Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

AWB and BASF start pilot project with compostable bags for biodegradable waste in the district of Bad Dürkheim, Germany

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BASF’s biodegradable plastic Ecovio® FS Film is being used in a pilot project by the waste management service AWB, in the district of Bad Dürkheim, Germany. Starting on April 6, 2011, a three-month test will be conducted to determine whether the bags are suitable for collecting organic waste and how these bags behave on a large scale at an organic composting plant in Grünstadt owned by the waste management company GML Abfallwirtschaftsgesellschaft mbH.

At the beginning of the project, each of the approximately 65,000 households in the district of Bad Dürkheim will receive 10 bags free of charge by mail along with information material. Additional bags will be available at a number of distribution points throughout the district. Residents are encouraged to use the bags to collect food waste and then dispose of them via the organic waste bin. Garbage bags made of Ecovio make the collection and disposal of biodegradable waste cleaner, more hygienic and easier: They not only prevent unpleasant odors and keep out insects, but also mean that it is no longer necessary to wash and clean the waste pail in the kitchen. Thanks to the excellent wet strength of the bags, liquids from teabags or fruit leftovers cannot leak through and the bags remain stable. The bags are not suitable for home composting; industrial composting plants, however, provide the conditions needed to ensure residue-free degradation.

The seedling logo that is printed on the bags indicates that the bags as well as the products Ecovio and Ecoflex meet the stringent statutory requirements of European standard EN 13432 which governs the biodegradation and the compostability of packaging. “In addition, an extensive series of tests conducted by BASF at the organic composting plant in Grünstadt at the end of 2009 has demonstrated that the bags are also well-suited for the short cycle times of professional composting plants. Of the plastic bags tested, only organic waste bags made from Ecovio were degraded completely and quickly enough,” explained Jürgen Keck, head of the global business with biodegradable plastics at BASF in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

The residents of Bad Dürkheim district: an integral part of a project partnership

The field test that is now starting goes one step further and examines whether such bags are also appropriate in large quantities in the daily routine of a composting plant. Another important aspect is whether the bags are well accepted and pass the test in the residents’ kitchens.

For this pilot project, BASF and the Bad Dürkheim waste management service AWB are cooperating with additional partners: the Weltplast company is producing the organic waste bags using Ecovio granules provided free-of-charge by BASF, while GML and Veolia Umweltservice GmbH are carrying out the actual composting at the Grünstadt organic composting plant. The independent consulting company IBK-Solutions will be monitoring the project and performing the scientific evaluation. Once the project has been concluded, all of the companies involved and the local residents will be informed about the results. Should the pilot project be successful, then the bags will be permanently approved and made available throughout the district of Bad Dürkheim.

Biodegradable plastics: Ecovio and Ecoflex

Whereas the first Ecovio products made use of BASF’s classic, oil-based biodegradable polyester Ecoflex®, Ecovio FS Film is a new development. This material is made of the partially bio-based Ecoflex FS and PLA (polylactic acid), which is obtained from corn starch. Thanks to this combination, the bags used in the Bad Dürkheim project consist of more than 50 percent renewable raw materials. Like the biodegradable waste itself, the Ecovio molecules are broken down by microorganisms with the aid of enzymes. The decisive factor for this degradation process is the structure of the molecule, not the origin of the raw materials. At the end of the composting process, the microorganisms completely convert the bags into carbon dioxide, water and biomass. This is a key advantage in terms of waste recovery since the waste disposal companies do not have to remove the bags laboriously. On the contrary, the bags are turned into valuable compost together with the rest of the biodegradable waste. Ecovio bags can thus help to reduce the volume of biodegradable waste in residual waste bins, protect the environment and reduce the cost of disposing of residual waste.

Additional information about the bioplastic Ecovio® is available at Here, you can also view a short film about the composting experiment that was conducted in Grünstadt in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate in 2009.



During a three-month pilot project beginning on April 6th, 2011, the waste management service AWB in the district of Bad Dürkheim, Germany, will test whether organic waste bags made from BASF’s biodegradable plastic Ecovio® FS Film are suitable for everyday household use and how the bags behave on a large scale in the Grünstadt organic composting plant. The compostable waste bags will be disposed of together with organic waste in the organic waste bin. In the composting plant the bags do not have to be removed and can be composted together with the organic waste to yield compost. Ecovio organic waste bags can thus help to protect the environment and reduce the cost.



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Rennovia, Inc., a California-based startup founded in 2009, is developing advanced
chemo-catalytic processes for the conversion of renewable feedstocks to major market drop-in biobased chemicals. According to Rennovia’s CEO, Dr. Robert Wedinger, the company has successfully developed a process for its first target, adipic acid, using a proprietary chemo-catalytic conversion platform. Adipic acid is a monomer widely used in the production of nylon resins and fibers as well as an
important component of polyurethane resins and foams.

Especially noteworthy, the projected cost of production of Rennovia’s biobased adipic acid is said to be below the cash-cost of conventional petro-derived adipic acid down to $50/bbl crude oil.

Even greater economies are potentially realizable because of the ability of Rennovia to diversify from their current carbohydrate feedstock source to lower cost nonfood-based raw materials.

In a presentation to be given at the upcoming BioPlastek 2011 Forum on Bioplastics Today and Tomorrow, Dr. Wedinger will outline Rennovia’s general approach to the cost-advantaged production of renewable chemicals, and describe plans for the scale-up and commercial production of renewable adipic acid.  The BioPlastek 2011 Forum will take place on June 27-29, 2011 at The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.

Rennovia’s adipic acid process technology is currently running in kg-scale pilot production, moving to commercial-demonstration scale in 2012. Dr. Wedinger attributes the rapid progress being made to the company’s high-throughput catalyst R&D platform. He maintains that because of its higher efficiency and scalability, chemo-catalysis is preferable to fermentation for many large-volume chemical manufacturing processes.

The BioPlastek 2011 Forum is being organized by Schotland Business Research, Inc. Sponsoring organizations include the Chemical Development & Marketing Association, the Product Development & Management Association, the Society of Plastics Engineers Automotive Division, and the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry (INDA).

