary polymer alloy technology and halogen-free fire retardant technology. At the same time it also possesses high moldability and is suitable for mass production. (2) Substrate material for DVDs and CDs While highly transparent, the existing PLA-based products had heat resistance problems when used as substrate material for DVDs and CDs. Toray succeeded in improving the heat resistance by fine nano-metric dispersion of highly heat-resistant polymer. The material thus developed has superior optical characteristics suitable for disc materials and could be used not only for DVDs and CDs but also blu-ray discs. It is currently adopted for some CD-ROM applications. (3) Toy applications Conventional PLA-based polymer alloys, due to their mechanical properties (impact and flexural strengths), moldability (flowabilty, molding cycle, molding shrinkage ) and other properties, were not suitable for manufacturing process using the same molds as that of ordinary, generalpurpose plastics. However, Toray’s proprietary polymer alloy technology has enabled PLA-based polymer alloys to achieve heat resistance, impact resistance, fluidity and molding shrinkage factor equivalent to that of ABS resins, leading to increased adoption in toy applications.

Examples of PLA product development


(1) Front panel for DVD drives

PLA is one of the best environment-friendly materials among the current crop of industrially produced plastics. By expanding the use of such plant-based resins, Toray aims to make contributions to the society in efforts to stem the increase of greenhouse gases such as CO2 in the atmosphere and reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

Pioneer Corporation has adopted the flame-retardant PLA resin for the front panel of its DVD drives introduced in July 2008. They are used in the high-end models available in Japan and neighboring countries. The material developed for this application has high flame retardant and heat resistance properties necessary for

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


Bottle Applications

Pure, Light, Mountain Water – Bottled in Ingeo™


talian mineral water company Fonti di Vinadio Spa, which bottles and sells Sant’Anna di Vinadio mineral water is located in the North-Italian Piedmont area. Just recently they introduced their water in Ingeo™ PLA bottles. bioplastics MAGAZINE spoke to Alberto Bertone, owner and Chairman of the company (assisted by Ingeo European press office - Global Business Solutions) bM: Mr. Bertone, can you tell us something about your company and its history? AB: Well, I founded the company Fonti di Vinadio Spa in 1996. The company ethos is based on a deep conviction of the high potential for the water which flows from the mountains towering over Vinadio, in the heart of the Maritime Alps. The high quality of the Vinadio water has been known since the 16th century. Today, Sant’Anna water is the market leader in Italy with a turnover of about 150 million Euro and an output of 650 million bottles in 2007. bM: Before you started filling your water in PLA bottles, did you use PET or glass or even other packaging? AB: From the very beginning, Sant’Anna has been available in PET. We never used glass or cans or carton. bM: What did you do before?

Where appropriate Fonti di Vinadio use wood for many of the logistic plant parts

AB: When we entered the market about 10 years ago, we always focused on our Sant’Anna brand, optimizing our business also with co-packaging activities. Currently the business is 98% represented by Sant’Anna brand sales. From the beginning, environmental activities have always been part of our focus. bM: Why did you start this PLA-bottle activity? AB: I decided to experiment bottling the mineral water with an innovative material derived totally from a raw vegetal material about one year ago. I imported the Ingeo bioplastic bottle preforms directly from the USA. And so with the policy of our company focused very much on the environmental aspects of this project, we can calculate that if 50 million of our new bioplastic bottles each weighing 27 grams replace the same quantity of PET bottles, we will save 13,600 barrels of crude oil, or the same amount of energy it takes to supply electricity to 40,000 people for an entire month.


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Bottle Applications

bM: What do you expect from the introduction of PLA bottles? AB: Of course the Sant’Anna Ingeo BioBottle is a great eco solution that matches the new needs of the contemporary consumer, and it opens up a new and important business reality for Sant’Anna today. The world is looking for sustainability improvements in products and services. These include reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, reductions in fossil energy use, reductions in oil dependency and more. Switching to a bio-based material allows us to make a positive contribution to the environment we all live in without having to change our way of life. Sant‘Anna has a robust corporate social responsibility policy and by switching to Ingeo PLA bottles, we can translate this policy in a meaningful way into our daily transactions with our direct customers and consumers. This without sacrificing anything from a performance or quality perspective. The new Sant’Anna BioBottle delivers all the values that made them market leader in Italy for volume and value. Sant’Anna water has achieved extraordinary results in terms of its values of lightness (fixed residue 23.1 mg/l), one of the lowest in the world, receiving authorisation for use in the diet of newborn babies and low sodium diets (only 0.9 mg/l of sodium). The production process is guaranteed by the latest generation bottling systems. Fonti di Vinadio wants to become a European brand leader, and the challenge will now be the German market. bM: Did someone support you? AB: Of course Sant’Anna has been working very close with NatureWorks LLC, the world‘s first large-scale manufacturer of their unique natural plastic branded as Ingeo now used to create these new BioBottles. bM: What products are you currently bottling in PLA in which sizes? AB: For the moment we are producing just still mineral water in two sizes: 0,5 litres and 1,5 litres. bM: Does your company have any policy for “end-of-life” of the bottles? AB: Initially, a limited number of what we call the new “BioBottles” will be introduced, about 50 million half-liter bottles during the first 12 months. The Ingeo bottles will be distinguished from the PET ones, both by the label and by the color, which will be green. Furthermore, distribution will be limited to a specific geographic area. This will allow the company to monitor the impact of the new product on the market and the reactions of the consumers. At the same time, Acqua Sant’Anna is keeping in close touch with businesses, public and private bodies and trade

Alberto Bertone

associations dealing with environmental matters and, in particular, has already advised those responsible for refuse collection and disposal regarding this business venture, in order to enable an assessment of the various disposal options and decide which method is best suited to these new plastics. The message to consumers is to collect the BioBottles in a regular plastic bottle bin, together with all the plastic packaging. The company in charge of plastic waste treatmant will separate the BioBottles bottles from the rest of the stream and will decide to go for the best available end-of-life whether it be incineration, composting or recycling. Some companies are already interested in composting, others are prepared only for incineration and some are willing to test industrial scale chemical recycling. All in all a lot of interest for a new bioplastic offering so many disposal and recovery options. bM: Anything else you’d like to tell our readers? AB: We would like to underline that Sant’Anna, the leading brand name of Fonti di Vinadio, is a completely Italian-owned business, and will market for the first time in Italy and will mass market for the first time in Europe a mineral water that uses a bottle made entirely from the revolutionary natural plastic made from plant sugars rather than petroleum. Acqua Sant’Anna is the first privatelyowned Italian business to combine an environmentallyfriendly policy with a venture of this size. bM: Thank you very much Mr.Bertone

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


Bottle Applications

Australia’s First Natural Spring Water in PLA Bottles


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


ool Change Natural Spring Water from Australia is owned by the Paterson Family, Helen, James and Richard. Cool Change was set up in March 2008 to launch the NatureWorks IngeoTM PLA bottled water product in Australia. The Paterson family also own Yarra Valley Spring Water (YVSW), a bulk and bottled water business based on their farm at Launching Place in Victoria‘s Yarra Valley. YVSW produces a glass bottled sparkling water and also supplies other water bottlers with bulk water. Whilst the world around them is coming to terms with climate change, the Paterson family decided that they wanted to be part of the solution rather than the problem, by starting with a few simple steps such as decreasing their energy usage, offsetting their carbon emissions, the logical next step was to start to revise their packaging and their contribution to landfill. That was the begining of Cool Change. It all started in 1986 when the Patersons ran a tourist property with a restaurant, horse rides and four wheel drive tours around the property situated in the High Country of Victoria. The water they served in the restaurant was being fed from a spring fed dam on the property, without filtration to the restaurant taps. After the local health inspector suggested to bottle the water, because it was the purest water he had ever tested, the Patersons thought he was crazy as bottled water just wasn‘t a big thing in Australia in 1986. A few years later, with the unconventional help of Richard Paterson’s mother – she simply said “dig here” – the family discovered the actual source of the spring

Bottle Applications flowing naturally and they started their commercial water business. “We knew that PET wasn‘t the best thing for the environment and there was increasing concern about the impact of PET bottles,” says Richard Paterson, today Managing Director of the company. “While we wanted to do a product for retail (our Yarra Valley range was aimed at Restaurants and Hotels) and as soon as we saw the PLA we knew that was the way to go.” Long term Richard would like to see every bottle of water in Australia made from Ingeo PLA and a much wider uptake of the material also for use in juices, milks and a range of other products. Cool Change is all about creating a change, to rethink the way to produce, consume, and dispose. “We‘re hoping to start our ‘change‘ within the Australian Beverage Industry,” Richard says. “We are also now promoting and assisting the setting up of composting facilities in Australia which at this stage are almost nonexistent outside of South Australia.” As the next step the Patersons would like to do a milk line and a juice line. “But we‘ll stick with the water for a start to open the route to market and then add new products on once we‘ve learnt from our water line and everything settles down,” as Richard comments Anz_Rohstoffwende_EN_A5quer:08-09-04 04.09.2008 15:46their Uhr

plans. For the time being they are going to start with a 500ml water bottle. Over summer (which is beginning just now in Australia) a 350ml, 600ml, 1500ml are to follow. Asked about the end of life options of their PLA bottles, Richard Paterson explains that they are setting up composting sites in each state to handle the bottles until a critical mass is reached to make recycling pure PLA viable. Initially the bottles will enter the current waste stream but the Patersons are working with their customers to reclaim as many of the bottles as possible. In the short term the bottles will either be composted or end up in landfill until there is a much better waste treatment system in place. Where possible, they will be supplying bins to collect not only their Cool Change Water bottles but other products made from PLA. As a closing remark of our conversation, Richard adds: “We are all about change. Just going to bioplastics isn‘t the solution. But they offer a greater range of end of life options and allow us to create substantial change in the way we package fast moving consumer goods and also how we handle the waste at the end of the products life.” Seite 1

International Congress

Raw Material Shift & Biomaterials

December 3rd and 4th 2008 Maritim Hotel, Cologne

Practice-oriented for decision makers of the producing industry The newest developments regarding resources & materials

With the awarding ceremony of the “Innovation Award – Biomaterial of the Year” www.raw-material-shif

1st day: Raw Material Shift – Changed framework for the resource supply of the industry ➔ Fossil and mineral resource (price)crisis ➔ Global resource-problem ➔ What can agricultural resources accomplish as an alternative? ➔ Trends of the most important agricultural and wood resources Speakers of the following companies and institutes will be attending the congress Bank Sarasin & Cie AG (Switzerland) • Cognis GmbH • European Industrial Hemp Association e.V. and Badische Naturfaseraufbereitung GmbH • F.O. Licht GmbH • Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources • Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection • German Pulp and Paper Association • HypoVereinsbank – UniCredit Group AG • Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut • nova-Institut GmbH • Syntegra Solar Ltd. • Tate & Lyle PLC • Weber & Schaer GmbH & Co. KG

2nd day: Biomaterials – materials for the future ➔ Bioplastics, natural fibre (bio-)composites, Wood-Plastic-Composites (WPC) ➔ National and global markets ➔ Technologies and methods ➔ Industries and applications Speakers of the following companies and institutes will be attending the congress 3N & Forschungsgemeinschaft Biologisch abbaubare Werkstoffe e. V. • Amorim Group (Portugal) • European Bioplastics e. V. • Evonik Industries AG and CLIB2021 • FKuR Kunststoff GmbH • Ford Research Centre Aachen • Johnson Controls Interiors & Co. KG • STFI-Packforsk AB (Sweden) • University of Applied Sciences Bremen, Dept. for Biomimetics For more information and registration please visit





bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3 nova-Institut GmbH | Chemiepark Knapsack | Industriestr. | 50354 Huerth | Germany | |


Bottle Applications

Not only like New PLA-bottled

I Good Water Brand Ambassador Mel Smith and Jack Johnson at a Jack Johnson concert

t may be one of the little guys competing against the larger players but as it celebrates its first birthday The Good Water Company has found over the past year a number of high profile people have been in support of the company’s environmental aims. From international celebrities such as singer Jack Johnson to local who’s who Tiki Taane, Peter Urlich, Oscar Kightley and John Key the positive feedback has surprised even Good Water CEO Grant Hall. “It’s humbling to have such high profile people tell us they like what we are doing. I think there is so much awareness around sustainability now that Good Water is a product of the times,” says Hall. Good Water is New Zealand’s first environmentally sustainable water bottle that looks and feels like petroleum based plastic yet is made entirely from PLA, i.e. from renewable resources. In addition when the water bottle has reached the end of its useful life cycle consumers can then dispose of it with the knowledge that it will completely break down and not harm the environment.

