Pantene has started producing its new shampoo and conditioner bottles made primarily from plant-based plastic. This innovative material, a first for the hair care industry, is made from sugarcane and will be featured on the Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion collection. The new bottles will be initially launching in Western Europe with expansion plans to the rest of the world over the next 2 years.
The packaging uses less of the planet’s non-renewable resources. It contains plastic derived from sugarcane, a natural and renewable resource, as opposed to traditional plastic which is made from petroleum, a non-renewable material. Sugarcane-derived plastic has significant environmental benefits: it consumes over 70% less fossil fuels and releases over 170% less greenhouse gases per ton than traditional petroleum-based plastic.
“Plant-based plastics are part of the future for improving the sustainability of packaging. Its use results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and less consumption of fossil fuels than traditional petroleum-based plastics,” said Anne Johnson, director of GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition. “When a brand like Pantene introduces this type of technology on a major consumer product line, it represents an innovation in the marketplace and sends a strong signal that will in turn encourage further innovations in sustainability for packaging.”
The new Pantene Pro-V Nature Fusion sugarcane-based packaging will become available across several Western European markets and retailers over the summer and autumn. This will be a seamless transition for consumers as the formulas will remain unchanged and the new bottle has virtually identical characteristics to its predecessor and it is as recyclable as before. The Nature Fusion collection was launched in 2009 and it is sold in all major markets globally.
“The use of sugarcane-based plastic in our Nature Fusion packaging allows us to offer the same performance consumers expect from Pantene but in a more sustainable way,” says Hanneke Faber, P&G’s Vice President & Brand Franchise Leader for Global Pantene. “We’re thrilled to be the first hair care brand to use this technology on its packaging but we also recognize sustainability is a journey and we’re fully committed to it. Our goal is to punctuate this journey with meaningful innovations that make our communities more healthy and beautiful and we hope others will follow.”
Telles™, a joint venture between Metabolix, Inc. (NASDAQ: MBLX) and Archer Daniels Midland Company, today announced that UCAN Products, LLC, developers of consumer products that make it easier for people to be environmentally responsible, has selected Mirel™ bioplastic for a new line of kitchen compost bags. UCAN designed the three-gallon bags, which are available for purchase now at http://www.ucanproducts.com, to work with the company’s forthcoming compost waste bin. The bags also fit other standard-sized kitchen compost bins.
UCAN is the first distributor to offer Mirel-based compost bags for consumer purchase. UCAN Products selected Mirel bioplastic for its durability and faster composting in industrial composting facilities. The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI) has certified that the bags are D6400 compostable. Lakeside Plastics Ltd. manufactures them using Telles’ Mvera B5002 compostable film product.
“UCAN Products’ mission is to change perceptions about green products by developing merchandise that is not only environmentally friendly, but also high quality and easy to use,” said Carolyn Yecies Heller, founder and president of UCAN Products. “We selected Mirel for our compost bin bags because it’s a superior biobased material that can safely be thrown into an industrial compost pile, eliminating the need for either the consumer or compost facility to remove the waste from the bag. We think it’s the most convenient solution and one that will naturally lead to more people choosing composting.”
“The commercialization of the UCAN compost bags is an important step in the development of our portfolio of Mirel-based products,” said Bob Engle, general manager of Telles. “As consumer demand for more compostable products rises, companies ranging from big brand owners to startups are offering more environmentally sound options to answer this demand. Telles continues to work with these innovative, forward-thinking companies to bring more products made with Mirel to the market.”
More information and updates on products made with Mirel can be found on the Mirel
Bioplastics Facebook page at facebook.com/mirelbioplastics.
About UCAN Products, LLC
UCAN aspires to change how people view trash. The company wants people to think differently, think UCAN. Your trash is a powerful means to positively impact the earth. Twenty-eight percent of the content sent to our landfills is organics waste. By collecting and separating your food waste, UCAN make a difference. Separating food waste in our homes is critical in landfill reduction.
UCAN’s mission is to develop well-designed consumer products that make it easier for people to be environmentally responsible. Many cities are changing the requirements of home trash collection for recycling, food waste collection, etc. in their effort to reduce landfill. UCAN provides solutions that work for every home, allowing this inevitable activity of our everyday life to be fun.
All UCAN products are made with the earth in mind – the company utilizes recycled and compostable materials whenever and wherever we can. All cans are made in the USA. Visit www.ucanproducts.com.
About Mirel Bioplastics
Mirel is a family of bioplastic materials that have physical properties comparable to petroleum based resins, yet are biobased and biodegradable in natural soil and water environments, in home composting systems, and in industrial composting facilities where such facilities are available. The rate and extent of Mirel’s biodegradability will depend on the size and shape of the articles made from it. However, like nearly all bioplastics and organic matter, Mirel is not designed to biodegrade in conventional landfills.
Commercial grades of Mirel are available for injection molding, thermoforming, sheet extrusion and film applications. For more information, please visit http://www.mirelplastics.com.
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 biosourced industrial chemicals and a proprietary platform technology for co-producing plastics, chemicals and energy, from crops such as switchgrass, oilseeds and sugarcane. For more information, please visit http://www.metabolix.com. (MBLX-G)
The inaugural ‘GPCA Plastics Innovation Awards 2011’ sponsored by TASNEE recognises advancement in the field of plastics with a positive impact on society Mohamed Al-Mady, Chairman of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) and SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, honoured winners of the first GPCA Plastics Innovation Awards
2011 at a ceremony held on 5th April at the Intercontinental Hotel in Festival City, Dubai. The inaugural awards were sponsored by TASNEE.
The GPCA instituted the award this year to encourage innovation in the plastics industry and honour companies which have achieved excellence in this field along with talented individuals. The winners this year contributed significantly to the sustainable development and innovation in the field of plastics.
Taghleef Industries from Dubai won the award in the Plastics and Environment category, for its BOPLA sustainable packaging film. The new packaging film solution for the flower industry is made of Poly Lactic Acid (PLA) resins, which is a bio-plastic obtained from the fermentation of sugars contained in various kinds of plants. Besides using 100% renewable raw materials, PLA is also fully biodegradable.
Thanks to the advantages of PLA instead of traditional films, the BOPLA film allows to achieve the same performance in terms of product presentation and protection compared to
conventionally used films, whilst contributing to the reduction of CO2 emissions. Once
composted, the bunch of flowers wrapped with Taghleef’s BOPLA film will become a fertilizer to grow new plants. The Jury was impressed about the entire development and commercialization on a big volume scale.
The high-profile Jury that deliberated and selected the winners through a secret vote were Dr. Moayyed I. Al-Qurtas, Vice Chairman and CEO, Tasnee; Mr. Moyyad Al Faresi, Business Director, Polyethylene, EQUATE Petrochemical Co.; Mr. Laurence Jones, Vice President / Corporate Support, Borouge; Dr. Mitchell Killeen, Senior Director, LyondellBasell ; Ms. Lyn Tattum, Publisher, Chemical Week; Dr. Raed Al-Zubi, CEO, Radius Systems, President of SPE, ME; Dr. Ulrich Reiners, MD, Executive Packaging; and Dr. Abdulwahab Al Sadoun, Secretary General, GPCA.