Further program, hotel, exhibit and registration details on the BioPlastek 2011 Forum are found by visiting, the organizer’s website,




Cardia Bioplastics Launches Range of Certified Compostable Bags

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Cardia Bioplastics Limited announces the launch of its extensive range of certified compostable bag products that will be sold direct to the public or via authorised distributors in Australia and New Zealand. The new product range will be launched at Auspack Plus 2011, the leading trade fair of packaging, processing and plastics technology in Australasia.


Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director Dr Frank Glatz said "Our compostable products have been extensively tested and are certified by the major international testing authorities. We source our own raw materials, formulate and manufacture the resins using our proprietary technology and produce the bags at our state-of-the-art bag making facilities in Nanjing, China.  We give our customers full assurance that the Cardia Bioplastics bag products deliver highest performance, meet the prescribed international certifications standards and decompose safely in council organic waste management systems. Cardia Compostable bags meet the most demanding standards in the world. Belgium-based Organic Waste Systems independently tested our products and confirmed that they are not toxic to either plants or earthworms. In order to signal to consumers Cardia's commitment, we have used consistent, unique and easily recognisable branding across our Cardia Compostable bag range."

Recycling organics is vital if we are serious about reducing our eco-footprint and managing our waste sustainably.  Retailers and fresh food markets are increasingly promoting the use of compostable bags. Many councils now offer a Kitchen-to-Compost service, where food and garden organics are recycled together and turned into valuable compost. Compost can be used to replenish and remediate eroded soils and in farming. Unlike landfill, this is a sustainable waste management alternative that results in more positive, long-term environmental outcomes for our community and environment.

Cardia Bioplastics now offers a comprehensive range of compostable bags that are functional and easy-to-use.

Cardia Compostable bag range

Supplied in a range of sizes and gauges including:-

  • 8L and 30L Kitchen Tidy Bags;
  • 50L, 80L, 120L and 240L Garbage Bin Liners;
  • Shopping Carrier Bags, and
  • Dog Waste and Nappy Bags
Key features of Cardia Compostable bag products are
  • Biodegradable & compostable;
  • Unique "soft-touch" composition;
  • Functional and easy to use;
  • Superior in puncture, tear, heat and grease resistance;
  • Breathable and therefore great for controlling odour & dissipating moisture;
  • Ideal for collection of food waste
  • Supports local Council's domestic organic waste collection programs
  • Compliant with global standards for compostable plastics and independently certified to
  • ASTM D6400 (USA)
  • EN13432 (Europe)
  • AS4736 (Australia)

Cardia Compostable bags can be ordered from Cardia Bioplastics' via . The products can be delivered directly to customers or can be bought from authorised distributors around Australia and New Zealand. Cardia Bioplastics is actively seeking distributors to expand the service globally.


Zelfo® selected as "Bio-material of the year 2011"

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For the fourth time, the nova-Institute (Huerth, Germany) awarded the "Biomaterial of the Year 2011” at the International Congress on Bio-based Plastics and Composites in Cologne on March 15th 2011. As in the previous year, the company Coperion GmbH (Stuttgart), a leading manufacturer of twin screw extruders, sponsored the Innovation Award.


11-03-15 Award Zelfo

Before the congress, the five most interesting biomaterials had been nominated by an expert jury out of 14 applications. These ones were presented at the conference in front of an audience of 150 participants. The clear winner of the voting was the Biomaterial Zelfo®, which consists of specially treated micro-and nano-fibrillated cellulose fibers (MFC / NFC) and does not require any binder. The material can be used for a variety of applications such as musical instruments, furniture and, above all, boards. Producer is the German company OMODO® GmbH.

Selected for the second place was the material EcoCradleTM produced by the U.S. company Ecovative Design LLC, a foam-like material whose structure is formed by a fungus mycelium.

The 3rd place received a new family of starch polymers (GAÏALENE®) from the French company Roquette. From this material mainly durable packaging for food and cleaning products are produced.

All nominated and winning materials are available on the market since 2010 - a prerequisite for the award. More information is available on

The winners are as follows:
1) OMODO® GmbH, Germany: Zelfo®
The "Cellulose Optimization Resource Efficient (CORE)"-technology up-cycles cellulosic and ligno-cellulosic waste without the addition of any chemicals, catalysts or binders to create Zelfo®, a micro and nano-fibrillated cellulose fibre (MFC/NFC). Zelfo® can be formed into finished objects (bio-composites), or used as a bio-additive to improve plastic or paper material characteristics.
Biomass: Cellulose and ligno-cellulose biomass
URL: /

2) Ecovative Design LLC, USA: EcoCradleTM
EcoCradle is a low embodied-energy, compostable, protective packaging material that is literally grown into any custom shape and competes with petrochemical foams in terms of both performance and cost. The self-assembling bonds formed by mycelium (mushroom "roots”) produce this material as it grows around a substrate of regionally sourced agricultural byproducts.
Biomass: Agricultural byproducts, fungus mycelium

GAÏALENE® is a new "high-performance" range of bio-based plastics for packaging, which can compete in performance terms (mechanical, thermal, soft touch, etc.) with fossil-based plastics. GAÏALENE® resin is for lasting applications that usually use polyolefins, ABS and more technical polymers - with an excellent cost/efficiency profile.
Biomass: Starch


Ecover’s new fantastic Plant-astic!

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At Ecover, we’ve always been ones to do things a little differently. And although we’re anything but superficial, our latest breakthrough proves it’s not just what’s on the inside that counts…

Like you, we recognise that plastic packaging is a major problem - not only does it clutter up your home, the plastic is made from crude oil. It’s an increasingly scarce resource and we all know the problems associated with oil spills and pollution…. So for three years now we’ve been working to find a new, alternative packaging solution that starts to address some of these issues. We’re very proud of the results.