Tiki Taane famous musician in New Zealand


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

Nuremberg, Germany

12 – 14.11.2008

Celebrities Zealand’s “Good Water”

Raw Materials – Technologies – Logistics – Marketing 48. European Trade Fair for the Beverage Industry

The bottle was developed with input from the Sir Peter Blake Trust. Good Water supports the Trust by donating a percentage from the sale of every bottle sold in order to help fund the Trust’s environmental education programmes for young Kiwis (that’s how the New Zealanders call themselves). “Our goal is to have raised $1 million for the Trust by 2012. It forms a nice loop using an environmental initiative like Good Water to help fund teaching kids about the environment,” says Hall. Dubbed The Good Water Project, the objective of the company is to also recycle the bottles. Good Water currently recycles the bottles from its home and office delivery service launched earlier this year by sending them to a recycling plant in the North Island. “The aim is to help reduce the overwhelming amount of plastic bottles being sent to landfill each year in this country. Currently all plastic bottles put out for collection in New Zealand are bailed up and exported to Asia, with the rest going to landfill as they do not biodegrade or break down,” says Hall. He says that although more Kiwis are still needed to get behind The Good Water Project there has been a groundswell of interest with many Kiwis logging onto the company website to find out more. “What we have achieved as a company in such a short space of time is a testament to the innovation and drive behind the Good Water vision for sustainability, which is obviously shared by many Kiwis. As more and more people learn about what we are doing we find they are becoming emotionally connected to the project and are advocates in the marketplace. We’re touching people from all walks of life with the vision we have for this project.”

The best preparation for the coming beverage year • Safely invested: 1,400 exhibitors present the latest technologies, raw materials, logistics and marketing ideas • Perfectly arranged: Innovations, experiences, contacts – here the industry shows the way ahead • Fully informed: New theme pavilions on IT in the beverage industry and production, purchasing and use of renewable energy

Wanted? Found! Here you will find all exhibitors and products!

Organizer NürnbergMesse GmbH Messezentrum 90471 Nürnberg Visitor service Tel +49 (0) 9 11.86 06-49 99 Fax +49 (0) 9 11.86 06-49 98

Bottle Applications

Closures Bioplastics Fig. 3: Closures made from plastics based on maize starch, lignin, PLA and wood-plastic



[1] Biologisch Abbaubare Werkstoffe, Publisher: Fachagentur Nachwachsende Rohstoffe e.V., GĂźlzow. [2] Produkte aus Bioplastics, Chancen und Potentiale, IK Industrieverband Kunststoffverpackungen e.V., Bad Homburg. [3] Caps catalogue, Ki-Si-Co GmbH, OestrichWinkel. [4] Kirchner, Jan: Entwicklung einer Lebensmittelverpackung aus nachwachsendem biologisch abbaubaren Kunststoff, Technomer 2007, ISBN 9783939382-08-09 [5] Seidel, F. , Peter, R., Frohberg, K.: Kunststoffe mit Getreideanteil helfen ErdĂśl sparen, Technomer 2007, ISBN 9783939382-08-09

In 2000 there were 180 million tonnes of plastic used worldwide. For 2010 the forecast is for a demand of 260 million tonnes. The packaging industry requires about 25% of the plastic that is traded as granulate [1]. Given the constantly increasing material prices bioplastics offer a medium to long term alternative to those plastics obtained from fossil resources. Alongside the possibility of cutting down the need for petroleum-based products, bioplastics offer other advantages in terms of biodegradability and ecological balance, with the latter aspect being the subject of some heated discussion. Furthermore the socio-political structure implied in the use of renewable resources is also mentioned in this regard, with the increased use of renewable resources strengthening the role of the agricultural sector. In the food industry bioplastics are already widely used as film or blister packaging. Their use in bottles and caps is just beginning.

Initial work

Fig. 1: Caps made from wood-based bioplastic

By the end of the 20th century the German company Ki-Si-Co GmbH was already working on the manufacture of caps and closures made from alternative materials. The first trials were carried out using materials based on wood and lignin (fig. 1). One feature of these materials is that they are very hard, and so are not suitable for one-piece caps because they always need a liner. Their potential use is really limited to the field of rustic designs. A further problem with these plastics is that they are not at all easy to handle and process. Because of the, at times, very high fibre content they need wide gate diameters. The feed performance of the screw is also at times very difficult to control. Despite intensive efforts it was impossible to successfully process all of the various materials using existing tooling. The tools must be adapted to the specific properties of each individual bioplastic.


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Bottle Applications

made from Article contributed by Dr.-Ing. Jan Kirchner, General Manager, Ki-Si-Co GmbH, Oestrich-Winkel, Germany Fig. 2: Prototype and final design

Current developments For a client seeking a bottle and cap suitable for use for a nutritional supplement in tablet form a package was developed based on natural biological materials and which met the demands of the consumers for ecologically acceptable packaging and contents.

Important criteria were:  A good water vapour barrier  Easy opening and handling  Ability to be resealed  Tamper evidence  About 150 ml capacity  Wide neck for ease of dispensing tablets  Suitable for food contact. The previous packaging was a cardboard carton which only partially met the above criteria. For the development project [4] Ki-Si-Co selected firstly a standard bottle from a company with which we work closely and standard caps from our own range [3] which had performed well in conventional plastic. For the plastic a material based on maize starch was selected, which had the mechanical properties necessary to produce the tamper evidence feature. In figure 2 on the left the functional prototype variant is shown and on the right is the redesigned final model with a smooth outer surface and a more attractive shape. Another interesting alternative to a pure bioplastic is a blend of conventional plastics and biomaterials. By adding barley bran or maize meal to polypropylene about 20 percent conventional plastic can be saved, as well as achieving interesting visual effects [5].

Experience with bioplastics When injection moulding biomaterials consideration must be given to the specific characteristics of each material. The use of hot runners, for instance, is not generally possible because the cooling around the hot

runner nozzle is less effective and the surface of the moulded parts in this area is hard to grip. In fact, in contrast to conventional plastics, generally more attention has to be paid to the management of the mould-tool temperature and the melt temperature than to the tool itself. Overall significantly higher cycle times must be expected - at times even twice the usual cycle time. The strong intrinsic colouring of some materials often makes it difficult to mould them in different colours, especially light colours. An important aspect of biomaterials is the current supply situation. Because the market demand for film for food wrapping and for agricultural use is booming just now, and the producers are generally running at full capacity, there is little incentive or interest in moving to new alternatives. Many types of bioplastic are suitable only for extrusion. The level of commitment by many of the injection moulders at the moment leaves something to be desired. Because, however, many manufacturers are currently investing in significant increases in their capacity things should improve in the medium term. Many materials are either a lot harder or softer than polypropylene (the standard material for caps). A type of bioplastic that comes close to the mechanical properties of polypropylene would make things a lot easier. The prices for bioplastics are, at the moment, at a level which makes them more likely to find application in bottles and caps for niche markets. Given the increasing capacity amongst producers or bioplastics, and the increasing price of crude oil on the other hand, the price differences should even out in the medium term.

Conclusion With the right experience in the processing of bioplastics it is possible to produce caps for the widest range of applications. We have been successful in moulding caps from wood pulp, lignin, maize starch and polylactic acid (Fig 3).

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


Bottle Applications

Primo Water offer Mineral Enriched Water in PLA bottles


rimo Water Corporation, a privately-held company based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA manufactures mineral enriched bottled water. According to a recently published press release Primo is the only nationally distributed bottled water whose bottle is made from plants, not crude oil. Primo Water offers a sustainable bottled water option without having to give up portability, convenience and great refreshing taste. The bottle is made from IngeoTM, NatureWorks’ PLA resin that is a 100% renewable resource “grown on American soil”, as the company proudly stated. “Primo Water, with its plant based bottle, is leading the movement for sustainable green packaging, especially in bottled water. The fact that Primo is recyclable and compostable was a big plus to our event. We were very pleased to find them,” said Jim Flint, president of the Rattlesnake Triathlon ( Consumers will not only enjoy Primo for its environmental benefits, but also for its great taste. In blind taste tests

conducted at the end of 2007 across the U.S., three out of four consumers preferred Primo over the leading spring water and four out of five preferred Primo over tap water1. In fact, Primo water was enjoyed at the MusiCares® Person of the Year event, on the red carpet and in the green room of the first ‘green’ GRAMMY awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on February 10th. “We‘re proud to bring consumers a more environmentally-friendly bottled water,“ said Billy Prim, CEO of Primo Water Corporation. “Not only does Primo give consumers the great taste, convenience, everyday price value and availability that they‘ve been looking for in a bottled water, it also helps them to leave a better world for their children.“ “With Primo, consumers have told us they feel good twice; once for promoting their own health by drinking more water and avoiding sugar, and twice, for helping to preserve the precious and depleting resources of our planet,“ said Dave Burke, President and COO of Primo To Go. Today, three product lines make up Primo Water Corporation’s portfolio. The first, introduced in June of 2005, offers 3 and 5 gallon Zero Waste bottles and an exchange program that rewards consumers for recycling their bottles for refills. The second, launched in April of 2008, is a new line of Energy Star rated and stylish water coolers. And the third is a single-serve bottled water, in a more-environmentally-friendly bottle made from PLA. Primo is available at nearly 4,000 retail stores across the USA. 1 Taste tests conducted by an independent contractor, Marketing Connections, in Charlotte, Tampa, Boston, Dallas, Columbus and Los Angeles between September and December 2007 Watch a series of YouTube clips at


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


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Bottle Applications

Bio-Bottle Meets Private Label Water Two complementing niches in a fast growing market


ottled water is one of the fastest growing markets of the 21st century. In Germany alone, 11 billion liters of spring-, mineral-, and table waters are sold annually, which includes domestic, as well as imported waters. Plastic bottles made from PET had a huge breakthrough in this market a decade ago and is now the most popular way of enjoying this healthy and refreshing beverage for the modern and mobile consumers. The clear 500 ml water bottle has become THE accessory of the century. It is ‘cool’, to be seen with this handy item, celebrities even carry their bottles on the catwalks of this world. This trend seems to be unbreakable and especially young people carry their small and practical mobile water tanks on the go. Still water in particular is the fastest growing segment here. In the USA, water consumption in plastic bottles will surpass CSD (carbonated soft drinks) and coffee soon as the most consumed beverage. In the past years, a new niche market within the bottled water market was established in the USA, which is called private label water. The current market share is 12.5% with an annual growth rate of 0.9% regarding to BEVERAGE DIGEST. For US-companies it is normal to use their ‘own spring water’ with their own label and message, on events or even in schools, the water bottle is being used as a fresh marketing tool, even for charities. This is possible due to the small operators which have specialised in producing personalized bottled water in small numbers. The German market for personalized bottled water is just starting out and a handful of players sold 10 million bottles in 2007.

