Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

Biopac launches new compostable green cup

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The manufacturer of biodegradable and compostable packaging said that its new cup was aimed at coffee outlets who want to demonstrate their commitment to the environment.

The new cup is a sister product to Biopac’s ‘I’m not a plastic cup’, launched last year.

Made from certified FSC board lined with a starch material, the cup is 100% compostable, so very kind to the environment.

The cups are available in 8oz and 12oz and there is also a fully compostable sip through lid to fit each size. The cups are packed in quantities of 1000 cups.

The firm’s clients include Hard Rock Café, KFC, Urban Pie and Vestey Foods, along with a number of other well established names



Biopac director Mark Brigden said: “We wanted to design a compostable hot cup which would help our clients give a clear message about their commitment to the environment. The bold printed graphics help to achieve this.”

While the graphics are standard, Biopac said that it offers a bespoke design service for companies wishing to have their logo printed.

Brigden added: “The cups are ideal for coffee outlets, festivals and outdoor events, as well as general foodservice. They are in stock now and are already proving popular with a number of our clients.”

The cups are certified to European standards for compostability – EN13432.



Plant-based plastics: Roquette's GAÏALENE® industrial unit fully operational

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The Roquette Group, one of the world leaders in the processing of raw vegetable materials, is now becoming a major plant-based plastics player. It has successfully launched its first industrial production unit for GAIALENE® plant-based plastics at its main site in Lestrem (Pas-de-Calais).

roquete The construction of this industrial unit with a capacity of 25,000 tonnes was finished on schedule at the end of 2011.
Another decisive step was completed at the beginning of this year: the production of this industrial unit fully complies with the quality standards laid down by Roquette and will be able to serve the European market where there is a big demand for eco-designed products with a low carbon footprint.

After several years of investment in research & development, the Roquette Group has developed a range of plant-based plastics that are now available in industrial quantities under the GAIALENE® brand.
Unique and unrivalled on the market, these GAIALENE® plant-based plastics are produced with a patented technology from locally grown cereals. These vegetable materials are used to replace the fossil-based raw materials normally used for plastics.
The GAIALENE® plant-based plastics are very environmentally-friendly. They have a particularly low carbon footprint and are veritable carbon traps thanks to their vegetable origin and what is more they are totally recyclable at the end of their service lives in the existing sectors.
These GAIALENE® plastics are used in the conventional processes to be found in the plastics technology industry and constitute an innovative solution for the production of films, injection moulded parts and small bottles. The industrial range is today available in various packagings.

In order to serve the European market, where there is a big demand for products with a low carbon footprint, the Roquette Group chose to set up its first industrial production unit for GAIALENE® on its main site at Lestrem in northern France. The reason for this location is also to have the benefit of the upstream integration of plant-based resources within the biggest biorefinery in Europe.
The Roquette Group now positions itself as a benchmark player for innovative solutions in the plastics technology sector.


Elevance Renewable Sciences and Arkema partnership to develop and produce renewable polymers

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logo_arkema Elevance Renewable Sciences Inc. and Arkema announced today a global partnership for the development and production of renewable specialty polymers.

Elevance is providing novel, differentiated, functionalized renewable starting materials, including the company’s 9-decenoic methyl ester, from their bio refineries.

Arkema has a long and well-established background in the field of bio-based specialty polymers. By combining their expertise, both companies will work on the development of a range of specialty bio-based polymers based on Elevance specialty methyl ester intermediate.

“Arkema’s position as producer of high-performing bio-sourced technical polymers is a natural fit for our unique specialty chemicals,” said Andy Shafer, executive vice president of sales and market development for Elevance. “We are pleased to be partnering with them in this important market for both of us”.

“Our partnership with Elevance offers Arkema the strategic opportunity to expand our current feedstocks for biosourced raw materials and to strengthen our leading position on the fast-growing bio-sourced polymer market with increased capacities for our customers globally,” said Jean-Luc Dubois, Scientific Director, for Arkema.

Based in Woodridge, Ill., Elevance Renewable Sciences, Inc. creates valued specialty chemicals from natural oils. Using a Nobel Prize-winning technology called olefin metathesis, the company creates high performance ingredients for use in personal care products, detergents, fuels, lubricants and other specialty chemicals markets. To learn more about Elevance, visit

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, 15,700 employees and 9 research centers, Arkema generates annual revenue of €5.9 billion, and holds leadership positions in all its markets with a portfolio of internationally recognized brands. The world is our inspiration.