By harnessing the power of nature and applying a little clever science, we’ve implemented an innovative new PolyEthylene (PE) - a green plastic we call Plant-astic that’s 100% renewable, reusable and recyclable - and made from sugarcane! We’re so pleased with it that we’re making our bottles 100% Plant-astic. It’s also good to see that some other well-known brands are now thinking of following our lead – even if they initially only intend using up to 30% renewable plastic.

Manufacturing our new Plant-astic is unbelievably simple. Sugarcane is harvested to produce sugar, which is then fermented and distilled to produce ethanol. This ethanol is dehydrated to create ethylene, which is polymerized into Plant-astic. That’s really all there is to it.

Plant-astic is impressive in so many other ways. Because the sugarcane is grown and harvested in harmony with its natural environment, the nearby Amazonian rainforests remain unaffected. The entire production process is so efficient that we need only harvest 15 hectares of land to make a year’s worth of Ecover packaging.
We’re in the process of switching all of our packaging over, and from April, our bottles will be made from fantastic new Plant-astic. Of course, what’s on the inside is just as important as ever, so you can be sure that every bit of new packaging contains cleaning products that are incredibly efficient and supremely powerful.


Arkema is showcasing its Orgasol® and Oleris® product ranges at the In-Cosmetics 2011 trade fair

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At the upcoming In-Cosmetics 2011 tradeshow held in Milan from March 29 to 31, Arkema (Hall 1 - Stand N79) is presenting its full Orgasol® microporous powder range. For the first time, Arkema is also showcasing its Oleris® range derived from renewable raw materials.

100% biosourced and ultra pure, the Oleris® product range is used as intermediates in the synthesis of fragrances, and as components of cosmetics and personal care products.
With its expertise in the cosmetic market and its commitment to sustainable development, Arkema is expanding its ultrafine powder range with Orgasol® Green Touch, 100% derived from renewable raw materials. Inspired from the key principles of green chemistry, this new texture powder features  excellent functional and sensory performance. Perfectly suited to the pressed powder application, it combines strong binding power and very even texturing with comfort and convenience of use for a natural and even complexion.


Food companies in UK urged to invest in biodegradable packaging

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Companies that use expanded content labels with their food products may need to adopt a new approach when it comes to packaging.

According to Lord Redesdale, vice chairman of parliament's all-party climate change group, businesses should look at creating biodegradable packaging.

This, he said, is because it would help to support the growing focus on anaerobic digestion (AD) - a means of disposing of waste while generating power and heat at the same time.

Speaking to Packaging News, Lord Redesdale said the existing problem is stemming from the fact that organic waste tends to be put in plastic bags by consumers.

"Plastic bags are compostable and they will break down from the composting process but they will not digest in the AD process," he commented.

Wales is already aiming to bring down the number of carrier bags issued across the country by imposing a minimum 5p charge for each one.

The levy, which will come into force on October 1st, is the first of its kind to be implemented in the UK.


Sugarcane bioethanol: Environmental implications

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Researchers have long promoted biofuels produced from crop biomass as an environmentally sustainable source of renewable energy. A recent study questions whether the potential climate benefit of sugarcane ethanol is diminished when emissions from land use management are considered.

Scientists examined the sugarcane ethanol production systems to identify sources of greenhouse gas emissions. They found that land use change, fertilization, residue burning, and tillage had the largest impact on greenhouse gas emissions.

According to Dr. Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, head of the Department of Atmosphere/Biosphere Interaction and Global Change at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, "It is also very likely that N2O emissions from sugarcane production systems have been seriously underestimated so far when using standard IPCC methodology.

The diversity of sugarcane production systems and the remaining uncertainties with regard to the GHG balance of bioethanol from sugarcane clearly show that more measurements are needed for a full environmental assessment."

In order to maximize greenhouse gas savings, Dr. Cardoso Lisboa and coauthors suggest changes at all stages of the sugarcane production. For example, simultaneous provision of irrigation water and fertilizer would allow the reduction of fertilizer rates in sugarcane production systems. Furthermore, the conversion from pre-harvest burning to no- or minimum-tillage systems with mechanized harvest may better maintain or even increase soil C and N stocks.

Source: Wiley-Blackwell


BioAmber and CELEXION Announce Exclusive Licensing Partnership

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BioAmber, the market leader in biobased
succinic acid, has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with CELEXION
LLC for technology related to the production of adipic acid and other chemical
intermediates. The current market for adipic acid is close to 3 million tons per
year, worth approximately $8 billion at current market prices. 

Over the past year, BioAmber has successfully applied its breakthrough succinic
acid purification process to adipic acid. Through the licensing deal with CELEXION, BioAmber will leverage its succinic know-how, infrastructure, partnerships and customer base to accelerate the development of biobased adipic acid.  BioAmber has also established a state of the art research and development facility in Plymouth, Minnesota with capabilities in molecular biology, fermentation and analytical  chemistry to support its adipic acid program.

“CELEXION’s technology is a perfect fit for the leadership we have developed in
commercializing biobased succinic acid,” said Jean-Francois Huc, CEO of BioAmber. “CELEXION’s highly attractive metabolic pathway, coupled with our novel purification process and scale-up capabilities, gives us a clear path to biobased adipic acid that, like our biobased succinic, is lower cost and has a better environmental footprint than the current petroleum route.” 

“Renewable chemicals such as biobased adipic acid will become critical building
blocks of the future economy.  Given BioAmber’s leadership position in succinic
acid and the natural extension of their assets to adipic acid, we are very pleased
to partner with BioAmber for commercialization of our adipic acid technology,”
said Dr. Brian M. Baynes, CEO of CELEXION.