Article contributed by Manfred Burkart, Managing Director, happYwater, Berlin, Germany


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

happYwater® was founded on Christmas eve of 2007 and started out with the traditional 500 ml PET bottle, serving companies like BMW, on golfing tournaments, sailing cups and polo events, as well as large catering companies and also small charities.

Bottle Applications The founders, Manfred Burkart and Lothar M. Lappöhn, located in Berlin, are two veterans in the water business. In 1996 they brought the „WaterCooler“ to Germany and with it a new way of consuming cooled water in the office or at the shopping mall. The company was sold in 2000 to Hutchinson Whampoa and after the integration process and the creation of the new European brand PowWow water, which is Nestlewaters today, they left the water business, to return in 2007 with a new exciting venture in the ever growing water market. happYwater today is the fastest growing private label water company in Germany and will be the number one by the end of 2009 with an annual sales volume of 5 million bottles. Part of this hughe success is the fact that happYwater will be the first German company with a DIN CERTCO certified PLA water bottle within the EN 13432 regulation. The first mass produced happYwater bio-bottle will be made completely of PLA, including the label and the cap. Supported by the German Government (the next amendment to the Packaging Ordinance comes in effect in 2009) biodegradable PLA bottles will be exempted from the stringent mandatory deposit. This creates a unique selling point and a clear price advantage. This is essential, also for the image of PLA, since big corporations and known companies identify with this product and they will communicate this innovative and clean product to their customers and the public. This combination of two new markets in Germany is the perfect start for PLA in an exciting segment, the bottled water market which is also becoming more and more controversial, due to the fact that PET bottles are made of oil. Of course there will be more controversies coming up in the future, but for the bottled water industry this will be a good testing ground. Private label water will stay a niche business. Nevertheless, there is a lot of potential in this niche and room for more innovations, which the two founders have already in the pipeline. In the next 20 years there will many problems and therefore many opportunities coming up in the bottled water business and a big part of it will be the packaging. Germany is also a good testing ground for the PLA bottle, in connection with the separation of PET and PLA within the recycling resp. the degradation process, which is managed by the German Duales System. By the end of 2012, which the ‘transfer law’ is aimed at, the technology will be much more advanced. One big advantage for PLA will be that the bottles are filled exclusively with still water. Also the bottles are in circulation for approximately 4 to 8 weeks from production date to consumption date. This minimizes problems through the known weak points of PLA concerning the use of carbonated drinks, or unlike retail where a circulation of 6 to 9 months is common. Leakage and deformation will not be an issue. happYwater wants to be part of this process in the future and is already looking for additional markets and innovative products. After all, the waterwheel keeps turning and turning.

Our covergirl Christina says: „A bottle made from plants - sounds like a good idea. But what about the food vs. biofuel debate? Isn‘t that similar?“ Christina is curious to read this complete issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


Bottle Applications


Closure mainly made from PLA compound


oday it is widely accepted that the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions is a very important factor in the prevention of global warming. Therefore Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Ltd. from Yokohama, Japan, gives serious consideration to the following questions: “What kind of packaging is the best for our environment?” and “In what way will this packaging protect it?” With regard to these questions, the company has taken a positive step by developing an eco-friendly bottle that is called “EcoSield”.

PLA Bottle (TiO2 whitening)

PLA shrink label

Fig. 1: “EcoSield” protopye bottles

Article contributed by Dr. Takurou Ito, Manager, Plastic Bottle Development Department , Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Ltd. Yokohama, Japan This article is based on a presentation of Dr. Ito at the 1st PLA World Congress, Munich, Germany, 9.-10. Sept. 2008

Dr. Takurou Ito


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The Toyo Seikan Group consists 66 companies, including subsidiaries across South East Asia, China, and Japan. In 2006 the consolidated turnover was about 4 billion Euros. The group is a packaging supplier producing metal cans, plastic bottles, glass, paper cups, closures, chemical materials and packaging manufacturing machinery. Toyo Seikan, Kaisha Ltd, parent company of Toyo Seikan Group companies, is the largest packaging company in Asia, operating in six countries (Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia) with net sales of about two billion Euros. The product line is divided into nine groups comprising a wide variety of packaging for beverages, food, toiletries and cosmetics, and health care products for everyday life.

EcoSield Toyo Seikan has developed an environmentally-friendly packaging called “EcoSield” made predominantly from carbon-neutral PLA. EcoSield stands for Ecoactive, Simplicity, Earth and Land, Decontamination. EcoSield and EcoSield-WO are the two different types that are available today. EcoSield is a simple PLA bottle and is available for packaging chilled drinks and water. In addition to that, EcoSield-WO has an excellent gas barrier performance thanks to the use of Toyo Seikan’s unique gas barrier technology applied by a plasma CVD method. This bottle is suitable for oxygen-sensitive and watersensitive contents. Figure 1 shows EcoSield-bottles. They consist of three parts: bottle, closure and shrink label. The bottle is made from 100 percent PLA with a whitening pigment. Figure 2 shows the relationship between the disomer content of the PLA resin and the overflow volume reduction of PLA bottles. The overflow volume reduction indicates the rate of the thermal shrinkage of the bottle. It can be seen that the lower the d-isomer content of the PLA, the higher the thermal stability of the PLA bottle when it is kept in an atmoshpere of 55°C. Table 1 shows

Bottle Applications

Figure 3 shows the storage temperature dependency on the water vapor barrier performance of EcoSield, EcoSieldWO and the PET bottle. As can be seen, EcoSield-WO has the same water vapor barrier performance as the PET bottle at temperatures of up to 45°C. Thus, EcoSield-WO will be suitable for water vapor sensitive contents similar to a PET bottle. With regard to biodegradability, Toyo Seikan is looking at two points, namely reduction of plastic waste and ease of disposal for each household to achieve a positive contribution to society. EcoSield is biodegradable under certain circumstances. Figure 4 shows the degradation results in an electrically powered house-hold-composter1, as it is used in Japanese households. As the picture shows EcoSield can be broken down within 32 hours in such a ‘home-composting unit’1. In addition, the biodegradability was determined by measuring the carbon dioxide generated (ISO 14855 part 2) by the reaction with microorganisms using standard compost and EcoSield at 58°C. EcoSield can be biodegraded within 45 to 50 days, which means that the biodegradability of EcoSield is rapid in controlled compost conditions. With regards to these results, the advantages in disposing of PLA bottles make it possible to promote a change in the way societies approach waste collection and processing. If this bottle becomes more widely used throughout the world the environment would naturally become cleaner. Toyo Seikan seriously hopes that the EcoSield technology will be able to contribute to reducing global warming as much as possible.


Over flow volume reduction (%)

the gas barrier performance of EcoSield and EcoSieldWO compared to a PET bottle. The barrier performance is only 1/8 (water vapor) and only 1/9 (oxygen) of that of PET. The EcoSield-WO however, has a slightly improved water vapor barrier performance over the PET bottle. Compared to existing PLA bottles an excellent gas barrier advantage for both water vapor and oxygen can be seen. With these barrier enhancements EcoSield-WO is suitable for oxygen and water vapor sensitive contents, just as a PET bottle.

PLA bottle Purchased from Market

20 15 10 5 0






d-isomer content (%) Sample condition: Mold temperature 30 ºC Storage condition: 55 ºC Storage period: 7 days

Fig. 3: Gas barrier property of water vapor

Water vapor permeation (g/m2 day)

PLA Bottles

Fig. 2: Thermal stability


EcoSieldTM (Standard)


EcoSield-WOTM (High Barrier)



15 10

5 0







Storage temperature (ºC) EcoSield-WOTM (Under development)

Table 1: Gas barrier performance









1.3 x

1.0 x


(Standard: PLA only)

EcoSield-WOTM (High Barrier)

EcoSield-WOTM (Under development) Barrier performance has been improved by Toyo Seikan’s unique gas barrier technology.

After 4 treatments (16Hr)


After 8 treatments (32Hr)

End After 20 treatments (80Hr)

After 12 treatments After 16 (48Hr) treatments (64Hr)

1: This has nothing in common with what is usually referred to as “home composting”. In such an electric home-composter, temperatures of approx. 80°C are applied to reduce the volume of kitchen waste.

Fig. 4: Degradation by ‘home composting’1 process

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Bottle Applications

Impact of Dry and Wet Sterilisation on PLA Bottles


f aseptic cold filling is required to ensure the quality and shelf life of juice, ice tea, dairy products or flavoured water the impact of either dry or wet sterilisation on the container prior to filling also needs to be considered.

shrinkage of volume in %

7 6

conventional blow molding process


optimized blow molding process

A known issue with aseptic cold filling is that, depending on the specific conditions of the sterilisation process as well as the technology applied, some sterilisation media might migrate into the container material.

4 3 2 1 0




time of rinsing [s]

Fig. 1: Bottle shrinkage during 60°C rinsing process


remaining H2O2 [ppm]

0,9 0,8

uncoated PLASMAX coated1

0,7 0,6 0,5

After filling, the sterilisation medium in the container wall can partially remigrate into the product. This issue causes, for example, an initial vitamin reduction in fruit juices. Using the barrier coating technology offered by KHS Plasmax, which covers the entire internal surface of the bottle with a thin glass layer, it has already been shown that for PET bottles any migration of H2O2 into the bottle material and subsequent remigration into the product is totally eliminated. Since the material properties of PLA are quite different from those of PET it makes sense to verify the suitability of PLA for the aseptic cold filling process.