Compostable Labels Now Available

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Compostable labels are now available from Convex Plastics to put on Econic® and other bio-degradable packaging.
The new compostable labels are ideal for putting on plain packs and can be custom-printed to maximise branding and shelf appeal.
Developed in partnership with Tauranga’s EcoSavi Group, the compostable labels are an adaptation of Convex’s award-winning GreenSACK™ technology, which easily breaks down when composted into CO2, water and bio-mass from the micro-organism activity. They also incorporate a unique, specifically designed water-based adhesive, free of the numerous chemicals used in traditional adhesives. This enables the labels to break down in just two and a half months after composting.

Convex Plastics Technical Manager Andrew Sheerin says the new EcoSavi labels were developed to provide an economical labelling option for companies not yet ready to custom-print their compostable packaging.
Andy says, “Using EcoSavi will enable companies to use well-presented labels that will break down at roughly the same rate as the compostable pack it is adhered to. The EcoSavi labels are fully compliant with stringent global food and compostability standards and do not require a heat catalyst to kick-start the composting process, which is something that similar materials in other applications require.”

EcoSavi labels are available now from Convex Plastics. For more information please email Andrew Sheerin at
Convex is also in the process of developing recyclable backings for the EcoSavi labels. These are expected to be commercially available within the next six months.




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Innovia Films’ renewable, compostable cellulose-based material, NatureFlex™, won Ganong Bros Limited’s approval, to pack its range of Easter confectionery in stand up pouches.

Ganong is Canada’s oldest candy company, founded in 1873 and remains family owned and operated.  Its headquarters and manufacturing facility is in New Brunswick.



Bruce Rafuse, Vice President of Marketing at Ganong explained “We had two primary objectives in selecting the package: first and foremost was to improve sales and distribution and second to differentiate us from the competition.  We considered several alternatives, but based upon feedback from consumers and retailers decided upon NatureFlex™ due to it being compostable and the distinct competitive advantage this gives us.  Our ultimate goal is to move all our products into compostable pouches.”

The stand up pouch pack is converted by Canadian based – Genpak – using compostable NatureFlex™ NKR laminated to a biopolymer sealant layer.  “NatureFlex™ provides excellent barriers to oxygen and moisture, which ensure the product maintains its quality.  The film also printed and performed well on our machines,” said Bill Reilly, Development Manager, Genpak.

NatureFlex™ films are certified to meet the American ASTM D6400, European EN13432 and Australian AS4736 standards for compostable packaging.  The wood-pulp is sourced from managed plantations from referenced suppliers operating Good Forestry principals (FSC or equivalent).  The renewable biobased content of NatureFlex™ films is typically 95% by weight of material according to ASTM D6866.  NatureFlex™ has been confirmed as suitable for emerging ‘waste to energy’ techniques such as anaerobic digestion, aiding the diversion of organic wastes from landfill.

The range of Ganong’s Easter confectionery which is packed in the NatureFlex™ stand up pouches includes: Chocolate Covered Cherry Eggs, Easter Eggs, Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Eggs and Easter Animal Jellies.  These products will be available nationally in Canada in the run up to Easter.

The pack design has already the caught the eye of the industry and won a PAC (The Packaging Association) Silver Award for ‘Branded Package Made in Canada’.

NatureFlex™ was an obvious solution for use in this application as the film begins life as a natural product – wood – and breaks down at the end of its lifecycle in a home compost bin (or industrial compost environment) within a matter of weeks.


New, vegetal-based biopolymers from Clariant

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At the upcoming in-cosmetics show in Barcelona, Clariant will present three new lines of biopolymers for skin and hair care under the theme “Touch of Nature”. The company also announces that it has achieved Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification, according to ISO 22716, for its global cosmetics manufacturing.

Clariant, a leading supplier of cosmetic ingredients, has responded to the market’s need for natural-based products by launching three new lines of vegetal-based biopolymers that are active ingredients and sensory boosters in skin and hair care. All are extracted from fungal sources that are: non-GMO, inexhaustible, quality constant, traceable and renewable.
“These are natural ingredients that moisturize, repair and protect skin and hair, and they are extraordinarily gentle,” says Ralf Zerrer, Head of Strategic Marketing of Clariant’s Business Unit Industrial & Consumer Specialties. “Our customers can use these to set themselves apart in the personal care industry, to fulfill their consumers’ desire for purity and effectiveness.”
The three product lines already are in commercial trials with Clariant customers. Early reports suggest that the vegetal biopolymers outperform synthetic and animal-based products on sensorial properties, i.e. delivering a ‘gentle’ feel to skin and hair. They also offer a top-drawer environmental profile: Vitipure and Zenvivo are certified by ECOCERT, the leading accreditor for organic products; and they comply with GMP (FDA and EMEA), HACCP and ISO9001:2008.