About BioAmber
BioAmber is a US registered renewable chemistry company with an extensive IP
portfolio and know-how covering the  production, purification and use of
biobased succinic acid and derivatives including modified PBS, a biodegradable
polymer with superior heat resistance  and processability.  BioAmber has the
world’s first dedicated biobased succinic acid plant and has partnerships with

CELEXION LLC is a bioengineering company that develops powerful platform
technologies and products for partners in the pharmaceutical, industrial,
agricultural, and life science research  sectors.  The company’s technologies
include the SECANT platform for engineering high performance protein
products, a billion-member library of human IgG antibodies for biotherapeutic
lead generation, enzymatic pathways for  synthesis of a variety of high-value
materials from wastes and other inexpensive precursors, a novel family of
enzymes for manipulation of chromosome-sized DNA, as well as a variety of
other tools.  The company is based in Cambridge, MA, USA and financed by
Flagship Ventures and GE Healthcare Financial Services.  For further information,
please visit our website at
CELEXION is a registered trademark and SECANT is a pending trademark
application of Celexion LLC



Leading U.S. Corporations Forming Environment-focused Packaging Organization AMERIPEN

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– Leading U.S. corporations announced today they are taking steps to create a new packaging trade organization. AMERIPEN will engage on public policies impacting the packaging value chain on topics related to packaging and the environment, and will represent the interests of the industry which includes raw material producers, packaging manufacturers, packaging users and fillers, retailers and material recovery

Corporate founders include The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, ConAgra Foods, The Dow Chemical Co., DuPont Packaging & Industrial Polymers, Kellogg Company, MeadWestvaco (MWV), Procter & Gamble, Sealed Air Corporation and Tetra Pak Inc. 

Modeled after EUROPEN and INCPEN, the European and British counterparts, respectively, AMERIPEN will advocate packaging policy developments in North America focusing on measures that are environmentally and economically sound, as well as socially responsible.  AMERIPEN, with a material neutral approach, will encourage science-based decision-making on sustainable packaging initiatives and provide a point-of-view and guidance to policy makers and thought leaders on the value and role of packaging.  

“AMERIPEN will further enhance the packaging value chain’s commitment to continuously improving its sustainability  profile and reducing packaging waste,” said Joan Pierce, AMERIPEN President. “The organization will play an instrumental role in conveying this message to opinion leaders in North America and ensuring that participants in the packaging value chain have maximum scope to innovate, compete and operate in a resource-efficient way.” 

“Today, the complexity of environmental issues confronting packaging is greater than ever.  Having a voice to represent common industry views of these matters and help shape public policy is an absolute essential.  In Europe our experience with such an approach over more than 20 years has been positive and productive for industry. 
EUROPEN welcomes the formation of AMERIPEN, congratulates those who have led this initiative and recommends membership to every packaging value chain member,” said Julian Carroll, Managing Director of EUROPEN.

“With the emergence of extended producer responsibility and other potential packaging legislation in the coming years, this is a critical time for our industry to offer a compelling voice,” said Gail Tavill, AMERIPEN Vice-President. “We’re committed to providing necessary expertise and insight to ensure sustainable management of packaging throughout its life cycle.”

AMERIPEN will engage with thought leaders in the packaging industry including trade associations, academic institutions, NGOs and government agencies to facilitate relevant research and identify key data and standards to advance AMERIPEN’S mission.


Sustainability gets clear – new transparent and flexible biopolymer for blown film extrusion

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FKuR  has launched a new transparent,  flexible biopolymer. Called  Bio-Flex® F 2201 CL. This material contains a high content of renewable resources and, in line with the other resins in the Bio-Flex® family, can be processed easily on standard LDPE blown film lines and converting equipment.

With a renewable resource content of approximately 60 % this grade is a consistent
further development of  the Bio-Flex® family. Its mechanical properties  exhibit  a high
elongation and flexibility along with good puncture resistance. Consequently Bio-Flex® F 2201 CL can ideally be used to adjust the properties of all the available Bio-Flex® family resins. However, due to its limited sealing strength, Bio-Flex® F 2201 CL should always be used as a mid-layer in a co-extruded structure. As a result of its mechanical properties it is the perfect partner for Bio-Flex® A 4100 CL in a transparent 3-layer combination. BioFlex® A 4100 CL is a clear but stiff material with properties comparable to PP.

The combination of these two transparent grades  offers superb and unmatched clarity for a biodegradable blown film available today while maintaining a very high content of renewable resource material. This is  between 60  - 80% depending on the variation of  polymers of the final structure. As both polymers are clear, the  transparency of a 20µm film, for example, is close to 91% (light transmission figure). The toughness and high tear  resistance are the result of the core Bio-Flex® F 2201 CL layer and the renewable content  of a 20 micron 3-layer structure with a layer ratio of 20 / 60 / 20 (%) is around 70%.  Using  such a structure, this film is ideal for VFFS applications.

FKuR Kunststoff GmbH will be presenting this application and other innovative products at Interpack Düsseldorf, booth F 14 hall 9 from May 12th – 18th.
Bioplastics are a unique  class of material which  are  based on renewable resources or  which enable the biodegradability of products made from these polymers.
FKuR Kunststoff GmbH, Willich, Germany is a leading producer of biopolymer
resins/blends for flexible packaging (Bio-Flex®) and rigid applications  (Biograde®). The  cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT, Oberhausen, Germany, guarantees  our innovation, know-how and quality


Cardia Bioplastics appoints Plastribution as distributor for the UK

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Depending on their specific product and sustainability needs, Plastribution customers can now choose from Cardia BiohybridTM resins or Cardia certified compostable resins. The Cardia materials can be converted on standard processing equipment without the need for additional investment.

Cardia BiohybridTM resins are a blend of renewable materials and traditional polyolefins. The colourable and printable materials have a wide processing and application window and can be used to increase the renewable content of the final product by up to 50 percent. Typical applications include shrink wrappings, multi-layer films, moulding and high resolution printable packaging. 

Cardia Compostable resins are biodegradable materials derived from renewable resources that meet international standards for compostability such as USA ASTM 6400 and Europe's EN13432:2000. The compostable resins are soft touch, colourable and printable, and can also be developed as compounds to specific customer requirements. Typical applications include compostable bags, moulded parts, extrusion coatings, laminates and films.

According to Plastribution managing director Mike Boswell, the Cardia bioplastics range will provide environmentally responsible polymer choices for its customers. "As the ‘sustainable products space' grows, we have looked for a supplier with a full range of sustainable options. The Cardia Bioplastics range provides customers with that choice and is well proven with leading brand owners and plastics processing companies," he said.