About Taghleef Industries
Headquartered in Dubai, Ti has 6 production sites across the globe with a nominal capacity of 260,000tpy. Ti develops, manufactures and markets BoPP (bi-oriented polypropylene) and CPP (cast polypropylene) films for snacks, confectionery, bakery/biscuits, fresh produce packaging as well as for labelling and adhesive tapes. Ti offers a portfolio of high quality transparent, white voided and metallised films to its customers in more than 100 countries.
Ohio's pursuit of technology jobs - and the effort to reduce dependence on nonrenewable resources - has gone down
to the farm.
A process using soybean meal to replace up to 40 percent of the petroleum in plastics - developed by Battelle and licensed to Marysville-based Univenture - is "pure, cool science," said Keith Masavage, chief of strategy and operations at Univenture.
The resulting bioplastic could end up in toys and office supplies.
And if the cost and performance of the new product are as good as officials at Univenture's Biobent division say, "It would mean tons of revenue for the state, tons of jobs," Masavage said. "We could have a whole new
The new technology took root about two years ago, when the Ohio Soybean Council approached Battelle to develop a bioplastic that would put the eco-friendly material into wider use. The Soybean Council, which has a long-standing research relationship with Battelle, funded this project.
"We've been looking for new uses for soybean meal, because it's in somewhat oversupply right now, so the price is depressed," said Rick Heggs, director of biobased materials strategy at Battelle.
Soybean meal is the part left over after the oil has been removed, he said.
Battelle tinkered with the technology for a year or so, came up with a solution and then approached Univenture, Masavage said.
Univenture was the perfect place to bring the project because, "They have been making things using soy for a long time," said Gary Rawlings, director of technology commercialization at TechColumbus. "So they bring a manufacturing and marketing set of skills, and Battelle
brings the technology."
"Bioplastics have been on the market for decades, but every material introduced to date has required sacrifices in performance or price, and often both," Masavage said.
What Battelle came up with sacrifices neither.
"The plastics world is all about cost and performance," Rawlings said. "What Battelle has done is widen that window of applications, which makes it a much more attractive additive for plastics - and, with the cost element, it makes it a more-feasible application."
Univenture tested the composite by using it in the company's UniKeep binders. The result in late 2009 received an R&D 100 Award from the editors of R&D Magazine as one of that year's 100 most technically innovative products.
"Bioplastics is one of the hottest areas of the plastic industry right now," said Melissa Hockstad, executive director of the Society of the Plastics Industry's Bioplastics Council. "It's now only 1percent of plastics produced, but it's growing."
Industry analysts expect bioplastics to grow to more than 40percent in the next five years, she said.
A theme in the industry is use of renewable materials.
"I've seen work done with everything from sugar cane to algae to chicken feathers," Hockstad said.
Biobent blends petroleum-based plastic with between 10percent and 40percent soybean meal. The percentage of the cheap soy material varies depending on the performance characteristics required for the product - whether it's a bendable plastic folder, a semi-rigid toy doll or something else.
Univenture is now paying $1,840 per standard ton of base resin or "normal plastic," Masavage said. Because of the lower cost for the soy meal, current pricing models show that Biobent should be able to produce this resin in quantity for approximately $1,660 per ton.
The savings could really add up given the quantity of plastic in use. Annual production of plastic resin in the United States was estimated at 60 million tons in 2007, according to the most recent report by the American Chemistry Council.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said that, in 2006, about 331million barrels of petroleum and natural-gas liquids were used to make plastic products in the plastic materials and resins industry in the United States, equal to about 4.6percent of total U.S. petroleum consumption.
One of the most common uses of the resin, manufacturing plastic water bottles, required more than 17million barrels of oil annually.
This particular soy product, by the way, might not be ideal for making water bottles, given its color and tendency to retain water.
"Perhaps more important are how the environmental savings dwarf the monetary savings," Masavage said. "Biobent Polymer's product will eliminate 30 to 40 percent of the petroleum required to make plastic resin. With supplies dwindling and demand increasing, petroleum prices are expected to increase. Biobent will be able to reduce U.S.
demand for petroleum."
In January, Univenture signed an agreement with Battelle to be the exclusive licensee of the new plastic.
The employment and sales potential are only beginning to be tapped.
Currently, only three people are devoted full time to Biobent, with expertise from other Univenture employees tapped as needed.
The first two products that Biobent will offer, Biobent PP and Biobent PE, are polypropylene- and polyethylene-based.
"Our goal over the next couple of months is to decide whether to spin off as a separate corporation or leave things as they are now, as a division of Univenture," Masavage said. "By the time June rolls around, though, we'll enter a significant hiring phase, including sales, senior engineers."
Sales have yet to take off, but he indicated there have been talks with a "who's who of people who use plastics."
He expects orders to follow quickly.
"We've been blown away by the level of interest in the product."
Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, compostable and sustainable plastics, today announced a new symbol to represent "bioplastics." The designer of the new symbol is Laura Howard, a graphic design student at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, who is the winner of Cereplast's "Make Your Mark" competition.
The goal of the "Make Your Mark" contest was to discover a new symbol that will help consumers to identify products and packaging made from bioplastics. Bioplastics are environmentally friendly alternatives to petroleum-based plastics — made from renewable resources including potatoes, corn, wheat, tapioca, sugar and algae — and are biodegradable and compostable, providing consumers and manufacturers with a revolutionary option to help safeguard the environment and support a sustainable future.
Laura Howard, a design student from the University of Louisville in Kentucky, created the winning bioplastics symbol. A native of Louisville, the 29 year-old was awarded $25,000 for her design that Cereplast will use as a new icon for bioplastics. The simple design of the new symbol enables it to be easily identifiable on products, even when embossed on a clear plastic bottle, for example, as it was created to be both single color or colorless.
The "Make Your Mark" design competition, which was modeled after the 1970 contest that produced the globally recognized recycling symbol we see on recycled and recyclable products today, received over 1500 design entries and 2.8 million public votes which determined the top 200 designs. The renowned panel of judges narrowed the top 200 down to three contenders and, after a multi-tiered judging process, selected the winning symbol. "Make Your Mark" judges included Dr. Gary Anderson, creator of the recycling symbol, Dr. Michael Thielen, Publisher of bioplastics MAGAZINE, and Karim Rashid, world-class industrial designer, among others.
"We are excited to congratulate Laura Howard for designing a symbol that has the potential to become a revolutionary logo representing the next generation of plastics — plastics that protect and preserve our environment and are made from renewable resources. The new bioplastic symbol will be used in a similar fashion to the recycling symbol as it will be stamped on products, and it will serve as an identifying mark of bioplastic material," said Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast. "Petroleum-based plastics can have a devastating impact on our environment. Approximately 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year. At these quantities, we could wrap the entire planet several times over. Bioplastics offer a more respectful option for our environment, and we believe that this new symbol will help provide consumers with the tools they need to make more environmentally intelligent purchasing decisions."