Properties of PLA bottles

0,4 0,3 0,2 0,1 0

after treatment

after 1 day time

after 3 days

Fig.2: Residuals for dry sterilization 1: no residuals detectable with PLASMAX

During the wet or the dry sterilisation process the bottles are exposed to higher temperatures. This has no significant influence in the case of PET bottles due to their high glass transition temperature. The PLA material however is much more sensitive to higher temperatures because of its lower glass transition and crystallisation temperatures. This can ultimately lead to higher bottle shrinkage. To minimise this shrinkage of PLA bottles and to reach a similar level as seen in PET bottles KHS Corpoplast has optimised the blow moulding process. These optimised PLA bottles were for instance, rinsed with hot water at 60°C to simulate the wet sterilisation. A substantial reduction of the resulting shrinkage from 6% to below 1% was achieved (Fig. 1).

Comparison of remigration

Article contributed by Lars von Carlsburg, Application Engineer, KHS Plasmax GmbH, Hamburg, Germany


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To determine the possible sterilisation medium residuals for PLA, and to evaluate the benefit of the PLASMAX internal coating, KHS Plasmax tested the remigration in both processes â&#x20AC;&#x201C; dry and wet sterilisation on coated and uncoated 330 ml, 35g PLA bottles. These bottles were manufactured using the optimised blow moulding process.


Conclusion When looking at thermal stability an optimised blow moulding process makes PLA bottles perfectly suitable for aseptic cold filling using either dry or wet sterilisation. Although for uncoated bottles the sterilisation residuals are slightly higher for PLA than for PET they are in the same typical range. However, in the end only an internal coating can substantially reduce this level. But even if the PLA material is suitable for aseptic filling from the point of view of bottle stability, the most critical issue remains the low barrier property of PLA against gas permeation of oxygen, CO2 and water vapour. But here too the PLASMAX coating provides the optimum solution.





Biopolymers Raw materials - Technologies - Applications

Pictures: NatureWorks LLC, WZS/Kurt Fuchs, Fraunhofer ICT · · 28250

With regard to the bottle‘s thermal stability, the reduction of the fill weight amounts to only 0.3 % after dry sterilisation treatment, which again is comparable to PET. In the case of wet sterilisation with peracetic acid (PAA), which contains a certain amount of H2O2, no remigration of either sterilisation medium was observed. Both coated and uncoated PLA bottles were tested at 60°C rinse temperature, 1000 ppm PAA concentration and 7 seconds dwell time. As expected from the previous simulated rinse test the reduction in the fill weight after treatment is comparable to PET and amounts to 0.15 %.


Cooperation Forum

For the dry sterilisation trials the concentration of the sterilisation medium H2O2 was set at 20 %. The resulting maximum outside temperature of the bottle was below 55°C while it was being treated. Directly after filling of the uncoated PLA bottle the residual concentration of H2O2 was below 0.5 ppm and therefore in conformity with the FDA guideline. But after just one day the remaining H2O2 increased to nearly 1 ppm. The test also showed that for PLASMAX coated PLA bottles the remigration of H2O2 is below the detection limit of the measurement equipment (Fig. 2). These test results for PLA showed slightly higher residuals compared to the general results from PET migration tests for uncoated bottles.


Herzogschloss Straubing

23 October 2008

Information and registration: Speakers, e.g. from BASF, DuPont, EMPA, Huhtamaki, Novamont, Teijin, TU München, Virginia Tech, will present: • Renewable raw materials for biobased polymers • Innovative technologies for manufacturing and processing • New markets for industrial applications Visit of the Competence Centre for Renewable Raw Materials in Straubing on 22 October 2008

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


Non-Food Cellulose - the first bioplastics already a century ago As early as 1869 thermoplastic celluloid (softening temperature approx. 85 °C) was developed by J.W. Hyatt as a replacement material for ivory, intended for the production of billiard balls [1]. At that time he certainly was not aware that he had already produced the first ever bioplastic in a synthetic process. Celluloid is composed of a mixture of about 70 to 75 % by weight of cellulose di-nitrate and 25 to 30 % by weight of camphor [1]. Over the years it has been displaced by mixtures of cellulose acetate which are less combustible.

Container made from Biograde C 8500 CL (left) and C 9540 (right)

Cellulose can be found as a structural component in all plants – including many plants that do not serve as food. Hence cellulose is the most frequently encountered carbohydrate on earth. Vegetable fibres such as cotton, jute, flax and hemp are cellulose in a nearly pure form [2].

Generation ZERO Non-food stock bioplastics were the very beginning

Article contributed by Dr.-Ing. Christian Bonten, Director for Technology and Marketing, FKuR Kunststoff GmbH, Willich, Germany

Injection moulded sharpener made from Biograde C 9540

By means of fiberisation and forming, it is possible to convert cellulose into paper (‘pulp’). The cellulose used here is obtained from wood or straw. By hydrolysis of cellulose, glucose is obtained, which can then be converted into different chemicals such as acetone, alcanoles, carboxylic acids, and also ethanol, by means of fermentation. This bioethanol can deliver ethylene and butadiene for the production of bioplastics. However, this method involves many different steps and is not always efficient. A simpler method is to produce derivatives from cellulose which can be converted more directly into bioplastics. The esterification to a cellulose ester with the aid of derivatives of organic acids (e. g. acid anhydride) represents a typical method. The characteristics of these cellulose esters can be strongly influenced by additives, e.g. plasticizers. The common cellulose esters CA (cellulose actetate), CAB (cellulose acetate butyrate) and CP (cellulose propionate) can be converted using all known plastics converting processes [3]. The ease of flow is excellent and even allows pin gates. Although under thermal aspects cellulose ester is more resilient than many other bioplastics, hot runners are not recommended, or at least the dwell time should be short. Vented moulds are also recommended.

Biodegradable cellulose ester – made by nature! With the mission ‘Plastics – made by nature!’ the company FKuR Kunststoff GmbH was incorporated in Willich, Germany, in 2003. In cooperation with the Fraunhofer UMSICHT Institute FKuR Kunststoff GmbH has developed and established a wide range of biodegradable plastics primarily made from renewable raw materials on the market. In general biodegradable raw materials (CA, starch, PLA, PHA, PBS, etc.) are not ready-made for conversion processes, but can be tailored for the particular application by means of compounding. This processing of biodegradable raw materials requires special knowledge of both the selection of additives and a smooth compounding process. Although the FKuR product portfolio comprises more than bioplastics on the basis of cellulose, growth over recent years


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The demand for bioplastics for durable goods is continuously rising and will outstrip the demand for bioplastics for short life-time goods in the medium term. Since the importance of biodegradability takes a back seat in this context and sometimes is not even requested, research and development at FKuR focuses more and more on the exclusive use of renewable resources.


Elongation at break (%)

has been very much due to bioplastics based on PLA and used for packaging goods with a short lifetime (food packaging, waste bags, diaper backing sheets, mulch films, etc.). Here the biodegradability and the associated alternative disposal route are especially beneficial for the consumer.

Biograde® C 8500 CL

12,0 10,0 8,0 6,0

Biograde® C 9540

5,0 2,0 0,0









Tensile Modules (MPa)

Fig. 1.: Selected mechanical properties of Biograde in comparison to standard polystyrene

Whereas bioplastics for packaging are indeed converted into films by means of different extrusion processes, injection moulding is the most commonly used process worldwide for the production of plastic components. Typical application fields are to be found in all industry branches. Merely as examples we can mention here automotive, construction, electronic and household articles, the furniture and toy industries as well as medical technology.

Biograde® - injection mouldable bioplastics with properties similar to polystyrene Injection mouldable bioplastics – similar to extrudable bioplastics for packaging – preferably have to be capable of being processed on conventional machinery. For injection moulding specific mechanical characteristics (demoulding) and temperature conditions (dwell time) have to be taken into consideration.

Biodegradable, disposable cutlery made from Biograde C 9540

Injection mouldable cellulose ester compounds from FKuR are marketed under the brand name “Biograde“. They offer the following advantages:  Up to 100 % natural resources (depending on grade)  Raw material: wood from European forests  Excellent heat distortion temperature up to 122 °C  Injection mouldable on conventional injection moulding machinery  Thermoformable on conventional equipment  Suitable for food contact  Biodegradability tested according to EN 13432 by independent organisations. The balanced properties profile is comparable to the mechanical characteristics of polystyrene (fig. 1). Biograde is extraordinarily rigid, scratch resistant and also transparent depending on the grade. Typical existing applications are shown in the photos. Moreover any kind of application made from polystyrene or any other rigid commodity plastic may be realised with Biograde. Cellulose based Bioplastics have already existed for a long time: let‘s call them Generation ZERO!

Sources: [1] Tänzer, W.: Biologisch abbaubare Polymere. Deutscher Verlag für Grundstoffindustrie, (2000) [2] Eyerer, P.; Elsner, P.; Hirth, T.: Domininghaus – Die Kunststoffe und Ihre Eigenschaften. 6. Auflage. Springer-Verlag, Berlin-Heidelberg (2005) [3] Oberbach, K.: Saechtling – Kunststoff Taschenbuch. 28. Auflage, Carl Hanser Verlag (2001)

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Proteinous Bioplastics from Bloodmeal Article contributed by Johan Verbeek, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand and Lisa van den Berg

Granular appearance


t is almost impossible to remember a world without plastics; however, environmental concerns over the origin, use and disposal of plastics have created a substantial effort into finding alternative solutions to these issues. Recycling is aimed at reducing the amount of virgin material required; biodegradable polymers are intended to solve the disposal and ultimate fate of polymers, while research into finding sustainable sources for polymer production is aimed at reducing the reliance on petrochemical sources. Although bioplastics sound like the perfect solution to these problems, bioplastics also have some drawbacks; most importantly the perceived competition with food production. As a result, attention is shifting to second generation bioplastics manufactured from non-potential food sources. However, one of the challenges for bioplastics is to be successfully integrated into common synthetic plastic processing routes, such as extrusion and injection moulding. Chain entanglements and secondary interactions are what differentiate synthetic polymers from other low molecular weight organic substances. Inter- and intra molecular bonds, as well as chain entanglements, prevent chain slippage leading to the superior properties of polymers. Proteins are natural biopolymers and exhibit the same behaviour. Various amino acid functional groups offer a wide range of possible inter- and intra-molecular interactions, leading to the complex structure found in proteins. This implies that successful processing hinges on the ability to manipulate protein structure.




bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

Cohesive failure and increased homogeneity

In this article thermoplastic bioplastics produced from proteins, obtained as a co-product in the meat industry, are discussed. Bloodmeal is mostly unfit for human consumption and is currently used as a low cost animal feed supplement. With more than 80% protein, it has the potential to be used as a thermoplastic biopolymer. However, during the production of bloodmeal, proteins are exposed to high temperatures, inducing aggregation and crosslinking. Cross-links are heat-stable, covalent bonds between either cysteine or lysine amino acid residues, resulting in an insoluble powder. Previous studies have claimed blood proteins not to be extrudable, failing to produce a homogenous plastic material. This offers a great challenge to its processability since the wrong conditions may lead to further cross-linking, not only leading to a non-homogenous material, but also potentially

Non-Food Folded

Quaternary and Tertiary Structure Hydrogen Bonds Hydrophobic Interactions Ionic Interactions Covalent cross-linking


+ heat + pressure + chemical additives


Secondary and Primary Structure Hydrogen Bonds Peptide Bonds

blocking the extruder or injection moulder. It was found that processing requires sufficient protein denaturing leading to the exposure of different amino acid functional groups, followed by rearrangement of chains by means of plasticisation and shear flow and finally allowing new interactions to be established during the solidification stage and appropriate additives. Successful processing therefore requires appropriate modification by eliminating or introducing intermolecular bonds at the correct time during processing. Bloodmeal is a powdery product and processing is therefore required to consolidate the particles to prevent adhesive failure. It was found that denaturation of bloodmeal using water, heat and pressure was not enough to break covalent bonds, resulting in a heterogeneous material. Thermoplastic processing required a combination of aggressive denaturants, reducing reagents and plasticizers to form a homogenous and extrudable material.

polyethylene (14 MPa) was easily surpassed, however, the material was considerably stiffer. Potential applications are in the agricultural and horticultural markets, more specifically products such as seedling trays, tree guards and possibly extruded netting. Technology in the area is still in its infancy and considerable research is still required to improve properties such as long term stability and embrittlement. This patented technology is currently owned by Novatein Ltd., a spin-off company by WaikatoLink Ltd., the commercial arm of the University of Waikato.