Commenting on the distribution agreement with Plastribution, Dr Frank Glatz, managing director of Cardia Bioplastics, said:  "We are delighted to have this partnership with Plastribution, the leading plastics resins distributor in the UK market. Growth for the sustainable resins market is driven by changing public attitudes and regulatory requirements. Moreover, packaging and plastics businesses know that packaging and plastic products solutions based on sustainable resources will help them retain their future competitiveness."

About Cardia Bioplastics

Cardia Bioplastics Limited (ASX CODE: CNN), through its 100% owned subsidiary Cardia Bioplastics Australia Pty Ltd, develops, manufactures and markets sustainable resins and finished products derived from renewable resources for the global packaging and plastic products industries. The company holds a strong patent portfolio and its growth is fuelled by the global trend towards sustainable packaging. Established in Australia in 2002 as Biograde, the company Headquarters and Global Applications Development Centre is in Melbourne, Australia. The Product Development Centre and manufacturing plant is in Nanjing, China. There are Cardia Bioplastics offices in the Americas, Europe, Malaysia and China, and a network of leading distributors across Australia, the Americas, Asia and Europe.  Visit

About Plastribution

Plastribution is the UK's leading distributor of polymers to the UK packaging and plastic product industries.  Servicing the most demanding application areas including packaging, automotive, water management, electrical & electronic, lighting and the food & beverage sectors. The company's success is founded on the simple philosophy of providing fast and flexible solutions to customer requirements and the sharing of its technical resource.  With sales offices in Ashby-de-la-Zouch in Leicestershire, St. Ives in Cambridgeshire and Larbert in Scotland, and a comprehensive warehouse network across the country ensures efficient coverage of the UK market. Beyond the technical expertise of its own team of qualified plastics technologists, on hand to deal with customers enquiries relating to product design and tooling, material selection and processing, Plastribution has also initiated training courses aimed at advancing the knowledge and skills of its customers' process technicians and production and commercial managers from the injection moulding industry. Visit

Ashby, Leicestershire, March 2011. Plastribution, the UK’s leading plastics distribution company, has been appointed by Cardia Bioplastics to provide its comprehensive range of bioplastic resins to the UK packaging and plastic products industries.

Odwalla Takes "Powered By Nature" To New Levels With Completions Of Fuel Cell Installation

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Newly Installed Fuel Cells at California Juice Plant Run on Re-directed Bio-gas, Cutting Carbon Footprint by 35 Percent.

odwalla_logo Now people have even more reasons to feel good about drinking Odwalla. With the recently completed installation of five natural gas fuel cells at its juice packaging plant in Dinuba, Calif., drinking Odwalla can make you feel good about yourself and good about the environment.

Using technology originally developed for NASA, the 500kW Energy Server will cut the plant's carbon footprint by an estimated 35 percent while supplying 30 percent of the plant's energy needs. The use of fuel cell technology is yet another step in the natural health beverage company's commitment to reduce its environmental footprint. Odwalla announced plans to install the fuel cells from California-based Bloom Energy last year and the installation was completed this month.

"Reducing our environmental footprint and our dependence on non-renewable resources is just as important to Odwalla as making great tasting, nourishing beverages," said Alison Lewis, president, Odwalla. "In addition to celebrating the completion of our fuel cell installation, we're looking forward to rolling out our innovative PlantBottle™ packaging and kicking off our annual Plant a Tree program later this year."

The innovative fuel cell technology can convert air and nearly any fuel source -- ranging from natural gas to a wide range of biogases -- into electricity via a clean electrochemical process. Their primary by-products are water vapor, heat and a small amount of carbon dioxide -- basically what we humans expel when we breathe. The process is so clean it requires no emission permits.

About Odwalla
Odwalla, Inc. delivers nourishment coast to coast with the Odwalla family of juices, juice drinks, smoothies, protein drinks, and nourishing food bars. Odwalla has been making juices and innovating in the natural health beverage category for 30 years. Its nourishing beverages and food bars are available in natural food stores, select supermarkets and specialty outlets throughout the country. To learn more about Odwalla products and Odwalla's commitment to the environment, please visit or , or call 1.800.ODWALLA.


Air Force-funded researcher investigates new material grown from sugar

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Ordinary table sugar could be a key ingredient to developing much lighter, faster, cheaper, denser and more robust computer electronics for use on U.S. military aircraft.

Though admittedly far in the future, recent results from a program led by chemist and Rice University professor, Dr. James Tour demonstrate yet another example of the cutting-edge basic research funded by the Air Force Research Laboratory's Office of Scientific Research.

Tour and his colleagues at Rice have developed a relatively easy and controllable method for making pristine sheets of graphene --- the one-atom-thick form of carbon --- from regular table sugar and other solid carbon sources.
"Dr. Tour is exploring a chemical approach to producing

high quality carbon based nanostructures such as nanotubes and graphenes with well defined properties," said AFOSR program manager, Dr. Charles Lee.
In their method, a small amount of sugar is placed on a tiny sheet of copper foil. The sugar is then subjected to flowing hydrogen and argon gas under heat and low pressure. After 10 minutes, the sugar is reduced to a pure carbon film, or a single layer of graphene. Adjusting the gas flow allowed the researchers to control the thickness of the film.

The use of solid carbon sources like sugar has allowed Tour to stay away from the more cumbersome chemical vapor deposition method and the high temperatures associated with it. His one-step, low-temperature process makes graphene considerably easier to manufacture.

"In a traditional CVD point of view, it was straightforward to optimize the pristine graphene's quality through adjusting the growth conditions and the metal catalysts with continuous gas sources (CH4 or C2H2)," explained Tour. "With this technique using different kinds of solid carbon sources, more benefits such as graphene doping and thickness control could be realized."

According to Tour, doped graphene opens more possibilities for both Air Force and commercial electronics applications. Pristine graphene has no bandgap, but doped graphene allows for manipulation of electronic and optical properties, important factors for making switching and logic devices.