"Cereplast's bioplastic symbol could likely gain traction much faster than the recycling symbol I designed, as communication in today's digital landscape runs at lightning speed compared to forty years ago," said Dr. Gary Anderson, creator of the recycling symbol and "Make Your Mark" judge. "I am honored to be a part of this historic competition that has produced a symbol that will represent the environmental benefits of bioplastics."
The winning symbol was unveiled on Earth Day Eve, April 21, 2011, at a gala event held at the Herman Miller Showroom in Los Angeles, California. The event was attended by local politicians, dignitaries, key figures from the "green" movement and members of the bioplastic industry. The Herman Miller Showroom is the first LEED CI (Commercial Interiors) Platinum building in Los Angeles, as certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
About Cereplast, Inc.
Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP) designs and manufactures proprietary bio-based, sustainable plastics which are used as substitutes for petroleum-based plastics in all major converting processes — such as injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding and extrusions — at a pricing structure that is competitive with petroleum-based plastics. On the cutting-edge of bio-based plastic material development, Cereplast now offers resins to meet a variety of customer demands. Cereplast Compostables® Resins are ideally suited for single use applications where high bio-based content and compostability are advantageous, especially in the food service industry. Cereplast Sustainables™ Resins combine high bio-based content with the durability and endurance of traditional plastic, making them ideal for applications in industries such as automotive, consumer electronics and packaging. Learn more at www.cereplast.com. You may also visit our social networking pages at Facebook.com/Cereplast, Twitter.com/Cereplast and Youtube.com/Cereplastinc.
The Cereplast, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=9567
Eleven eco-innovative consumer brands to be showcased at 7th edition of Ingeo Earth Month Innovation Gallery
For the seventh consecutive year, Ingeo Earth Month celebrates responsible product innovation and showcases the Ingeo Innovation Gallery around the world. The 11 brands in the exhibit are representative of the hundreds of companies that have created smarter consumer products with Ingeo plastics and fibers from plants, not oil.
Providing a testament to responsible product innovation with significantly reduced environmental impact, the Innovation Gallery includes products from: Bioserie, Earth's Best, Electrolux, Elements Naturals, Frito-Lay, Henkel, REI, Shiseido, Stonyfield, Walmart, and the newest consumer introductions from Target.
"Each year the Ingeo Innovation Gallery grows by including products from different industries and new consumer markets,” says Marc Verbruggen, NatureWorks president and chief executive office. “Today, there are hundreds of products from plastic cups to iPhone covers being made by our partners with Ingeo."
The Innovation Gallery will be presented at a number of events that are part of the Ingeo Earth Month project, including the LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) New York Earth Day Celebration that kicks off the month-long responsible innovation celebration, April 21. The Ingeo Gallery will then continue on to the LOHAS Minneapolis Conference, May 12 and the Boulder LOHAS Forum, June 22-24. NatureWorks, maker of Ingeo plastic from plants not oil, will also bring the Innovation Gallery to two global trade events, Interpack in Dusseldorf, May 12-18, and Chinaplas in Guangzhou, Peoples Republic of China, May 17-20.
"At LOHAS, our focus is on educating and building community around the central theme of healthy and sustainable lifestyles for individuals and societies," says Ted Ning, Executive Director, LOHAS. "NatureWorks and its Ingeo Innovation Gallery are a clear demonstration that the sustainable lifestyle is already happening, every day, in so many of the things that we as consumers take for granted."
Ingeo, a plastic from plants, not oil, guarantees the use of an innovative and unique technology with certified green credentials and positive environmental impact. Manufacturing Ingeo produces 60 percent less greenhouse gases and uses 50 percent less non-renewable energy than traditional plastics like PET and polystyrene. Additionally, explains Steve Davies, NatureWorks director of marketing and public affairs, "NatureWorks is working collaboratively with brands, retailers, and post-consumer organizations – to address and develop a full range of end-of-life options for its products to guarantee the lowest environmental impact from sourcing to disposal or reuse."
Davies adds, "Our partnership with LOHAS is important to promoting our message that smart, sustainable design for everyday products is a growing reality for businesses and consumers. Every year, Ingeo is being used in more applications, products, and consumer solutions."
The Ingeo Innovation Gallery represents a small portion of the market applications for the innovative biopolymer engineered by NatureWorks. A new 2011 Ingeo Earth Month edition of the Ingeo LookBook illustrates the breadth and increasingly mainstream nature of low carbon footprint products now available to consumers, with new products spanning multiple industries and categories, including packaging, electronics, clothing, housewares, health and personal care, semi-durable products, and foodservice items.
About NatureWorks LLC
NatureWorks LLC is a company dedicated to meeting the world’s needs today without compromising the earth’s ability to meet the needs of tomorrow. NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available, low-carbon footprint Ingeo biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with performance and economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers. For more information, visit www.natureworksllc.com.
Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) describes an estimated $290 billion U.S. marketplace for goods and services focused on health, the environment, social justice, personal development, and sustainable living. The consumers attracted to this market represent a sizable group in this country. Approximately 13-19 percent of the adults in the U.S., or 30-41 million people, are currently considered LOHAS consumers. This is based on surveys of the U.S. adult population estimated at 215 million. www.lohas.com
Stops include: LOHAS events in New York City, Minneapolis, and Boulder; and global trade shows Interpack and Chinaplas
Brands participating in Ingeo™ Earth Month include: Bioserie, Earth’s Best®, Electrolux, Elements Naturals, Frito-Lay, Henkel, REI, Shiseido, Stonyfield, Walmart, and the newest consumer introduction from Target.
Over 1,500 designs were submitted. 2.8 million votes were cast. Only three designs remain in Cereplast’s “Make Your Mark” bioplastics symbol graphic design contest.
The “Make Your Mark” contest, which was officially launched on January 3, 2011, is coming to a close this week. We received over 1,500 submissions for the contest, which was narrowed down to 200 by a public vote, and our renowned panel of judges took over from there. After great debate they successfully managed to narrow it down to the top three designs that we are very excited about. Without further ado, we present you the top three:
Silas Pandori, Graphic Designer at Iron Design in Ithaca, New York
Laura Howard, a graphic design student at the University of Louisville in Kentucky
The winning designer will receive a $25,000 grand prize. What is your favorite design? Please click on each designer’s symbol to join the discussion about each design.
The winning symbol will be announced on Earth Day Eve, April 21, 2011, at a gala event to be held at the Herman Miller Showroom in Los Angeles, California. The Herman Miller Showroom is an 18,000 square-foot venue that was named the first LEED CI (Commercial Interiors) Platinum building in Los Angeles, as certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
CJ CheilJedang and Arkema announce a project to build the world’s first bio-methionine plant and a thiochemicals platform in Asia
CJ CheilJedang (CJ Group) and Arkema have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding to build a bio-methionine and thiochemicals platform in South East Asia (Malaysia or Thailand). This project entails the construction of the world’s first world-scale methyl mercaptan integrated bio-methionine plant, which will enable CJ to respond to strong demand for methionine, a sulfur amino acid widely used for animal feed in Asia, and Arkema to better serve its Asian customers from a new industrial platform. The project represents overall investments of $400m split equally between both partners.