By relying on Fourier Transform Infrared analysis (FTIR) the structure of a processable bloodmeal based bioplastic could be assessed. Results confirmed a shift from α-helix to a predominantly β-sheet and random coil structure. It is interesting to note the similarity between the mixed random coil/ α-helix structure of these proteins compared to that of synthetic semi-crystalline polymers. In synthetic polymers chains in the crystalline regions are typically kept in position by hydrogen or van der Waals forces in an extended zigzag conformation. Chains then fold into and out of this crystalline lamella forming amorphous regions. It is therefore an important observation that the β-sheet/ random coil structure of extrudable proteins closely resembles that of synthetic semi-crystalline thermoplastic polymers. Initial trials showed mechanical properties of extrudable bloodmeal bioplastics to vary depending on the moisture and plasticiser content. The tensile strength of linear low density

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Bioplastic Products from Biomass Waste Streams Article contributed by Dr Alan Fernyhough, Bioproduct Development Group, Scion, Rotorua, New Zealand

Introduction The exploitation of non-food biomass resources and industrial waste streams in bioplastic products has been a major theme of research and development at New Zealand Crown Research Institute ‘Scion’ for nearly 10 years (see bM 04/07). Among this research two major strategies for manufacturing bioplastic products have been pursued: utilisation of forestry resources and utilisation of industrial biomass waste streams. Such resources or residues can, depending on their nature and on the modification technology employed, be transformed into bioplastics, or into functional additives for bioplastics, especially polylactic acid (PLA), polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) and other biopolymers. Thus these bioplastics products are made from non-food resources.

Exampe 1: Microbial Waste Water Treatment For PHA Bioplastics Huge volumes of wood waste, bark, paper and pulp processing waste – solid and liquid (waste water) are generated each year in commercial forestry and forest processing operations. About 10 years ago Scion recognised these underutilised and readily available residues were sources of chemicals and polymers for use as bioplastics and/or as bioplastics functional


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

additives. Several technologies are under development for bioplastics.



One key development has focused on adapting a unique microbial transformation technology developed for treating waste water from paper and pulp mills into a process for making PHA bioplastics from industrial waste waters. Novel proprietary microbial, bioreactor and postproduction processes have been developed. The preferred process uses bacteria which can directly fix nitrogen from the atmosphere and convert carbon in wastes into useful bio-based polymers. This technology has now been proven in large scale trials, including 1000 litre scale at Scion. Aspects will be presented at the forthcoming International Symposium on Biological Polyesters (ISBP 2008), to be held in Palmerston North, New Zealand in 2327 November 2008.


Example 2: Fruit/Crop Waste Utilisation

• Component optimization by means of intelligent surface functions and structures

October 14 – 16, 2008 / New Munich Trade Fair Centre

• Composites in Automotive & Aerospace • Lightweight metal design by means of near-net-shape fabrication • European Technology Transfer Conference: Security • Innovative design and bionically inspired construction for new products

• Advanced ceramics for future applications








• Boatbuilding with GFRP, carbon and aluminum: Material and processes




Scion has undertaken various surveys of industrial waste streams in New Zealand to identify the most likely significant sources of available biomass wastes. In addition to forestry and its various downstream processing operations, certain sectors of the food processing and wider horticultural and agricultural industries were identified as major sources of wastes which contained useful biopolymers or biopolymer feedstocks of potential use in Scion’s technologies for bioplastic products. As one example, in the case of kiwifruit, and through a more recent study commissioned by ZespriTM, a survey identified ~50,000 tonnes per year of waste biomass from the kiwifruit industry alone. Most of this is either landfilled or given to farmers as cattle feed. Neither of these options are sustainable on an ongoing basis for such volumes of organic waste, and are increasingly disfavoured. Scion has developed technologies to use this type of waste stream as a potential source for bioplastics or bioplastics products. Several scenarios for using waste fruit or vegetables have been identified. The bio-based polymers and chemicals in fruit waste have many attributes, with the added advantage of being renewably produced and biodegradable. Other non-food resources such as ‘green waste’ or even cow-poo have been studied for use in bioplastics. The transformation of such wastes, and the selected use of co-additives with the modified waste derived bio-based polymers, can produce useful plastics, adhesives, coatings or composites. If appropriately formulated and processed, they can also reduce the overall cost of the final product and impart new functional attributes. Through studying the interactions of biomass wastes with commercial biopolymers, Scion has created a range of novel wastederived industrial products including biodegradable pots and other moulded plastic products, all containing various types and amounts of processed and modified biomass waste streams.

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PRODUCT ENGINEERING IN MOTION Phone+49(89)322991-0 marco.ebner

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


20 08 08 12:16:19 Uhr


Example 3: Use Of Lignins/Lignocelluosics In Bioplastics Scion is working with a range of ‘waste generators’ to identify how best to use their wastes in bioplastics and related industrial polymer products, and to measure and improve sustainability profiles in their value chains. Life Cycle Assessments (LCA) and carbon-footprinting are increasingly used to guide the research and technology developments. As another example, research is ongoing into the utilisation of lignin, the second most abundant natural polymer. It is a residue from pulp and paper processing, and indeed from biofuels or other processing of lignocellulosic materials. By exploiting synergies across its various research programmes in biofuels, pulp & paper, waste treatment and bioplastics Scion has a focus on developing new technologies for lignin utilisation. Its use as a plastically processable polymer through direct modification and formulation strategies, or as an additive for use in combination with other bioplastics and additives is being investigated. Novel highly lignin-rich compounds have been successfully extruded and injection moulded.

Example 4: Use Of Wood Fibers In Bioplastics Another Scion development, aimed at enhancing further the performance of bioplastics and using non-food resources, is the manufacturing of reinforced bioplastic products with wood fibres. Most prior developments, including Scion’s work in the distant past, have used sawdust or wood flours as low cost additives for plastics and bioplastics. However, this type of manufacturing does not fully use the wood fibres’ reinforcing potential since they are ground up and have largely destroyed the actual fibres. In the fibre board manufacturing industry, the technology exists to extract fibre from timber, but the `cotton wool’ like material it produces is unsuitable for feeding into conventional plastics machinery. Scion has developed a cost-effective way to turn these fibres into pellets in a way that does not damage the fibres. The patented wood-fibre process, which includes the use of


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


selected additives, will enable wood fibres to compete in the future with higher priced fibres such as hemp, or flax - or even glass fibres - in higher performance moulded bioplastic applications.

Summary Scion’s approaches to bioplastic products have as a key point of difference a focus on utilising non-food resources such as those from forestry, and from a wide range of waste streams or other reject materials. It is not just about plant pots and ground pegs as end products – several other product development projects with industry (New Zealand and international) are being progressed. Scion’s bioplastics technologies, which are based on, or incorporate, waste derived polymers, through various modification technologies, could be used to make furniture parts, electronic/appliance parts or casings, packaging - virtually any use conventional plastic is put to. Scion has researched a wide spectrum of biomass wastes and natural resources and has evaluated their suitabilities to plastics processes. Scientists have then developed modifications or treatments of such wastes to enable their use in common plastic processes such as extrusion or injection moulding. Discovering what ‘biomass’ wastes are best suited for what product or performance attribute is part of the fun. Some of them have definite potential. Some have none at all (at present!).

Sofitel Hotel, Munich, Germany 3-4 December 2008

Now in its 10th year, European Plastics News Bioplastics Conference is the place to gain an independent viewpoint on the state of bio-sourced polymer capabilities and markets. Cut beneath the hype and get the critical information to decide whether the Bioplastics option makes sense for your business, and whether the biosourced route will improve your environmental position.

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For sponsorship opportunities Levent Tounjer on +44 (0) 20 8253 9626 or email

The 3rd Annual Bioplastics Awards Dinner for developers, manufacturers and users of bio-based plastics will be held on 3 December - bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3



PHA from Switchgrass – a Non-Food-Source Alternative


cientists and engineers have been at it for years, trying to crack the code for an economically viable and agriculturally available resource that can be used as a feedstock to produce significant amounts of bioplastics. Research has been done with sugarcane, flax, cotton, tobacco, alfalfa, potato, oilseed, and of course, corn. Many of these resources have shown the potential for engineering into bioplastic, but none without sacrifice. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA - based Metabolix has been hard at work evaluating renewable solutions to help minimize the negative environmental impact of plastics and has had a breakthrough that promises to literally change the landscape of the industry.


“There is a need throughout the world, not only in the U.S. and Europe, to identify renewable resources that can be used as feedstocks in the production of plastics. It is a glaring truth that oil is not the answer, and so Metabolix and others are hard at work evaluating natural resources that can help to reduce the amount of petroleum and chemicals that go into plastics, lowering greenhouse gas emissions and reducing our carbon footprint,” commented Brian Igoe, VP and Chief Brand Officer of Metabolix, Inc. Metabolix is often viewed as one of the leaders in the bioplastics industry, primarily as it relates to its production of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) via the microbial fermentation of sugars. This first generation bioplastic, called Mirel, is a family of bioplastics created within the cells of engineered microbes. Mirel starts with corn sugar, as this is the most economic feedstock in the U.S., but the technology is adaptable for cane sugar in Brazil or even palm oil in Southeast Asia. What differentiates Mirel from other biobased plastics is its combination of high performance and biodegradability in a wide range of environments including soil, home compost, industrial compost, municipal waste treatment facilities, septic systems and even wetlands, rivers, and oceans. In the second quarter of 2009, Telles, the company’s 50-50 joint venture with Archer Daniels Midland, will begin producing 110 million pounds (approx. 50,000 tonnes) of Mirel bioplastic per year at a production facility being constructed now in Clinton, Iowa, USA.