"These materials can be used in advanced electronics, photonics as well as structural applications for the Air Force," explained Lee.
While the Air Force is focusing primarily on potential electronics applications, many other commercial and medical uses could be possible, including transparent touch screen devices, special biocompatible films for surgery of traumatic brain injuries, faster transistors in personal computers or thin materials for solar energy harvesting.

Source: Air Force Office of Scientific Research

PepsiCo Develops World's First 100 Percent Plant-Based, Renewably Sourced PET Bottle

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Building upon its heritage as an innovator and leader in environmental sustainability, PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) today announced it has developed the world's first PET plastic bottle made entirely from plant-based, fully renewable resources, enabling the company to manufacture a beverage container with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

PepsiCo's "green" bottle is 100 percent recyclable and far surpasses existing industry technologies. The bottle is made from bio-based raw materials, including switch grass, pine bark and corn husks.  In the future, the company expects to broaden the renewable sources used to create the "green" bottle to include orange peels, potato peels, oat hulls and other agricultural byproducts from its foods business. This process further reinforces PepsiCo's "Power of One" advantage by driving a strategic beverage innovation via a food-based solution.

new pepsi bottle

"This breakthrough innovation is a transformational development for PepsiCo and the beverage industry, and a direct result of our commitment to research and development," said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO, Indra Nooyi.  "PepsiCo is in a unique position, as one of the world's largest food and beverage businesses, to ultimately source agricultural byproducts from our foods business to manufacture a more environmentally-preferable bottle for our beverages business – a sustainable business model that we believe brings to life the essence of Performance with Purpose." 

Combining biological and chemical processes, PepsiCo has identified methods to create a molecular structure that is identical to petroleum-based PET (polyethylene terephthalate), which results in a bottle that looks, feels and protects its product identically to existing PET beverage containers.

PepsiCo will pilot production of the new bottle in 2012.  Upon successful completion of the pilot, the company intends to move directly to full-scale commercialization. 

"As You Sow applauds PepsiCo's innovative packaging design," said Conrad Mackerron, Senior Program Director of As You Sow, a San Francisco-based foundation, which promotes corporate social responsibility through shareholder engagement. "By reducing reliance on petroleum-based materials and using its own agricultural scraps as feedstock for new bottles, this advancement should deliver a double win for the environment and PepsiCo."

With this development, PepsiCo continues its leadership position in environmental sustainability and driving progress against the global goals and commitments it announced in 2010 to protect the Earth's natural resources through innovation and more efficient use of land, energy, water and packaging.  Specific examples of PepsiCo's recent environmental innovations and progress include:

  • SunChips developing the world’s first fully compostable bag and using solar power at the Modesto manufacturing facility to take some of the plant off the electrical grid;
  • light-weighting Aquafina’s bottles with the introduction of the Eco-Fina bottle in 2009, the lightest bottle of its size among U.S. bottled water brands;
  • Naked Juice transitioning to a 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottle with the introduction of its reNEWabottle™ - the first beverage, distributed nationally in the U.S., to do so;
  • achieving "positive water balance" in India in 2009 – through direct seeding initiatives, the company replenished nearly six billion liters of water across India, exceeding the total intake of approximately five billion liters of water by its manufacturing facilities;
  • introducing the Dream Machine recycling initiative, to provide greater access to on-the-go recycling receptacles and help increase the U.S. beverage container recycling rate from 34 percent to 50 percent, by 2018;
  • launching a groundbreaking pilot program, using low-carbon fertilizers that drastically reduce Tropicana’s lifecycle carbon footprint; and
  • Walkers becoming the first company in the world to display a carbon reduction logo on a consumer product, representing a commitment to become more sustainable and transparent.

To download high-resolution images of the new, 100 percent plant-based bottle, and/or related video and images, visit

About PepsiCo

PepsiCo offers the world's largest portfolio of billion-dollar food and beverage brands, including 19 different product lines that generate more than $1 billion in annual retail sales each. Our main businesses -- Quaker, Tropicana, Gatorade, Frito-Lay, and Pepsi Cola -- also make hundreds of other enjoyable and wholesome foods and beverages that are respected household names throughout the world. With net revenues of approximately $60 billion, PepsiCo's people are united by our unique commitment to sustainable growth by investing in a healthier future for people and our planet, which we believe also means a more successful future for PepsiCo. We call this commitment Performance with Purpose: PepsiCo's promise to provide a wide range of foods and beverages for local tastes; to find innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment, including by conserving energy and water usage, and reducing packaging volume; to provide a great workplace for our associates; and to respect, support, and invest in the local communities where we operate.


Cultivate new business with the RafBio range

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UPM Raflatac's RafBio range offers new labelling solutions for biodegradable packaging in the food, beverage and personal care segments. The range is designed to offer versatile options compliant to EN13432, the European standard for compostable packaging.

The RafBio range comprises of biodegradable cellulose films, PLA films, and paper faces combined with UPM Raflatac's new biodegradable adhesive RP 55 Bio.


The RafBio cellulose films in Clear, White and Silver are made from renewable wood-pulp from managed plantations. They are sustainably sourced and home-compostable, an ethical and practical combination that appeals directly to consumers. Cellulose films are top-coated for good printability.

The RafBio PLA films in Clear and White are derived from corn starch and they are suitable for direct food contact. These industrially compostable PLA films have naturally good printing properties, excellent scratch resistance and higher levels of transparency and gloss. They also offer resistance to moisture, fats and oils, delivering looks that last, in-store and post-purchase.

The newly launched RP 55 Bio adhesive has been formulated for maximum sustainability and biodegradability. It includes a high content of renewable (non-fossil derived) materials. RP 55 Bio is available with the biodegradable films as well as two paper faces: Raflacoat Plus and Thermal ECO 300. Most papers can be classed as chemically unmodified materials of natural origin, and can be accepted as biodegradable without testing.

RafBio films are also supplied with UPM Raflatac's RP 37 adhesive. The adhesive itself isn’t biodegradable, but adhesive and ink amounts below 1% of the total packaging are considered negligible under EN 13432. RP 37 provides the added advantages of clarity and water resistance, making UPM Raflatac’s biodegradable films a sustainable alternative across a broad range of label applications.