  • Vitipure repairs and protects skin, reduces wrinkles, boosts elasticity and firmness and rebalances and hydrates skin
  • Velsan® provides a natural, vegetal replacement for silicones in skin care, repairs and coats hair in haircare and creates stable, creamy foam with a pleasant, soft touch.
  • Zenvivo is the only available vegetal Chitosan. Its low-molecular grade reduces odor in mouthwash and deodorants or boosts preservation in cosmetics. Its high-molecular grade is a film-former in hair-styling, sun care or decorative cosmetics, and provides conditioning performance in skin and hair care.

Clariant also announces that Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification has been awarded to its cosmetic-ingredient production sites in Brazil, China, Germany and the United States. The company aims to GMP-certify the remainder of its personal care capacity during 2012-13, which reinforces the company’s commitment to the highest standards.
“We are proud to have achieved the global Cosmetics GMP certification, a further milestone in our strategy for the Personal Care segment,” comments Mauro Bergamasco, Head of Global Marketing of Clariant’s Business Unit Industrial and Consumer Specialties. “GMP is more than just an indicator of process quality. With this certification, we strengthen our customers’ value chain. They can rely on Clariant to offer the transparency and consistency they need, to increase their speed-to-market for existing and new cosmetics formulations.”
Guaranteeing globally-harmonized products and processes for the personal care industry is part of Clariant’s strategic repositioning of its Personal Care Business to be a leading provider of superior-quality products. Also key are acquisitions and partnerships with top players such as KitoZyme and Oberhausen Technology Center. Clariant will continue to explore similar opportunities, to enhance its capabilities and to transform new, sustainable, innovative technologies into cost-efficient products.


ZeaChem Signs Contract to Develop “Drop-In” Advanced Biofuels

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ZeaChem Inc., a developer of biorefineries for the conversion of renewable biomass into sustainable fuels and chemicals, today announced that it has successfully completed contract negotiations to receive its portion of a $40 million grant from USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Regional Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP). The USDA project will establish regional systems for the sustainable production of bioenergy and bio-based products.

ZeaChem is creating the industry’s first truly integrated cellulosic biorefineries, capable of producing a broad portfolio of fuel and chemical products from renewable biomass. ZeaChem’s role in the USDA project is the logical progression of the company’s phased development strategy, in which it researches and develops saleable products at each step toward commercialization. The company will receive $12 million of the total $40 million grant, and will implement the AFRI project at its existing 250,000 gallonper-year (GPY) integrated demonstration biorefinery, located at the Port of Morrow, near Boardman, Ore.

“ZeaChem is pleased with the USDA’s support to establish a bioenergy economy in the Pacific Northwest,” said Jim Imbler, president and chief executive officer of ZeaChem. “The grant allows ZeaChem to use our existing integrated demonstration facility to develop advanced biofuels beyond cellulosic ethanol, including bio-based jet, diesel and gasoline. The project highlights one of our unique strengths, which is that we can utilize a variety of biomass feedstocks and proven processes to develop a wide range of economical and sustainable fuel and chemical products.”

Bio-based jet and diesel are an extension of the company’s C2 product platform, which is currently being deployed at the integrated demonstration biorefinery and already includes intermediate chemicals acetic acid and ethyl acetate, and cellulosic ethanol. The integrated demonstration biorefinery is an ideal proving ground with adequate capacity to provide test quantities of drop-in fuels for commercial and military applications. Design of the AFRI project is underway and the equipment modules are expected to be installed in 2013. Production of bio-based jet and diesel is expected to begin in 2013 and production of bio-based gasoline, part of the C3 product platform, will follow in 2015.

The USDA AFRI Regional CAP is led by the University of Washington and includes GreenWood Resources, Oregon State University, Washington State University, the University of California, Davis, University of Idaho, and the Agricultural Center for Excellence. ZeaChem’s role is to lead R&D and demonstration trials for production of “drop-in” transportation fuels, including bio-based jet and diesel fuels and bio-based gasoline.

ZeaChem has begun core facility operations at its 250,000 GPY integrated demonstration biorefinery in Boardman, Ore. The “bookends” project enabling the production of cellulosic ethanol will be complete in 2012. The company is now actively developing commercial-scale biorefineries for the production of advanced biofuels and bio-based chemicals.