Second Generation Bioplastics Over the last seven years, Metabolix scientists have been working to engineer the genetic pathways that would make it


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

Non-Food possible to produce bioplastics directly within biomass energy crops such as switchgrass. In August the company announced a promising development in its research of these biomass crops, validating its business model to co-produce both bioenergy and bioplastic from a single biomass source - switchgrass. Switchgrass, commonly known as prairie grass, is a naturally abundant crop, capable of growing throughout much of the U.S. and Europe. Dense growth, multiple harvests and versatile growing conditions have previously made the grass a highly attractive resource for the production of biofuels, namely cellulosic ethanol. The co-production of high-value bioplastics within this bioenergy crop was seen as a key driver in the economics of the system. The U.S. Department of Energy saw the value and awarded Metabolix $7.4 million in 2001 for their research. Although the company concedes that commercial-scale production of plastic inside switchgrass is still a number of years away, the results of their research show proof that such a concept is in fact viable.


Lab and greenhouse trials by Metabolix have resulted in a yield of 3.72% dry weight PHB in the leaves and 1.23% dry weight in the switchgrass plant as a whole. Researchers aim to yield about 7.5% dry weight from the plant, a benchmark that would be economical for full scale commercial production. “To understand the economics of this initiative, we’ve calculated that at just a 3% plastic yield, the amount of switchgrass that would be used to produce 100 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol would also yield 100 million pounds of PHA bioplastic,” said Oliver Peoples, Ph.D., co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Metabolix. A detailed scientific paper on the technology, titled ‘Production of polyhydroxybutyrate in switchgrass, a valueadded coproduct in an important lignocellulosic biomass crop,’ was recently published in Plant Biotechnology Journal. Beyond switchgrass, Metabolix has also announced ongoing research in developing bioplastics inside sugarcane and oilseed crops.

Stained switchgrass leaf

Metabolix PHA bioplastic from switchgrass will expand the platform of their Mirel corn-based bioplastic. PHA from switchgrass could provide tremendous volume potential, and could also be blended with Mirel for some applications. “The goal of our research was to successfully execute the first multi-gene expression pathway in switchgrass which would allow for the co-production of bioplastic directly within the biomass crop, significantly increasing the economics while demonstrating that we can engineer other characteristics of the crop as well,” said Kristi Snell, Ph.D., Director of Plant Science at Metabolix. “We are pleased with the progress that has been made in this short amount of time and we feel that large scale commercial viability will be attainable in the near future.”

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3



Sustainable “Zoom-Zoom” with Non-Food-Based Bioplastic J apanese Mazda Motor Corporation will launch the “Mazda Bioplastic Project” together with Hiroshima University (see bM 04/08).

The non-food based bioplastic will be made from cellulosic biomass produced from inedible vegetation such as plant waste and wood shavings.

Seita Kanai, Mazda’s director and senior executive officer in charge of R&D, said, “Development of a non-food-based bioplastic made from sustainable plant resources has great potential in the fight against global warming, and can help allay global food supply concerns. Mazda is pleased to join forces with our regional partners as we work toward systematically combining various biomass technologies. Through this cooperation, we intend to strengthen Hiroshima’s position as a center for biomass research, and develop technology that can be used throughout the world.” Mazda’s previous research on biomass technology resulted in the world’s first high heat-resistant, high-strength bioplastic and the world’s first 100 percent plant-derived fabric for use in car seats. These two biomaterials are used in the interior of the Mazda Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid. Powered by Mazda’s hydrogen rotary engine mated to a hybrid system, the Premacy Hydrogen RE Hybrid is scheduled to start commercial leasing in Japan this year (see bM 02/08).

(Photo: Mazda)

Mazda began joint activities with the research department at Hiroshima University’s Graduate School of Engineering in 2005. This partnership’s comprehensive agreement on joint automotive technology research includes biomass technology. Going forward, Mazda plans to expand the collaborative research on biomass technologies and strengthen its relationship with Hiroshima University for multidisciplinary joint research. Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) will also participate in the bioplastic project as part of its ongoing agreement to collaborate on biomass research with Hiroshima University. In March 2007, Mazda announced its long-term vision for technology development, ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom’. This vision sets out Mazda’s commitment to advance safety and environmental technologies, which include biomass-related research, with the aim of realizing a sustainable society.


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


Situation in India Article contributed by Perses Bilimoria, Founder and CEO, Earthsoul India Pvt. Ltd. Mumbai, India

(Photo: Brasil2, iStockphoto)


It is paradoxical that India also boast’s of one of the largest poor and uneducated population in the world.

700 million tonnes of bio waste each year. Of this solid waste generated is nearly 40 million tonnes per year. So clearly there is a potential for waste to energy programmes and the use of bioplastics in packaging.

This combination makes a heady and almost lethal cocktail for waste generation, around the major cities of India. Some cities such as Mumbai (Bombay), the financial capital of India, has a population of over 15 million inhabitants, almost twice the size of the population of France.

Unfortunately, bioplastics have not been a cost effective alternative and are currently only serving the niche markets, mainly high end hotels and certain select organic foods outlets. Unfortunately, biopolymers are classified as synthetic polymers in the import code and the import duties are a staggering 35%.

India’s consumption of plastic in packaging, is around 3 million tonnes per year, the third highest in the world, growing at 20% per year.

However interestingly oxo-degradable products are finding themselves in a comfort zone in this country, where no certification guidelines are yet in place and the products are cheaply available.

ndia as everyone knows, has one of the world’s fastest growing economies, at around 7-8% per annum.

India, also has one of the highest recycling initiatives in the world, where nearly 67% of all plastic waste is recycled, in mainly, local community driven initiatives. Yet one will find the Indian countryside littered with commonly called ‘white snow’ or waste plastic litter. A large number of local State Governments have tried to impose complete bans on plastic bags or a regulation on minimum micron thickness, but, till now, there is no implementation to be effective. Various private, public and Government efforts have been started to prevent this from becoming a widespread disease, however, for most Indians the primary concern is earning their daily meal and not the enviroment. Hence, it is a challenge on how to motivate the poor to care for the enviroment and to build schemes where they could earn their livelyhood as well. Such schemes are being run successfully in many parts of India. The Government of India has also implemented a ‘solid waste management’ programme to deal with India’s

The potential for producing PLA from lactic acid monomer, via the sugar cane baggasse route is enormous, as is the potential to harness waste agro starches being produced in India on very large scales. A few companies have embarked on R&D in these areas. The areas for large scope of bioplastics would be plasticulture, flexible packaging, consumer goods and automobile and other accessories. Currently apart from my company, Earthsoul India, there appears to be only one other company in the biobased bioplastic field. I believe that the Indian market will be ready to embrace bioplastics in various applications within the next two years, more particularly in the field of agriculture and consumer goods. The demand for bioplastics in India, within the next 5 years could be approximately 100,000 tonnes provided manufacturing facilities are set up within the country to make the product affordable.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3



Carbon and Environmental Footprint of PLA Products Sunlight energy

CO2 + H2O  (CH2O)x + O2


1 year

1 - 10 yrs

Polymers, Chemicals & Fuels

try dus

l in

a mic


-c Bio

NEW Carbon Biomass/Agricultural Crops

Chemical Industry

> 106 yrs

Fossil Recources petroleum, natural gas coal OLD Carbon ZERO CARBON FOOTPRINT Intrinsic ‚Value Proposition‘

NEW (Renewable) Carbon Foodstock vs OLD (Fossil) Carbon Foodstock

Fig 1: Global Carbon Cycling Carbon Management Nature’s Way

Carbon Foodprint kg of CO2 per 100 kg of plastic

350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0



PP (85.71%c)

Fig. 2: Intrinsic value proposition for ‘Bio’ feedstock

Carbon Footprint Including Conversion 700 600

CO2 released during conversion Feedstock CO2 release

500 400 300 200 100 0



PP (85.71%c)

Fig. 3: Intrinsic Value Proposition for ‘Bio’ feedstock (Source: E. Vink et. al.)


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


ioplastics like PLA use renewable (bio) carbon, and therefore provide an intrinsic reduced carbon footprint depending on the amount of renewable carbon in the product. This fundamental principle and concept behind the use of bio(renewable) feedstocks for reducing the carbon footprint is not captured or calculated in the many LCA’s reported or if it is, then it is lumped together with other related carbon emissions and the ‘intrinsic value proposition’ is lost. The intrinsic ‘zero carbon’ value proposition is best explained by reviewing and understanding Nature’s Biological Carbon Cycle (see bM 01/2007). Nature cycles carbon through various environmental compartments with specific mass, rates, and time scales (see fig 1). Carbon is present in the atmosphere as CO2, essentially as inorganic carbon. The current levels of CO2 are around 380 ppm. CO2 is a life sustaining, heat trapping gas, and needs to be maintained at or around current levels to maintain life-sustaining temperature of the planet. While, one may debate the severity of effects associated with this or any other target level of CO2, there can be no disagreement that uncontrolled, continued increase in levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will result in global warming and with it associated severity of effects affecting life on this planet as we know it. It is therefore prudent and necessary to try and maintain current levels – the ‘neutral or zero carbon’ approach. This can best be done by using annually renewable biomass crops as feedstocks to manufacture our carbon based products, so that the CO2 released from the end-of-life of the product after use is captured by planting new crops or biomass in the next season. Specifically the rate of CO2 release to the environment at end-of-life equals the rate of CO2 fixation photo synthetically by the next generation biomass planted – a ‘neutral or zero carbon’ foot print. In the case of fossil feedstocks, the rate of carbon fixation is in millions of years while the end-of-life release rate into the environment is in 1-10 years – the math is simple, this is not sustainable and results in more CO2 release than fixation, resulting in a increased carbon footprint with its associated severe environmental impacts. Thus, for every 100 kg of polyolefin (polyethylene, propylene) or polyester manufactured from a fossil

Article contributed by Ramani Narayan, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University Department of chemical engineering & materials science

feedstock, there is an intrinsic net 314 kg CO2 (85.7% fossil carbon) or 229 kg of CO2 (62.5% fossil carbon) released into the environment respectively at end-of-life. However, if the polyester or polyolefin is manufactured from a biofeedstock, the net release of CO2 into the environment is zero because the CO2 released is fixed immediately by the next biomass cycle. This is the fundamental intrinsic value proposition for using a bio/renewable feedstock and is totally lost or ignored during LCA discussions. Incorporating biocontent into plastic resins and products would have a positive impact ­ – reducing the carbon footprint by the amount of biocarbon incorporated, for example incorporating 30% biocarbon PLA content into a fossil based polypropylene resin would intrinsically reduce CO2 emissions by 42%. These are significant environmental value gains for the biobased product. It is equally important to note that in the conversion of the feedstock to product and in its use and ultimate disposal, ‘carbon’ in the form of energy is needed and releases CO2 into the environment. Currently, in the conversion of biofeedstocks to product, for example corn to PLA resin, fossil carbon energy is used. The CO2 released per 100 kg of plastic during the conversion process for biofeedstocks as compared to fossil feedstock is in many cases higher, as in the case of PLA. However, in the PLA case, the total (net) CO2 released to the environment taking into account the intrinsic carbon footprint as discussed in the earlier paragraph is lower, and will continue to get even better, as process efficiencies are incorporated and renewable energy is substituted for fossil energy (see fig 3, these are actual data from Vink et al, and the APME database). For PLA and other biobased products, it is important to calculate the conversion ‘carbon costs’ using LCA tools, and ensure that the intrinsic ‘neutral or zero carbon’ footprint is not negated by the conversion ‘carbon costs’ and the net value is lower than the product being replaced from feedstock to product or resin manufacture.