For further information, please contact:
Mr Thomas Treichel, Engineered Products Manager, Film & Special Business,
UPM Raflatac, tel. +49 172 258 7438, email:

About UPM Raflatac
UPM Raflatac, part of UPM’s Engineered Materials business group, is one of
the world’s leading suppliers of self-adhesive label materials. UPM
Raflatac has a global service network consisting of 11 factories on five
continents and a broad network of sales offices and slitting and
distribution terminals worldwide. UPM Raflatac employs 2,400 people and
made sales of approximately EUR 1.1 billion (USD 1.5 billion) in 2010.
Further information is available at

Naked Juice 100 Percent Post-Consumer Recycled reNEWabottle

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naked juice

Naked Juice started using its 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic rPET bottle dubbed the reNEWabottle for its 32oz bottles back in 2009. (Read our story from July 2009)

The company has now switched its 10, 15.2 and 64oz bottles to the reNEWabottle becoming the first major national US drink company to switch to 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic bottles - quite an achievement.

Naked estimates its new packaged will reduce virgin plastic consumption by 7.4 million pounds per year.


Frito-Lay Tests 'Quieter' SunChips Bag

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Frito-Lay is testing a quieter version of its biodegradable SunChips bag to address consumer complaints that its initial attempt was too noisy.

The snack giant, a unit of PepsiCo, introduced biodegradable packaging for the multigrain snack in April 2009. However, consumers were more annoyed with the loud rustling sound of the rigid bags made with polylactic acid (PLA) than they were impressed by its environmental benefits. Sales reportedly declined as a result.

In October 2010, Frito-Lay switched back to the original non-biodegradable material for five of its six SunChips varieties and kept the eco-friendly bag for its original plain flavor.

The quieter second-generation bag now rolling out at retail uses a different adhesive to bind the inner and outer layers of the material that reportedly makes the bag "twice as quiet as our last one," according to Frito-Lay.

The company is initially converting only its original SunChips brand to the new packaging, and asking consumers for feedback through social media sites before extending it across the brand.


Trevira at Index 2011: Polyester specialties and first PLA fibres for nonwovens

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Trevira participates in the most important industry event for nonwoven manufacturers and end users not only with its established polyester specialties for hygiene and technical applications, but also with the first fibre developments made from PLA biopolymer (Ingeo™) which have been added to the company’s product portfolio in the frame of a master license by NatureWorks in 2010.


Trevira fibre production in Bobingen
© photo: Trevira GmbH

Sustainability is an increasinly important issue in all textile applications, also in the nonwoven sector. Polyester has many properties that from the outset make it a material that is compatible with the environment. It is non-toxic, gives off no gases, and is recyclable without difficulty and it can be easily used as fuel to produce energy. It is kind to the skin and suitable for use in the food industry or medical sector. Product certifications like Ökotex Standard 100 are an equally essential element of Trevira’s sustainability concept as the observation of the environmental and quality standards DIN ISO 14001 and DIN ISO 9001. Trevira’s range of ecological products is extended by the new Ingeo™ fibres which meet the needs of manufacturers and end users looking for a biological alternative for conventional fibers.

The range of staple fibres for nonwovens includes:

Bicomponent fibres for thermal bonding
, used in hygiene products such as napkins and lady care, as well as in technical nonwovens, e.g. for insulation and filtration materials in the automotive sector.
Special types for hydro-entangled nonwovens. These are not only employed in the manufacture of wet and cosmetic wipes, but also increasingly in technical applications.
Short cut fibres for airlaid and wetlaid applications, e.g. hygiene products or the paper industry. A part of this range is also available as bicomponent fibres.
Flame retardant fibres, e.g. for insulation, filtration and also as filling fibres for bedding.
Customized fibres for special customer applications.

RTEmagicC_Ingeo_DSC0533final.jpg PLA (Ingeo) Fibres made from biopolymers
© photo: Trevira GmbH

Fibres made from biopolymers (PLA / Ingeo™):
The biodegradable (compostable) fibres made from renewable plant compounds are currently available in various versions. Trevira has produced first quantities of different fibre types applicable for spunlace, wet laid and carding applications. Possible end uses are wet wipes (e.g. cleaning cloths), hygiene products and technical nonwovens. The new fibres are currently in qualification processes at customers. Trevira envisages variety of applications in the nonwoven sector, mainly for hygiene products. In the near future, the company will also add a bicomponent fibre to its PLA product range.


SodaStream uses EcoPure for biodegradable Bio Bottle

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EcoPure has won another customer for its additive technology that renders plastic bottles biodegradable. SodaStream International Ltd. (Airport City, Israel) will utilize Bio-Tec Environmental LLC's EcoPure in its Bio Bottle to reduce the environmental impact of the syrup containers for its home beverage carbonation systems.

SodaStream says that EcoPure will allow its Bio Bottle to biodegrade into organic components in a landfill or compost facility in as little as five years, based on ASTM D-5511-02 testing. SodaStream flavor packaging will begin adding the technology later this year, saying that without EcoPure, the bottles could take 450 years or more to degrade. 

SodaStream's home beverage carbonation systems allow consumers to transform tap water into carbonated soft drinks and sparkling water. EcoPure can be used in PE, PP, PET, and other resins, helping make otherwise inert materials susceptible to digestion by microorganisms when disposed of in biologically-active environments.

EcoPure is also being utilized by Casey Container and ENSO Bottles LLC for biodegradable containers.



L’Oréal adopts new assessment tool to reduce environmental impact

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US-based L’Oréal, has introduced two new assessment tools into its package design process, to reduce the environmental impacts of its beauty product packaging.

L'Oréal's Sustainable Packaging Scorecard (SPS) has been designed to evaluate the environmental sustainability of its product packaging under seven parameters.

The seven criterias include: the use of bio-plastics, use of recycled materials, PVC-free, use of certified paperboard, packaging volume relative to the fill weight and primary packaging size, use of light-weighting techniques and the use of the new eco-conception tool called PIQET.