The project would pool together two sets of complementary expertise. CheilJedang has indeed developed a new innovative and highly competitive industrial bio-fermentation process to produce L-methionine from plant-based raw materials. L-methionine is digested more efficiently by animals than DL-methionine currently on the market. Meanwhile Arkema has extensive know-how and experience in the production process of methyl mercaptan, a sulfur-based intermediate that is key to the manufacture of methionine.
The 80,000 ton bio-methionine production plant, which would be unique in the world, and the thiochemicals platform would come on stream at the end of 2013.
“We are looking forward to this future collaboration with CheilJedang, which has extensive expertise in bio-fermentation processes. This joint venture will enable us to establish our first thiochemicals industrial facility in Asia in the very near future, where we will manufacture other high added value thiochemicals in addition to methyl mercaptan, We will then have over 50,000 tonnes of new capacities for DMDS and mercaptans, primarily for the gas and petrochemicals markets", stated Philippe Chartres, Managing Director of Arkema’s Thiochemicals Business Unit.
“We believe now is the right time to launch production of L-methionine as we are confident that L-methionine via the bioprocess technology today can compete favorably in terms of performance and cost with DL-methionine made from chemical processes. Moreover, this bio-fermentation process benefits from its ability to use different renewable feedstocks”, said Chul-Ha Kim, President of CJ’s Bio Business Unit.
“The construction of this plant is a strategic decision for CJ’s Bio Business Unit: CJ will be the first and only company in the world to produce and supply customers globally with the four major amino acids - the building blocks of proteins used for animal feed - from bio-fermentation processes, including L-lysine, L-threonine, L-tryptophan, and now L-methionine”, pointed out Chul-Ha Kim.
CJ CheilJedang, a Korean based food, feed, and bioscience company, is leading the way as No.1 global company in the world in the area of industrial biotechnology with innovations in fermentation, and purification technologies. CJ is a leading producer of fermentation-based products such as feed amino acids, MSG, and Nucleotides with global manufacturing and business operations in 6 continents. As a socially responsible company, CJ strives toward practicing carbon-neutral manufacturing operations by utilizing renewable raw materials and developing value-added co-products to minimize waste into the environment.
A global chemical company and France’s leading chemicals producer, Arkema is building the future of the chemical industry every day. Deploying a responsible, innovation-based approach, we produce state-of-the-art specialty chemicals that provide customers with practical solutions to such challenges as climate change, access to drinking water, the future of energy, fossil fuel preservation and the need for lighter materials. With operations in more than 40 countries, 14,000 employees and 8 research centers, Arkema generated annual revenue of €5.9 billion in 2010, and holds leadership positions in all its markets with a portfolio of internationally recognized brands.
With more and more environmentally conscious consumers choosing "green" products, scientists today reported that the first reality check has revealed that the ingredients in those products may come from a surprising source –– petroleum, rather than natural plant-based sources.
In a study presented here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Cara A.M. Bondi and colleagues described their analysis of more than a dozen samples of commercial liquid laundry detergents, dishwashing liquids, and hand washes.
"Not all carbon is created equal –– carbon originating from petroleum is clearly not from a renewable resource. No one can dispute that we need to use less petroleum and consumer products are no exception," Bondi said.
With no legal or standard definitions of sustainable, natural, or renewable, she and her colleagues used an indisputable scientific indicator: Where did the carbon in these products originate? Did it come from plants or from petrochemicals produced synthetically from petroleum? To answer that question, Bondi's team turned to a variation of the famous carbon-14 dating technique — used to analyze carbon in ancient bone, cloth, and other artifacts.
The products tested showed significant variation in plant-derived carbon content: hand washes ranged from 28%-97%, liquid laundry detergents from 28%-94% and dishwashing liquids from 43%-95%. The research also revealed that all of the products tested that are positioned in the consumer market as "green" contained over 50% more plant-based carbon on average than product samples tested without such positioning.
"Some of the other findings, however, were a surprise" Bondi said. "The plant-derived carbon content of the product samples tested was largely inconsistent with some of the content claims made on packaging. For example, a liquid laundry detergent that makes the claim 'petrochemical free' contained only 69% plant-based carbon, meaning that 31% of the carbon in this sample is, in fact, petroleum-derived."
"For the samples tested, our results clearly indicate that even though "green" claims are made on package labels or in advertisements, these claims are not necessarily an indication of where the carbon in these products is coming from," Bondi added.
"Carbon derivation is the cornerstone of sustainability and, as such, understanding the ratio of plant-derived versus petroleum-derived carbon is critical for both consumer product manufacturers and raw material suppliers who are trying to minimize petrochemical use," Bondi said. "While radiocarbon dating is commonly used by archeologists to determine the age of artifacts, this method has not customarily been used to understand the renewable carbon content of consumer products. We show that consumer product manufacturers who desire to use less petroleum can incorporate radiocarbon dating per ASTM D6866-10 as a method to verify the renewable carbon content of raw materials and finished products, as well as measure the sustainability and renewability improvements of formulation development efforts."
Your next new car hopefully won't be a lemon. But it could be a pineapple or a banana. That's because scientists in Brazil have developed a more effective way to use fibers from these and other plants in a new generation of automotive plastics that are stronger, lighter, and more eco-friendly than plastics now in use. They described the work, which could lead to stronger, lighter, and more sustainable materials for cars and other products, here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
Study leader Alcides Leão, Ph.D., said the fibers used to reinforce the new plastics may come from delicate fruits like bananas and pineapples, but they are super strong. Some of these so-called nano-cellulose fibers are almost as stiff as Kevlar, the renowned super-strong material used in armor and bulletproof vests. Unlike Kevlar and other traditional plastics, which are made from petroleum or natural gas, nano-cellulose fibers are completely renewable.
"The properties of these plastics are incredible," Leão said, "They are light, but very strong — 30 per cent lighter and 3-to-4 times stronger. We believe that a lot of car parts, including dashboards, bumpers, side panels, will be made of nano-sized fruit fibers in the future. For one thing, they will help reduce the weight of cars and that will improve fuel economy."
Besides weight reduction, nano-cellulose reinforced plastics have mechanical advantages over conventional automotive plastics, Leão added. These include greater resistance to damage from heat, spilled gasoline, water, and oxygen. With automobile manufacturers already testing nano-cellulose-reinforced plastics, with promising results, he predicted they would be used within two years.
