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Materials News

Production of biodegradable materials, a work in progress Environmental wastes need to be managed; and non-renewable resources (like fossil fuel) need to be preserved. These are but a few of the basis why the industry has nurtured an appetite for degradable plastics made from renewable sources, says Angelica Buan, in this report on a roundup of the latest developments.

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hen the first generation polyolefin starchbased plastics introduced in the early 1990s failed to deliver its claim of degradability, let alone break down faster than non-biodegradables, an important lesson was learnt, that there is still more work to be done to achieve a nearly perfect biodegradable material. Thus, experts and industry players are working together to discover more breakthrough materials that meet degradability expectations, with new materials developed to offer consumers a choice for sustainable products.

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also preservered to keep the production in Sweden, and resorted to recycling and re-using of boxes as well as easy designed packages. In a similar vein, Italian TPE maker API, which was acquired by materials company Trinseo in July 2017, has introduced a broadened portfolio of its Apinat bioplastics for single-serve coffee capsules, in a respite to the growing production of non-recyclable capsules, expected to reach 17 billion capsules by end of 2020.

Green TPEs make the cut for cups and capsules With the ‘green thinking’ rooted among Scandinavian and Nordic countries, Hexpol TPE offers biobased TPE and now Wildo Sweden is using it in its Fold-A-Cup camping cup. Hexpol TPE says it is continuing to trial new and emerging raw material combinations and further test the possibilities of its Dryflex Green TPE compounds. Because requirements vary for each application, there is a need for highly customised formulations, it said. Together with Wildo, it developed a bespoke Dryflex Green TPE compound for the Fold-A-Cup and required it to display the correct behaviour during repeated folding and opening of the cup, to be flexible, yet rigid enough to withstand temperatures from hot or cold drinks. Other considerations were haptics and food contactcompliancy. Wildo’s history started more than 35 years ago when it developed the Fold-A-Cup and Camp-A-Box reusable outdoor utensils. At that time, it was pioneer in contrast to the buy and throw away-thought as well as the heavy options that were around. It has

API launched new grades of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics, including TPE-E and TPC for compostable coffee capsules. It says Apinat boasts mechanical and thermal characteristics during the brewing process and can easily substitute conventional plastics. The new grades are suitable both for injection moulding and continuous compression moulding. The US FDA and EU food contact-compliant plastic grades are based on 60% to more than 90% of renewable resources, API stated. It also conforms to biodegradability standards of the European Bioplastics Association and standards like EU13432/EN14995 and US ASTM D6400.

Wildo Sweden is using Hexpol's TPE in its Fold-ACup camping cup

Crustacean biomaterial subs plastic laminates Penn State University researchers have developed an inexpensive biomaterial that can be used to replace plastic barrier coatings in packaging and many other applications.

OCTOBER 2017

API has developed biodegradable coffee capsules

PRA October 2017 Issue