Biocarbon content determination: In order to calculate the intrinsic CO2 reductions from incorporating biocarbon content, one has to identify and quantify the biobased carbon content.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


Basics effect. However, landfills are not the preferred end-of-life As shown in figure below, 14C signature forms the basis option for any waste, and efforts at all levels are underway for identifying and quantifying biboased content. The CO2 14 to divert waste from landfills to making more useful in the atmosphere is in equilibrium with radioactive CO2. product. Radioactive carbon is formed in the upper atmosphere through the effect of cosmic ray neutrons on 14N. It is It is also important to note that biodegradability is many rapidly oxidized to radioactive 14CO2, and enters the Earth‘s times erroneously assumed for all biobased plastics. plant and animal lifeways through photosynthesis and the Not all biobased plastics are biodegradable, and not all food chain. Plants and animals which utilise carbon in biodegradable plastics biobased. Furthermore, the use of biological foodchains take up 14C during their lifetimes. the term biodegradability is very misleading and deceptive They exist in equilibrium with the 14C concentration of if one does not define the disposal environment and the the atmosphere, that is, the numbers of C-14 atoms and time to be completely assimilated by the microorganisms non-radioactive carbon atoms stays approximately the present in the disposal environment. Harnessing the power same over time. As soon as a plant or animal dies, they of microorganisms present in the disposal environment cease the metabolic function of carbon uptake; there is to completely (the key word being completely) remove no replenishment of radioactive carbon, only decay. Since the plastic/product from the environment via microbial the half life of carbon is around 5730 years, the fossil assimilation (essentially food for the microorganisms) is a feedstocks formed over millions of years will have no 14C safe, efficacious, and environmentally responsible way to Carbon Footprint Including Conversion signature. Thus, by using this methodology one can identify handle our waste products – the concept of biodegradable 700and quantify biobased content. ASTM subcommittee plastics. However, one must demonstrate complete D20.96 codifiedduring this methodology CO2has released coversion into a test method feedstock removal in release one year or less via microbial assimilation in CO2 600(D 6866) to quantify biobased content. D6866 test method the selected disposal environment as codified in any of involves combusting the test material in the presence of the ASTM D6400, EN 13432, and ISO 17088 standards. As oxygen to produce carbon dioxide (CO ) gas. The gas is 2 500 reported by us, and clearly documented in literature, there analyzed to provide a measure of the products. 14C/12C is serious health and environmental effects if there is not content is determined relative to the modern carboncomplete removal (biodegradation) of the plastic from the 400 based oxalic acid radiocarbon standard reference material environmental compartment. (SRM) 4990c, (referred to as HOxII). In summary, reporting the carbon and environmental 300 End-of-Life Option: footprint of PLA, PLA based products, and similar bioplastics and biodegradable plastics requires a clear PLA, PLA blends and similar biobased plastics end-of200 understanding of the intrinsic carbon value proposition, the life scenario involves recycling, waste to energy plants or use of biocarbon content to quantify this value proposition biological disposal systems like composting or anaerobic 100 and the appropriate use of LCA tools to report on the total digestion. In each case, the biocarbon conversion to CO2 environmental footprint. is fixed by the next season biomass plantation giving it the 0intrinsic value proposition as discussed in detail earlier. (fromPPa(85.71%c) presentation at the 1st PLA World Congress, Starch PET However, many LCA studies show landfills as an end-of-life 9-10 Sept. Munich, Germany) Fig 3option for PLA and similar biobased plastics. The studies assume breakdown of the biocomponent anaerobically to methane with its attendant negative global warming

Biocarbon content determination: 14



CO2 Solar radiation Biomass/biobased feedstocks CO2


( CH2O)x


C signature forms the basis to identify and quantify biobased content -- ASTM D6366


( CH2O)x 6

> 10 years

Fossil feedstocks -- Petroleum, Natural gas, Coal 12

( CH2)x Biocarbon content


bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


( CHO)x

1. Ramani Narayan, Biobased & Biodegradable Polymer Materials: Rationale, Drivers, and Technology Exemplars; ACS (an American Chemical Society publication) Symposium Ser. 939, Chapter 18, pg 282, 2006; Polymer Preprints (American Chemical Society, Division of Polymer Chemistry) (2005), 46(1), 319-320 2. Ramani Narayan, Rationale, Drivers, Standards, and Technology for Biobased Materials; Ch 1 in Renewable Resources and Renewable Energy, Ed Mauro Graziani & Paolo Fornasiero; CRC Press, 2006 3. R Narayan, Proceedings ‘Plastics From Renewable Resources’ GPEC 2005 Global Plastics Environmental Conference Creating Sustainability for the Environment, February 23-25, 2005


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Suppliers Guide

1.3 PLA

1.6 masterbatches

3.1.1 cellulose based films

1. Raw Materials

BASF SE Global Business Management Biodegradable Polymers Carl-Bosch-Str. 38 67056 Ludwigshafen, Germany Tel. +49-621 60 43 878 Fax +49-621 60 21 694

Division of A&O FilmPAC Ltd 7 Osier Way, Warrington Road GB-Olney/Bucks. MK46 5FP Tel.: +44 1234 88 88 61 Fax: +44 1234 888 940 1.4 starch-based bioplastics

PolyOne Avenue Melville Wilson, 2 Zoning de la Fagne 5330 Assesse Belgium Tel.: + 32 83 660 211

INNOVIA FILMS LTD Wigton Cumbria CA7 9BG England Contact: Andy Sweetman Tel.: +44 16973 41549 Fax: +44 16973 41452 4. Bioplastics products

1.1 bio based monomers

Sukano Products Ltd. Chaltenbodenstrasse 23 CH-8834 Schindellegi Phone +41 44 787 57 77 BIOTEC Biologische +41 44 787 57 78 Naturverpackungen GmbH & Co. KG Fax Du Pont de Nemours International S.A. Werner-Heisenberg-Straße 32 46446 Emmerich 2, Chemin du Pavillon, PO Box 50 2. Additives / Germany CH 1218 Le Grand Saconnex, Secondary raw materials Phone: +49 2822 92510 Geneva, Switzerland Fax: +49 2822 51840 Phone: + 41(0) 22 717 5428 Fax: + 41(0) 22 717 5500 1.2 compounds

Plantic Technologies GmbH Heinrich-Busold-Straße 50 D-61169 Friedberg BIOTEC Biologische Naturverpackungen GmbH & Co. KG Germany Tel: +49 6031 6842 650 Werner-Heisenberg-Straße 32 Tel: +44 794 096 4681 (UK) 46446 Emmerich Fax: +49 6031 6842 656 Germany Phone: +49 2822 92510 Fax: +49 2822 51840 1.5 PHA

FKuR Kunststoff GmbH Siemensring 79 D - 47 877 Willich Tel.: +49 (0) 2154 9251-26 Tel.: +49 (0) 2154 9251-51

Transmare Compounding B.V. Ringweg 7, 6045 JL Roermond, The Netherlands Phone: +31 (0)475 345 900 Fax: +31 (0)475 345 910


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Du Pont de Nemours International S.A. 2, Chemin du Pavillon, PO Box 50 CH 1218 Le Grand Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland Phone: + 41(0) 22 717 5428 Fax: + 41(0) 22 717 5500 3. Semi finished products

Arkhe Will Co., Ltd. 19-1-5 Imaichi-cho, Fukui 918-8152 Fukui, Japan Tel. +81-776 38 46 11 Fax +81-776 38 46 17

3.1 films

Huhtamaki Forchheim Herr Manfred Huberth Zweibrückenstraße 15-25 91301 Forchheim Tel. +49-9191 81305 Telles, Metabolix – ADM joint venture Fax +49-9191 81244 Mobil +49-171 2439574 650 Suffolk Street, Suite 100 Lowell, MA 01854 USA Tel. +1-97 85 13 18 00 Fax +1-97 85 13 18 86

Tianan Biologic No. 68 Dagang 6th Rd, Beilun, Ningbo, China, 315800 Tel. +86-57 48 68 62 50 2 Fax +86-57 48 68 77 98 0

alesco GmbH & Co. KG Schönthaler Str. 55-59 D-52379 Langerwehe Sales Germany: +49 2423 402 110 Sales Belgium: +32 9 2260 165 Sales Netherlands: +31 20 5037 710 //

Maag GmbH Leckingser Straße 12 58640 Iserlohn Germany Tel.: + 49 2371 9779-30 Fax: + 49 2371 9779-97 Sidaplax UK : +44 (1) 604 76 66 99 Sidaplax Belgium: +32 9 210 80 10 Plastic Suppliers: +1 866 378 4178

Forapack S.r.l Via Sodero, 43 66030 Poggiofi orito (Ch), Italy Tel. +39-08 71 93 03 25 Fax +39-08 71 93 03 26

Minima Technology Co., Ltd. Esmy Huang, Marketing Manager No.33. Yichang E. Rd., Taipin City, Taichung County 411, Taiwan (R.O.C.) Tel. +886(4)2277 6888 Fax +883(4)2277 6989 Mobil +886(0)982-829988 Skype esmy325

natura Verpackungs GmbH Industriestr. 55 - 57 48432 Rheine Tel.: +49 5975 303-57 Fax: +49 5975 303-42

Events Oct. 3-5, 2008 EcoInnovAsia 2008: An International Conference on Biofuel and Bioplastics organized by National Innovation Agency (Thailand) Bangkok, Thailand

Wiedmer AG - PLASTIC SOLUTIONS 8752 Näfels - Am Linthli 2 SWITZERLAND Phone: +41(0) 55 618 44 99 Fax: +41(0) 55 618 44 98

Oct. 6-8, 2008 The Future of Biopolymer | Symposium 2008 IntertechPira Chicago, IL, USA

5. Traders 6. Machinery & Molds

Uhde Inventa-Fischer GmbH Holzhauser Str. 157 - 159 13509 Berlin Germany Tel. +49 (0)30 43567 5 Fax +49 (0)30 43567 699 8. Ancillary equipment 9. Services

polymedia consult Bioplastics Consulting Tel. +49(0)2161 664864

Marketing - Exhibition - Event Tel. +49(0)2359-2996-0

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Oct. 7-10, 2008 International Symposium on Polymers and the Environment: Emerging Technology And Science Co-Hosted by the BioEnvironmental Polymer Society and the Biodegradable Products Institute Radisson Hotel Nashua | Nashua, New Hampshire, USA

Oct. 13-15, 2008 Third International Conference on Technology & Application of Biodegradable and Biobased Plastics (ICTABP3) Bejing, China

Oct. 21, 2008 Biodegradable Plastics International Conference during Expoquimia - Equiplast Fair Barcelona, Spain

November 5-6, 2008 3rd European Bioplastics Conference Hotel Maritim | Berlin, Germany Nov. 11, 2008 Kunstsof en rubber masterclass - Thema Biopolymeren Kasteel Montfoort, The Netherlands