Cellulose is the main material that makes up the wood in trees and other parts of plants. Its ordinary-size fibers have been used for centuries to make paper, extracted from wood that is ground up and processed. In more recent years, scientists have discovered that intensive processing of wood releases ultra-small, or "nano" cellulose fibers, so tiny that 50,000 could fit inside across the width of a single strand of human hair. Like fibers made from glass, carbon, and other materials, nano-cellulose fibers can be added to raw material used to make plastics, producing reinforced plastics that are stronger and more durable.
Leão said that pineapple leaves and stems, rather than wood, may be the most promising source for nano-cellulose. He is with Sao Paulo State University in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Another is curaua, a plant related to pineapple that is cultivated in South America. Other good sources include bananas; coir fibers found in coconut shells; typha, or "cattails;" sisal fibers produced from the agave plant; and fique, another plant related to pineapples.
To prepare the nano-fibers, the scientists insert the leaves and stems of pineapples or other plants into a device similar to a pressure cooker. They then add certain chemicals to the plants and heat the mixture over several cycles, producing a fine material that resembles talcum powder. The process is costly, but it takes just one pound of nano-cellulose to produce 100 pounds of super-strong, lightweight plastic, the scientists said.
"So far, we're focusing on replacing automotive plastics," said Leão. "But in the future, we may be able to replace steel and aluminum automotive parts using these plant-based nanocellulose materials."
Similar plastics also show promise for future use in medical applications, such as replacement materials for artificial heart valves, artificial ligaments, and hip joints, Leão and colleagues said.
USDA Awards Certified Biobased Product Label to Goods From National Industries for the Blind Associated Nonprofit Agencies
Products from two of the 90 nonprofit agencies associated with National Industries for the Blind (NIB) were among those approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to use USDA’s new product label on certified biobased products. The announcement was made by Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan at a biobased product meeting March 31 in Glenwillow, Ohio.
NIB and its associated agencies provide employment for people who are blind by producing products and providing services to federal government customers through the AbilityOne Program.
One of the USDA-certified products is hand sanitizer sold under the SKILCRAFT® brand through Travis Association for the Blind in Austin, Texas. The PURELL Green Certified Instant Hand Sanitizer Foam is produced by GOJO Industries Inc. and made with 100% naturally renewable plant-derived ethanol in a readily biodegradable formula.
Another USDA-certified biobased product is SKILCRAFT® Liquid Hand Soap, which has 98 percent biobased content, and is manufactured by The Lighthouse for the Blind in St. Louis, Missouri.
“We are proud to achieve certification from USDA for our quality biobased products,” said NIB President and CEO Kevin A. Lynch. “This supports the federal government’s greening initiative, while providing meaningful employment for people who are blind.”
“These companies are proving that innovation and agriculture can grow together to build a foundation for future growth in rural America as we work to win the future,” said Deputy Secretary Merrigan. “Consumer cleaning products, containers, and the ‘intermediate materials’ used to manufacture them – made from agriculturally-sourced ingredients – help add value to commodities, create jobs in rural communities, and can reduce our dependence on imported oil.”
Biobased products are those composed wholly or significantly of agricultural ingredients – renewable plant animal, marine or forestry materials. This new label indicates that the product has been independently certified to meet USDA BioPreferred program standards for biobased content. Biobased products reduce the use of petroleum in manufactured products and reduce the introduction of fossil carbon into the atmosphere.
The Secretary of Agriculture has designated 5,100 biobased products for preferred purchasing by federal agencies. USDA estimates there are 20,000 biobased products currently being manufactured in the United States.
About National Industries for the Blind
At National Industries for the Blind (NIB), it is our mission to enhance the opportunities for economic and personal independence of persons who are blind, primarily through creating, sustaining and improving employment. NIB and 90 associated agencies serve as the largest employer for people who are blind by the sale of SKILCRAFT® products and services through the AbilityOne Program, established by the Javits-Wagner-O'Day Act. www.nib.org
About USDA’s BioPreferred Program
USDA’s BioPreferred program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill to increase the purchase and use of biobased products within the Federal government. Congress reauthorized and strengthened the program in the 2008 Farm Bill to further promote the sale of biobased products. With the launch of this new biobased product label, USDA’s BioPreferred program is now comprised of two parts: a biobased product procurement preference program for Federal agencies, and a voluntary labeling initiative for the broad-scale marketing of biobased products. www.biopreferred.gov
About Travis Association for the Blind
Travis Association for the Blind, otherwise known as the Austin Lighthouse, is a service-oriented nonprofit organization, established in 1934 with the mission to assist people who are blind or vision impaired to attain skills needed to gain employment. In 1987, the Lighthouse began a Skin Care product line for Texas state agencies, purchasing raw materials from GOJO Industries. In 2005, the Lighthouse co-branded with SKILCRAFT to provide products such as PURELL hand sanitizer, hand soap, and hair and body shampoo to the federal government through the AbilityOne Program, creating new jobs for blind and visually impaired employees. In addition to its 62,500-square-foot manufacturing facility, the Lighthouse operates distribution warehouses where employees who are blind learn new skills including computer operations, order processing and customer service. www.austinlighthouse.org
About The Lighthouse for the Blind – St. Louis
The Lighthouse for the Blind is a privately chartered, 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation established in 1933. Through the manufacture and sale of products to various government agencies as well as commercial customers, Lighthouse furthers its mission of assisting individuals who are legally blind to maintain dignity and independence by making available employment, education and support services. Lighthouse is committed to providing a supportive environment where employees can count on developing new and productive skills that will assist them in reaching amazing levels of independence. www.lhbindustries.com
Melbourne-based established manufacturer Stellar Films has released their new range of sustainable films utilising Cardia Biohybrid™ patented technology for the personal care and medical products industry. The new range of films meets the highest performance standards and displays a unique satin feel. Stellar Films will be present with these novel films at the world's leading nonwovens trade fair, INDEX 11, in Geneva, Switzerland commencing 12th April 2011.
Stellar Films Managing Director, Stephen Walters, said "The combination of performance, environmental profile and cost effectiveness made Cardia BiohybridTM technology the solution for Stellar Films product needs. The unique texture of our BiohybridTM hygiene and medical films gives our customers' products that plush, satin feel and appearance."
Stellar Films' product launch of personal care films made with Cardia BiohybridTM technology is consistent with the INDEX 11 theme of market innovation and sustainability of nonwovens products.
Cardia BiohybridTM technology combines renewable thermoplastics with polyolefin material to reduce dependence on finite oil resources and to reduce carbon footprint. Cardia Managing Director, Dr Frank Glatz, said "Growth for our business is fuelled by the global trend towards sustainable packaging. We are delighted to be collaborating with Stellar Films to offer the personal care industry a product that is environmentally responsible and offers a unique and soft finish."
"Stellar Films is a company committed to the manufacture and supply of the finest quality personal care film products. In conjunction with several of their major customers, Stellar is committed to further enhancing the current range of sustainable products and manufacturing processes.
Our partnership with Stellar Films will enable their personal care film customers to purchase innovative film products with reduced dependence on finite oil resources and lower carbon footprint."