Upon completion of the packaging assessment, each product is rated on a point scale with a corresponding colour code from green to yellow to red.

PIQET is an online tool that identifies and reviews actions to reduce the environmental impact of packaging, particularly at the design development stage. PIQET enables packaging specifications, manufacturing and distribution data to be quickly entered and assessed.

L'Oréal vice president packaging and development corporate operations Philippe Bonningue said that in addition to testing new materials from renewable sources like green-PE, bio-PET and PLA, and identifying opportunities for refillables, light weighting, recycled content and the use of cardboard from only certified wood sources, we are committed to offering consumers more sustainable product choices


OKI Introduces Bioplastic in Printers and MFPs

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OKI Data Corporation, an OKI Group company specializing in the printer business, today announced it will introduce a bioplastic part consisting of at least 25% (by weight) of plant-based renewable biomass resources in all its printers and MFPs. Products manufactured from March 2011 onward will incorporate bioplastic, marking the first effort among OKI Group companies to use bioplastic in products.

OKI Data is currently active in 120 countries, selling approximately 1.1 million printers and MFPs annually. Today’s introduction of bioplastic is expected to reduce its annual CO2 emissions by three tons.

"Plant-based renewable bioplastics reduce environmental impact by reducing CO2 emissions and the petroleum resources consumed," said Harushige Sugimoto, President of OKI Data. "OKI Data is proactively developing products and technologies to reduce environmental impact. The company has long considered using bioplastic in its printers and MFPs. However, compared to traditional plastic, bioplastics offer formidable challenges in the areas of flame resistance, strength, heat resistance, and formability."

The bioplastic announced today is based on polyactic acid, a plant-based renewable resource. It offers enhanced flame resistance, strength, heat resistance, and formability, as well as high transparency and ease of processing, qualities that allow use of the product to form elements ranging from exterior components to mechanical parts. It is widely used in stationery, electrical home appliances, and office equipment. Cost competitiveness and the procurability of this bioplastic for overseas manufacturing facilities were key factors in its selection.

OKI Data is firmly committed to reducing its CO2 emissions, having set a goal to cut emissions by 6% relative to 2007 levels by 2012. Introducing bioplastics is one of the ways it intends to achieve this goal. Where possible, the company plans to replace traditional petroleum-derived plastics with plant-based renewable bioplastics in its future printers and MFPs.




TECNARO Selects Telles’ Mirel Bioplastic for Arboblend Line of Biobased Thermoplastics

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Telles, a joint venture between Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX) and Archer Daniels Midland Company, and  TECNARO GmbH, a developer and manufacturer of sustainable thermoplastics, today announced that TECNARO is incorporating Mirel™ bioplastic into its Arboblend line of thermoplastic compounds that are biodegradable in certain environments, including industrial composting and anaerobic digestion systems. The companies are working together on thermoplastic formulations using Mirel F1005 and P1003 injection molding grades. The specific terms of the supply agreement have not been disclosed.

Read the full press-release here


Metabolix Demonstrates Improved PHA Production in Tobacco

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Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX), a leading industrial biotechnology company focused on developing clean, sustainable solutions for plastics, chemicals and energy, today announced the publication of its most recent scientific achievements in the development of advanced genetic engineering approaches to achieve high levels of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) in non-food biomass crops.

The plastid genome of the research crop tobacco was engineered using Metabolix's multi-gene expression technology, resulting in fertile transgenic plants producing PHA at levels of up to nine percent of the total plant weight. PHA levels of up to 17 percent were found in leaf tissue. Metabolix's engineered tobacco plants produce 10 times more PHA bioplastic than previously published reports for tobacco. These findings continue to demonstrate the Company's ground-breaking scientific capabilities and continued progress on using new tools to improve its programs to develop advanced biomass crops as biorefinery feedstocks.

A detailed scientific paper entitled "High levels of bioplastic are produced in fertile transplastomic tobacco plants engineered with a synthetic operon for production of polyhydroxybutyrate" was published online in Plant Physiology, a peer-reviewed journal from the American Society of Plant Biologists, on February 16, 2011. The article will also appear in the April 2011 print edition of the journal focused on plastid biology.

PHAs are a family of renewable polymeric carbon storage materials, which have a broad range of industrial applications as performance, biodegradable bioplastics and as renewable starting materials for the production of a number of existing specialty and commodity chemicals. As polymers, PHA bioplastics offer excellent performance in use and have the unique ability to biodegrade in a wide range of environments including compost, soil, wetlands, marine and anaerobic digestion facilities. As a starting material for the production of renewable chemicals, PHAs offer exceptional, highly efficient, low cost recovery and conversion opportunities for the production of a number of specialty and commodity chemicals. By producing PHAs directly in biomass crops, Metabolix plans to further improve the cost benefits, lifecycle performance and scale potential of renewable resource-based industrial products.

"The demonstration of this new approach to increase PHA production in the model biomass crop tobacco is an important milestone in further demonstrating the scientific and technical capabilities of the Company in the crop science field. This also represents continued progress towards our longer term objective for the biomass crop program and the recognition of our research by a peer-reviewed journal," said Dr. Oliver Peoples, Chief Scientific Officer and vice president of Research and Development at Metabolix. "This work provides us with important new data and tools for the production of PHAs in plants as we continue to develop other targeted commercial crops including switchgrass."

About Metabolix

Founded in 1992, Metabolix, Inc. is an innovation-driven bioscience company focused on providing sustainable solutions for the world's needs for plastics, chemicals and energy. The Company is taking a systems approach, from gene to end product, integrating sophisticated biotechnology with advanced industrial practice. Metabolix is now developing and commercializing Mirel™, a family of high performance bioplastics which are biobased and biodegradable alternatives to many petroleum based plastics, through Telles, a joint venture between Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland Company. Metabolix is also developing a proprietary platform technology for co-producing plastics, chemicals and energy, from crops such as switchgrass, oilseeds and sugarcane.

For more information, please visit