December 3-4, 2008 Bioplastics 2008 with Bioplastics Awards Sofitel Munich | Munich, Germany December 3-4, 2008 Internationaler Kongress Rohstoffwende & Biowerkstoffe Maritim Hotel Köln Cologne, Germany www.rohstoffwende.dee

January 21-22, 2009 The Permanent Oil Crisis - Challenges and Opportunities Amsterdam RAI Congress Centre Amsterdam, the Netherlands

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7. Plant engineering

Oct. 7-8, 2008 BioKunststoffe Automobil von morgen Universität Duisburg-Essen, Germany

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MANN+HUMMEL ProTec GmbH Stubenwald-Allee 9 64625 Bensheim, Deutschland Tel. +49 6251 77061 0 Fax +49 6251 77061 510


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FAS Converting Machinery AB O Zinkgatan 1/ Box 1503 27100 Ystad, Sweden Tel.: +46 411 69260

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bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


Companies in this issue Company


Alcan Alesco Arkema Arkhe Will BASF Bayern Innovativ Biopearls bioplastics 24 Biotec Brückner Maschinenbau Cereplast Clariant Masterbatches Cool Change Natural Water Coopbox CSM DuPont EarthSoul India European Bioplastics European Plastics News FAS Converting Machinery FH Hannover FKuR Fonti di Vinadio Forapack Fraunhofer Inst. Appl. Polym. Res. Fraunhofer UMSICHT German Bioplastics Global Business Solutions Good Water Hallink HappYwater


Advert 44

7 44 2, 44 27 8 41 44 8 8 8 14 8 5 8 39

44 insert 35 45

8 8, 28 8, 12

44 44

5 28 5 12 16 45 8, 22



Hiroshima University Huhtamaki Innovia KHS Plasmax Ki-Si-Co Maag Mann + Hummel Protech Mazda Messe München (Materialica) Metabolic Explorer Metabolix Michigan State University minima technology natura packaging NatureWorks Nova Insitut Novamont Novatein NürnbergMesse (BRAU) Pioneer Plantic plasticker Plastics Suppliers Polyfilms Polymediaconsult PolyOne Primo Water Principia Purac Pyramdi Bioplastics Pyramid Industries Sant‘Anna Scion Sidaplax Sukano Sulzer Chemtech Synbra Teamburg / TransFair Telles Tianan Biologic Toray Toyo Seikan Kaisha Transmare Uhde Inventa Fischer Universität Kassel University of Waikato Wageningen University Research Centre WaikatoLink Wiedmer


Next Issue For the next issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE (among others) the following subjects are scheduled:




Next issues:

Films, Flexibles, Bags Paper Coating

Home Composting


November 2008


January/February 2009


March/April 2009

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

Advert 44 44

26 18 44 45 38 33 6 36 8, 40 44 44, 47 8, 13, 14, 20 15 48 31 17 10 5

44 41 44

8 8 20

45 44 7

6, 8 5 5 8, 12 32 44 44 6, 8 6 36

45 44 44

10 24 5, 8

44 21, 45

30 8 31 45


Plantic to Establish European Manufacturing Operation Australian Plantic Technologies Limited, manufacturer of biodegradable polymers made from starch for packaging and other applications, has announced that it will build a manufacturing plant in Jena, the second largest city in the state of Thuringia, Germany. Plantic will receive a grant from the German Government, which is expected to contribute up to 45% towards capital investment in developing the European plant. This funding contribution will assist Plantic in establishing its operations in a growing bioplastics market and is an indication of Germany’s overarching commitment to the environment. Plantic Technologies already exports rigid sheet product from Australia to European thermoforming contractors and, finally, to packaging manufacturers for supply to brand owners in the UK and Continental Europe. Based on Plantic’s success to date, the company now plans to establish a manufacturing presence in Europe with the aim to deliver greater value to customers. In phase one of a two phase strategy, Plantic will establish, by the first quarter of 2009, a thermoforming operation in a newly leased factory in Jena. This operation will allow for rapid prototyping, more efficient customer trials, and increased production capacity. This will accelerate Plantic’s entry into the European thermoforming market and, most importantly, further improve Plantic’s competitiveness and response to customers and brand owners. The total investment in this first phase, before subsidies, is €1.2 million. Once sufficient thermoforming volume is established, based on imported sheet, it is planned that a second phase of the strategy will be implemented by installing rigid sheet production. This strategy will eliminate sea freight, thereby streamlining the supply chain and, ultimately, lowering Plantic’s production costs. Extruded Plantic® materials will not only be utilized by Plantic’s thermoforming business, but also by third party thermoformers and processors. Mr. Brendan Morris, Chief Executive Officer, Plantic Technologies Limited, commented, “Plantic’s decision to establish a manufacturing operation in Europe is a very important and exciting development, not only for the Plantic team, but for all Plantic stakeholders.

Packaging, Textile & Eng. Plastics


Advanced Technology Scenario 0,6

Packaging & Textile Base Scenario

Packaging 0,3

Application of High Performance PLA (PLA Stereokomplex)

Mio. t/a 2006



Market and Application Development (Worldwide)

PLA Production to be Established in Germany During the 1st PLA World Congress (9-10 Sept. in Munich, Germany) Bernd Merzenich, CEO of Pyramid Bioplastics from Guben, Germany estimated a market potential of biopolymers in packaging applications: If 5 percent of all plastic packaging materials would be substituted by biopolymers until 2015, for Europe alone this would mean almost 1,000,000 tons per year. At least 30 percent of these biopolymer packaging applications – according to Bernd Merzenich – can be made of PLA, which amounts to approx. 300,000 tons per year. And there is substantially more potential for PLA applications in consumer electronics, in the automotive sector or in textiles and nonwovens. Within this dynamic perspective Pyramid Bioplastics, a partnership of Pyramid Technologies of Switzerland and German Bioplastics of Germany, is establishing a production facility for the biopolymer PLA in Guben, a city on the German-Polish border in eastern Brandenburg. Based on the technology of Uhde Inventa-Fischer, an initial capacity of 60.000 tons per year will be realised. According to Bernd Merzenich, Pyramid Bioplastics will produce PLA from non-GMO feedstocks. A first production unit, for which the plant engineering is in progress, will commence operations in the second half of 2009. Pyramid Bioplastics will polymerise its PLA from lactic acid made from sugar beets and sugar cane. These feedstocks achieve a much higher yield per hectare than e.g. corn or wheat. In cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute of Applied Polymer Research, Pyramid Bioplastics will also undertake significant activities in biopolymer research & development.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3


PLA-Biofoam Production to be Established in The Netherlands

Metabolic Explorer Bio-PDO Program Achievements and Schedules

Dutch company Purac (subsidiary of CSM) and Swiss Sulzer Chemtech have jointly developed a new cost effective polymerization process to produce high quality PLA. The new process relies upon proprietary and jointly developed polymerization and devolatilization technology to efficiently produce a range of PLA products from the specialty lactides supplied by Purac. Purac and Sulzer Chemtec signed a joint cooperation agreement for the development and sharing of this technology.

METabolic EXplorer has developed three costcompetitive bulk chemical production programs for which the company has already created tailored cell factories. METabolic EXplorer, in 2007, started small with bio-production at lab scale and has more recently moved into the pre-industrial pilot phase for business partnerships.

Poly-Lactide (PLA) is a bioplastic made from biorenewable raw materials like carbo-hydrates. Purac offers the lactide monomers as polymerization feedstock and in cooperation with Sulzer the polymerization technology to make PLA. This offering will significantly reduce the process and product development time thereby enabling faster and more reliable market entry for PLA producers. The new process requires substantially less investment and has unmatched potential for economic scale-up to high volumes. The first plant to use this new technology will be built by Synbra in the Netherlands for the production of BIOFOAM®, a foamed product made from this PLA, complementary to their wide range of polystyrene foam products offered today. The new plant with a capacity of 5,000 tons/year is targeted to be operational by the end of 2009. Synbra intends to assume a leading position in Europe as supplier of biologically degradable polymers from renewable sources and plans to expand the PLA capacity to 50,000 ton/year. By the end of 2008, a demonstration and product development plant will be available exclusively to partners of Purac, to facilitate both product and process development to meet various application and customer demands. The demonstration plant will be located at Sulzer Chemtec in Winterthur, Switzerland.

bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

 1,3 Propanediol (PDO), Butanol and 1,2 Propanediol (MPG) METabolic EXplorer’s bioprocesses applied to renewable feedstock enables the company to achieve a cost reduction of over 30% when compared to the existing chemical process.  1,3 Propanediol (bio-PDO) produced with a purity superior to 99.5% is a cost competitive alternative to other sources of PDO. This non-petroleum specialty glycol can also serve the coatings and resins industry.  Butanol where METabolic EXplorer is more focused on the chemical intermediate in plastic or acrylic industries markets.

The METEX bio-PDO program is on schedule: After announcing that they have been granted that a licensed patent in the U.S.A. (Patent No US 7,267,972) in January 2008, METabolic EXplorer obtained the first samples of one of its proprietary products, PDO (1,3-propanediol) in May of this year. These samples, with a purity above 99,5%, have been produced by fermentation of crude, industrial glycerol (83%purity grade), followed by a proprietary, patent-protected purification step. By the end of 2008, the company will have produced quantitative samples of PDO for testing and qualification purposes. And in the second semester of 2009, a significant piloting plant (which will be large enough to prove the industrial and business feasibility of Metex PDO technology) will be running for bio-PDO, using proprietary fermentation and purification processes from industrial crude glycerine.


Arkema Introduces New PLA Processing Lubricant Arkema Inc. has added a new metal release lubricant to its Biostrength® impact modifier line of additives for biopolymers. Intended for use in extrusion, injection molding and calendaring of PLA and other biopolymers, new Biostrength 900 metal release lubricant enables more consistent processing of PLA. A small amount of Biostrength 900 metal release lubricant enables a wider processing window during the processing of PLA, leading to lower scrap rates. Variations in processing temperatures and shear are minimized with the addition of Biostrength 900 metal release lubricant, enabling injection molding and calendaring operations that previously were problematic in the processing of PLA. “I’m pleased that Arkema’s talented team of scientists and application development engineers has developed a product with release properties that can enable the market expansion of PLA into more challenging processing environments,” said Peggy Schipper, commercial development business manager of Arkema’s Functional Additives business. “This product is a nice addition to our Biostrength line of impact modifiers and melt strength enhancers and fits well with our strategy to provide our customers additives that contribute to increasing the use of polymers made from renewable resources.”

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A new world requires a new way of thinking In a world where depletion of natural resources is an ever growing concern, compostable packaging is rapidly gaining ground as the sensible alternative to its traditional counterparts. In this relatively new industry, Natura Packaging has been at the forefront from the beginning, providing the world with sustainable packaging solutions since 1995. A dedicated service provider, we translate packaging questions into practical answers - from preliminary counsellingto actual product delivery. So go for a new way of thinking. Enjoy the benefits of unrivalled experience. Choose Natura Packaging.

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bioplastics MAGAZINE is the only independent trade magazine worldwide dedicated to bioplastics


bioplastics MAGAZINE is the only independent trade magazine worldwide dedicated to bioplastics