Stephen Walters emphasised Stellar Films' strategy on responsible products and packaging. "We are excited to work with Cardia Bioplastics. Our personal care film products made from Cardia BiohybridTM resins will form an integral part of our responsible product offering."
Cardia Bioplastics is benefiting from the trend towards sustainable packaging with products used in a broad range of packaging applications, including flexible film, injection moulding, blow moulding, foam, extrusion and coating applications. It gives customers the choice of using sustainable Cardia BiohybridTM technology (less oil, lower carbon foot print) or Cardia's internationally certified Compostable technology for their packaging or plastic products.
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 www.cardiabioplastics.com
About Stellar Films
Stellar Films is a Melbourne-based manufacturer of high-quality film for personal care and medical product applications. Our heritage in manufacturing quality personal care film products spans over 25 years with manufacturing facilities in Melbourne, Australia and Port Klang, Malaysia. Over the last ten years, the Stellar Films Group has worked to develop partnerships with customers in over twenty seven countries throughout North America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia/New Zealand. Our goal is to provide our customers with film, service & technical backup in a package that represents ........"Affordable Quality".
Just in time for Earth Month, The Coca-Cola Co. has announced that all of its Dasani brand water bottles nationwide and Odwalla single-serving juice bottles will be available exclusively in PlantBottle® packaging.
The single-serve Odwalla packages are made from up to 100% plant-based materials with high-density polyethylene plastic, while PET bottles for Dasani are made with up to 30% plant-based materials..
According to Coca-Cola, billions of PlantBottle packages that will reach store shelves this year. In 2010, more than 2.5 billion PlantBottle packages were available across nine countries. For 2011, that number is expected to double to more than 5 billion PlantBottle packages in more than 15 countries.
“It’s our goal to make traditional plastic bottles a thing of the past and ensure that every beverage we produce is available in 100 percent plant-based, fully recyclable packaging,” says Scott Vitters, general manager, PlantBottle Packaging Platform, The Coca-Cola Company. “The national launch of Dasani PlantBottle packaging represents an important step toward reducing our carbon footprint, and the up to 100 percent plant-based, recyclable packaging used for Odwalla is the first of its kind in the beverage industry.”
Traditional PET bottles are made from petroleum and other nonrenewable fossil fuels. Incorporating a blend of petroleum-based materials with up to 30% plant-based materials allows PlantBottle packaging for Dasani to reduce potential intrinsic carbon dioxide emissions when compared with PET plastic bottles.
“Dasani is designed to make a difference by offering a better designed package for a more sustainable future,” says John Roddey, vice president and general manager, Water, Tea and Coffee, Coca-Cola North America. “Because Dasani PlantBottle packaging is up to 30 percent made from plants and still 100 percent recyclable, it was designed with the planet in mind by helping to reduce the impact of our packaging on the environment.”
Odwalla is first with 100% plant-based HDPE
PlantBottle packaging used for Odwalla is made of HDPE plastic created using only ethylene derived from 100-percent renewable sugarcane-based ethanol. Odwalla is the first nationally distributed beverage brand to transition its packaging to fully recyclable, HDPE plastic made from 100% plant-based materials.
“The launch of PlantBottle packaging for Odwalla represents a significant step in our brand’s ongoing efforts to protect our planet,” says Odwalla president Alison Lewis. “Since its inception, Odwalla has maintained a very simple vision: make great juice, do good things for the community, and build a business with a heart.”
The plant-based materials for both Dasani and Odwalla PlantBottle packaging are produced through a process that turns sugarcane into a key component for PET and HDPE plastic. Currently, PlantBottle packaging is made using sugarcane ethanol from Brazil, the only source widely recognized globally for its unique environmental and social performance, according to Coca-Cola. Brazilian sugarcane is primarily rain-fed and industrially grown on abundant, arable land using organic fertilizers. The plantations from which PlantBottle materials are sourced are located far away from Amazon rain forests, and their impact on biodiversity is reduced thanks to advanced farming practices and sound public policy.
Notes Coca-Cola, unlike other plant-based plastics, PlantBottle packaging is entirely recyclable and can be processed through existing systems. This ensures PlantBottle packaging can be repeatedly used, recycled, and reused. In addition, there are no differences in shelf life, weight, composition, or appearance between traditional PET plastic bottles and PlantBottle plastic bottles.
In late 2009, PlantBottle packaging was launched in the western U.S. and eight other markets around the world. To date, PlantBottle packaging is estimated to have eliminated the equivalent of 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or 3 million gallons of gasoline used to produce PET plastic bottles. Currently, Coca-Cola is working to further technology so other plant materials can be used in future PlantBottle packaging. The ultimate long-term goal is to turn waste into a resource, resulting in a carbon-neutral, 100%-renewable, responsibly sourced bottle that is fully recyclable.
“Several approaches to a PET package made entirely from plants have been successfully demonstrated in laboratory testing. We’re working to advance this breakthrough science to ensure it is commercially viable,” says Vitters. “PlantBottle packaging means only good things for everybody. We welcome others in the industry joining us in advancing the science behind packaging made from plants.”
The national rollout of PlantBottle packaging for Dasani will be supported by a national television spot breaking in April. Additional executions will include enhanced packaging graphics, as well as out-of-home, print, digital, and point-of sale-advertising to build awareness for PlantBottle packaging. Odwalla’s marketing program includes coupons, print advertising, and digital programs. New labeling point-of-sale materials for in-store displays will feature attention-grabbing messages such as “Paper or Plastic? Try Plant!”
Cereplast, Inc. (NASDAQ: CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary bio-based, compostable and sustainable plastics, today announced that the "Make Your Mark" design competition received 2.8 million votes between January 3, 2011 and March 4, 2011, the respective open and close dates for public voting on the contest website. The goal of the "Make Your Mark" contest is to introduce a new symbol that will help consumers to identify products and packaging made from bioplastics.
"We are thrilled about the enthusiasm and creativity the participants have exhibited on behalf of our "Make Your Mark" contest in search of a new bioplastics symbol. With 2.8 million votes from the public, the interest and interaction surrounding the contest has exceeded our expectations," said Frederic Scheer, Cereplast Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "The bioplastics symbol will enable consumers to easily identify products made from bioplastics, similar to the globally recognized recycling symbol we see on thousands of plastic products."
The contest received over 1500 design submissions and the top 200 semi-finalists were determined based on a public voting system. The top 200 candidates can be viewed at www.iizuu.com/cereplast. The panel of judges, which include notable names including Karim Rashid, Gary Anderson (creator of the recycling symbol) and Rebecca Minkoff, is currently conducting a multi-tiered process of selecting the top three designs.
"Make Your Mark" judge, John Newland, Herman Miller Vice President of A+D said, "As companies and consumers move toward "greening" their products and business practices, it is important to educate the public in the ways they can identify what the products they purchase are made from. Herman Miller is proud to support Cereplast in their quest to bring a symbol to the marketplace that has the potential to help better inform consumers across the globe about the products they buy."
The winning symbol will be announced on Earth Day Eve, April 21, 2011, at a gala event to be held at the Herman Miller Showroom in Los Angeles, California. Located at 3641 Holdrege Avenue, Herman Miller's 18,000 square-foot showroom is the first LEED CI (Commercial Interiors) Platinum building in Los Angeles, as certified by the U.S. Green Building Council. The designer of the winning bioplastics symbol will receive $25,000.
About Cereplast, Inc.
Cereplast, Inc. (NASDAQ:CERP) designs and manufactures proprietary bio-based, sustainable plastics which are used as substitutes for petroleum-based plastics in all major converting processes - such as injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding and extrusions - at a pricing structure that is competitive with petroleum-based plastics. On the cutting-edge of bio-based plastic material development, Cereplast now offers resins to meet a variety of customer demands. Cereplast Compostables® Resins are ideally suited for single use applications where high bio-based content and compostability are advantageous, especially in the food service industry. Cereplast Sustainables™ Resins combine high bio-based content with the durability and endurance of traditional plastic, making them ideal for applications in industries such as automotive, consumer electronics and packaging. Learn more at www.cereplast.com. You may also visit our social networking pages at Facebook.com/Cereplast, Twitter.com/Cereplast and Youtube.com/Cereplastinc.
A research team has developed a new process that utilizes meat and bone meal (MBM) as raw materials to produce partly biodegradable plastic.
The research was presented at the American Chemical Society’s 241st National Meeting and Exposition by Fehime Vatansever and her associates of the Clemson University, South Carolina.
The US Food and Drug Administration implemented a ban on using MBM as cattle feed in 1997 to reduce the spread of the human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). This ban made MBM as a waste material to be disposed in landfills.
Instead of disposing MBM as waste material, the research team decided to use it to produce bioplastics that are free from petroleum.
The researchers blended the bioplastics produced from MBM with ultra-high-molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), a tough polymer utilized in PVC windows, joint replacements, snowboards and skis.
From the test results, the researchers proved that their MBM/UHMWPE plastic has the same toughness and durability of UHMWPE with an added advantage of being partly biodegradable.
Vatansever said that any traces of BSE infectious elements present in MBM are deactivated in the production of the bioplastics.
The new process reduces the quantity of petroleum required to produce plastics and allows reuse of MBM. She added that her team has produced a powerful, green material that can be manufactured easily.
DuPont is introducing new developments in materials for creating sustainable, affordable packaging. Recent developments include the adoption of DuPont Biomax Strong 120 to help accelerate the growth of bio-based polylactic acid (PLA) polymers in packaging and the use of its Surlyn ionomer resins to reduce flexible packaging waste and cost, and a new grade of Appeel lidding sealant resin, used to improve the convenience of peelable lids for retortable polypropylene (PP) packages and protect their contents by ensuring seal integrity.
According to DuPont research into new materials and opportunities for sustainable packaging, the advanced polymer modifier Biomax Strong 120 can help overcome the limitations that hold back the widespread use of bio-based polylactic acid (PLA) in packaging. As well as delivering significant toughening effects in brittle PLA materials, the modifier reduces film noise and cuts power consumption while increasing thermal stability during extrusion.
To date, the crinkly sound of PLA-based films have limited their acceptance in flexible packaging applications such as snack bags. Preliminary testing of monolayer films shows that Biomax reduces such noise even at just a few percent loading. Moreover, during extrusion, it acts as a lubricant in the solids conveying sections of the extruder, resulting in an increase of up to 21 percent in extruder energy efficiency with just 2 weight percent of the product.
Further sustainable solutions from DuPont include a new solvent-free lidding solution that provides an easy and effective way to make peelable lids for retortable polypropylene (PP) packages that offer improved sealing integrity to protect the contents, and the use of Surlyn resins to reduce the environmental footprint and cost of flexible packaging structures without trade-offs in packaging integrity or appeal. When used as a seal layer, Surlyn enables packagers to downgauge packaging while maintaining stiffness, improving seal integrity and puncture resistance and simultaneously achieving significant savings in overall system cost.
Serac will present world exclusive on its booth at Interpack trade the Bottle Thermoforming machine ‘Roll N Blow’ of the French start-up Agami, company of which Serac is a shareholder. This machine allows producing bottles at a cost and a material weight much lower than the conventional methods. It is based on an innovative technology of tubular thermoforming from a plastic sheet in reel. This technology authorizes high and round shapes for a volume from 100 to 500 ml. It addresses fresh dairy products industry and more particularly drinking yoghurts, and also fruit juices.
Numerous plastic materials are compatible with the thermoforming (PS, PP, PLA, PET).
The production of a plastic film extruded at high pace and large width is very economic. The plastic goes directly from stage of sheet to bottle. This represents savings of purchase of the order of 30 to 50 %.
The use of reels of plastic sheet as basic material allows to reduce the costs of transport, storages and manipulations of bottles or empty preforms upstream to the blowing.
In terms of utilities all the consumptions are reduced with regard to the conventional technologies: the blowing is implemented at low-pressure (< 6 bar) and at low temperature (< 150°C). No necessity of high-pressure compressor and electric consumption is 2 to 3 times lower compared to traditional blowing of preforms.
Roll N Blow 4 tracks thermoforming machine that will be presented to the trade authorizes a pace of 7 000 packagings / hour.
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced today that NatureWorks is one of the first 11 companies approved to use USDA’s new product label on its certified bio-based Ingeo products under the department’s BioPreferred program. The announcement was made at a bio-based product meeting held in Glenwillow, Ohio.
NatureWorks’ Ingeo biopolymer – made from plants not oil – is the market-leading material among a new generation of fibers and plastics that provide low-carbon-footprint products. With the BioPreferred label, Ingeo resins are now USDA certified as containing 100 percent biobased carbon content. Ingeo is used in multiple industries and categories, including packaging, electronics, clothing, house wares, health and personal care, semi-durable products and the foodservice industry. More than 500 companies produce Ingeo based products, including such international brands as Avianca, Electrolux, Henkel, NEC, Shiseido, Stonyfield and Walmart. The production of Ingeo uses less fossil fuel and emits fewer greenhouse gases than conventional polymers.
"The USDA’s new product label serves as a critical and trusted signpost for consumers by identifying bio-based materials and products that have undergone a robust and rigorous third party certification,” said Steve Davies, director marketing and public affairs, NatureWorks. “NatureWorks is proud to be one of the first to have earned the BioPreferred distinction from the USDA."
NatureWorks is a Cargill-owned company and is one example of the company’s innovations in bio-based products. Cargill also manufactures soy-based BiOH® polyhols used in making flexible foam, which can be used to create upholstered furniture and bedding, carpet backing and automotive cushioning. Additional bio-based industrial products developed by Cargill include naturally sourced oils used to make paints, coatings, construction materials, lubricants and transformer fluids, among other products.
Biobased products are those composed wholly or significantly of agricultural ingredients – renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials. This new label indicates that the product has been independently certified to meet USDA BioPreferred program standards for bio-based content. Bio-based products can help increase U.S. energy independence by reducing the use of petroleum in manufactured products. They may also reduce the introduction of fossil carbon into the atmosphere, thus mitigating potential climate change impacts.
"These companies are proving that innovation and agriculture can grow together to build a foundation for future growth in rural America as we work to win the future," said Deputy Secretary Merrigan. "Consumer cleaning products, containers and the ‘intermediate materials’ used to manufacture them – made from agriculturally-sourced ingredients – help add value to commodities, create jobs in rural communities and can reduce our dependence on imported oil."
Through implementation of the pre-existing USDA BioPreferred program, the Secretary of Agriculture has designated 5,100 bio-based products for preferred purchasing by federal agencies. The new label makes identification of these products easier for Federal buyers and will increase awareness of these high-value products in the commercial and consumer markets. USDA estimates that there are 20,000 biobased products currently being manufactured in the United States.
To view numerous examples of how companies around the world have incorporated Ingeo into their products, visit NatureWorks most recent Ingeo LookBook, which illustrates the breadth and increasingly mainstream nature of low-carbon-footprint products now available to the consumer. For more information on Ingeo and NatureWorks, visit www.natureworksllc.com and sign up for the company’s newsletter. To learn more about BioPreferred, visit www.biopreferred.gov.
About NatureWorks LLC
NatureWorks LLC is a company dedicated to meeting the world’s needs today without compromising the earth’s ability to meet the needs of tomorrow. NatureWorks LLC is the first company to offer a family of commercially available, low-carbon-footprint Ingeo biopolymers derived from 100 percent annually renewable resources with performance and economics that compete with oil-based plastics and fibers. For more information, visit www.natureworksllc.com.
About USDA’s BioPreferred Program
USDA’s BioPreferred program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill to increase the purchase and use of biobased products within the Federal government. Congress reauthorized and strengthened the program in the 2008 Farm Bill to further promote the sale of biobased products. With the launch of this new biobased product label, USDA’s BioPreferred program is now comprised of two parts: a biobased product procurement preference program for Federal agencies, and a voluntary labeling initiative for the broad-scale marketing of biobased products. To learn more, please visit www.biopreferred.gov.
USDA Awards Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. First Certified Biobased Product Label on its Renewable Thermoformed Produce Containers
Renewable thermoformed produce packaging developed by Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. has earned the industry’s first U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Certified Biobased Product Label, part of a new voluntary labeling program to help purchasers choose products made with biobased commodities. Deputy Agriculture Secretary Kathleen Merrigan unveiled the nation’s first products approved to display the new USDA product label at a biobased product meeting held near Cleveland, Ohio.
"These companies are proving that innovation and agriculture can grow together to build a foundation for future growth in rural America as we work to win the future," said Deputy Secretary Merrigan. "Consumer cleaning products, containers, and the ‘intermediate materials’ used to manufacture them – made from agriculturally-sourced ingredients – help add value to commodities, create jobs in rural communities, and can reduce our dependence on imported oil."
Biobased products are those composed wholly or significantly of agricultural ingredients – renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials. This new label indicates that the product has been independently certified to meet USDA BioPreferred program standards for biobased content. Clear Lam was among the first companies to submit applications for the USDA BioPreferred program, including five product lines in the packaging category.
"We’re proud to achieve this important distinction under USDA’s BioPreferred program as it will bring greater clarity to the marketplace and spur more leading product manufacturers and consumers to embrace materials that reduce adverse environmental impacts," said James Sanfilippo, President and CEO of Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. "Because many biobased packages look the same as petroleum-based products, the Biobased Product Label lets everyone know they can trust manufacturer’s biobased claims as they’ve been verified through a reliable, rigorous third-party certification process."
Clear Lam's renewable thermoformed produce containers are produced from over 93 percent plant-based bioplastics derived from Ingeo™ PLA (polylactic acid) along with ingredients that add performance characteristics such as enhanced impact and temperature resistance. These materials are part of the company’s Project EarthClear™ program and replace petroleum-based plastics with biobased ingredients developed to reduce the introduction of fossil carbon into the atmosphere.
In addition to Clear Lam’s renewable thermoformed produce containers that will now carry the Biobased Product Label, the company has four other applications underway for its flexible and rigid packages. Currently, Clear Lam works with several leading retailers and consumer packaged goods companies to supply renewable packaging. Walmart has been a leader in introducing sustainable packaging into everyday use. The Walmart private label Marketside branded Organic Lettuce containers are one of the first packages certified under the USDA BioPreferred program. These renewable containers are also used to package fruits, meats, cheeses, candy and nuts. Additional packaging Clear Lam has submitted for the BioPreferred program includes packages for condiments, salty snacks and dairy based items such as yogurt and cottage cheese.
Over the past seven years Clear Lam has implemented a process of continuous improvement to produce biobased plastics that perform as well as petroleum-based plastics. Developing innovative technologies that help protect the perishable product being packaged while using materials that have a minimal impact on the environment has been the key challenge to overcome.
Through implementation of the pre-existing USDA BioPreferred program, the Secretary of Agriculture has designated 5,100 biobased products for preferred purchasing by Federal agencies. The new label makes identification of these products easier for Federal buyers and will increase awareness of these high-value products in commercial and consumer markets. USDA estimates that there are 20,000 biobased products currently being manufactured in the United States.
USDA's BioPreferred program was created by the 2002 Farm Bill to increase the purchase and use of biobased products within the Federal government. Congress reauthorized and strengthened the program in the 2008 Farm Bill to further promote the sale of biobased products. With the launch of this new Biobased Product Label, USDA's BioPreferred program is now comprised of two parts: a biobased product procurement preference program for Federal agencies, and a voluntary labeling initiative for the broad-scale marketing of biobased products. To learn more, please visit www.biopreferred.gov.
For nearly a decade, Clear Lam has invested extensively in research and development to commercialize new packaging technologies that minimize the impact on the environment. These efforts include three product lines developed for Clear Lam’s Project EarthClear™ program: Flexible and Rigid Packaging made from renewable raw materials, bioplastics, cellophane and paper (not petroleum-based feedstocks); Flexible and Rigid Packaging made with recycled plastic or paper; and Lightweighting Materials to eliminate heavy cans, bottles and jars. Today Clear Lam is one of the world’s largest extruders and thermoformers of plant-based Ingeo™ PLA.
To learn more about Clear Lam and the Project EarthClear™ program, please visit www.projectearthclear.com.
About Clear Lam Packaging:
Founded in 1969, Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of rigid and flexible packaging materials for thousands of food, personal health care and other consumer products. With seven manufacturing facilities (four in the U.S. and three in China), Clear Lam employs over 700 people. Vertically integrated from design to manufacturing, Clear Lam has the largest thermoforming platforms in the world.
Ingeo™ is a registered trademark of NatureWorks LLC
EarthClear™ is a trademark of Clear Lam Packaging, Inc.