BioAmber Closes $30 Million Financing with LANXESS and Existing Investors

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BioAmber Inc. has completed its Series C round of financing with net proceeds of $30 million. The financing was closed in two tranches; a first tranche of $20 million on November 4th, 2011 with existing investors Naxos Capital, Sofinnova Partners, Mitsui & Co. Ltd. and the Cliffton Group, and a second tranche of $10 million on February 6th, 2012 with specialty chemicals company LANXESS. All of BioAmber’s Series B investors participated in the Series C financing.

The investment by LANXESS is the culmination of a strategic collaboration in the field of renewable, phthalate-free plasticizers. BioAmber and LANXESS are jointly developing phthalate-free plasticizers and expect to begin sampling succinic-based plasticizers in 2012. The companies are also collaborating in Sarnia, Ontario, on the establishment of BioAmber’s first world-scale bio-succinic acid manufacturing facility.   LANXESS is owner of the site and will provide BioAmber with utilities and services needed to operate the facility.

Concurrent with the investment, LANXESS will be joining the BioAmber board of directors and has named Jorge Noguiera as its board representative. Jorge Nogueira is the Head of LANXESS’ Functional Chemicals business unit.    Mr. Nogueira has over 30 years of chemical industry experience, working for leading multinationals in the United States, Europe, Asia and Latin America. “Our investment in BioAmber shows our commitment to launching a new generation of plasticizers that satisfy regulatory requirements and can also score in terms of sustainability,” said Mr. Nogueira.

“We are pleased to have LANXESS as a strategic investor alongside Naxos, Sofinnova, Mitsui & Co. and Cliffton,” said Jean-Francois Huc, BioAmber’s CEO. “BioAmber is fortunate to have a strong, committed group of investors and we welcome Jorge Nogueira, a dynamic and experienced chemical industry executive to our board”.

“LANXESS is actively engaged in leveraging its Sarnia site to establish the largest bio-industrial park in Canada, offering land, energy and infrastructure for the development of new bio-industrial chemicals,” said Sandy Marshall, President of LANXESS Canada. “We are excited to be working closely with BioAmber to anchor the Bio-industrial Park, and this investment is a natural extension of our collaboration,” added Mr. Marshall.

About BioAmber Inc.

BioAmber is a next generation chemicals company. Its proprietary technology platform combines industrial biotechnology, an innovative purification process and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feedstocks into chemicals for use in a wide variety of everyday products including plastics, food additives and personal care products. BioAmber produces bio-succinic acid in what it believes to be one of the world’s largest bio-based chemical manufacturing facilities. For more information visit the company’s web site at


LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 7.1 billion in 2010 and currently around 16,100 employees in 30 countries. The company is at present represented at 47 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals. LANXESS is a member of the leading sustainable indices Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) World and FTSE4Good.


Government to buy more biobased products

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USDA BIOBASEDTo buoy America's farmers and cut the nation's dependence on oil, President Obama is expected to issue rules today to expand the emerging market for biobased products that are just starting to appear on store shelves with a U.S.-approved label.


Obama is scheduled to sign a presidential memo that requires the federal government to track and increase its purchases of products made from plants and other renewable agricultural materials — products such as hand soap derived from soybeans, furniture from sunflower hull wood or disposable spoons from potatoes.

"We want to get to the point where we're using everything we grow and everything we raise" to create jobs, help the environment and reduce petroleum use, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an interview. Obama is directing him to increase by 50%, within a year, the number of eligible products — now about 9,000.

These rules build on the Department of Agriculture's BioPreferred program, created by the 2002 Farm Bill. Last year, the USDA started a voluntary label that companies can place on their products if they prove a product is entirely or significantly biobased. The department has approved 500 products, many of which are now being repackaged to carry the "USDA Certified Biobased Product" seal.

"This is brand new," said John Replogle, CEO of Seventh Generation, which makes dozens of eco-friendly products such as laundry detergent derived partly from sugar cane. This month, some of its products began sporting the label, and he expects 95% of them will do so by the end of 2012.

Replogle welcomes the federal promotion of biobased products, saying it "encourages consumers to understand from what their products are derived." He said many don't realize that household products, including detergent, often contain petroleum.

"There are tremendous opportunities here to grow rural communities," Vilsack said, citing the plethora of petroleum-based products that could be produced from plants instead.

Yet, there are limits, especially with transportation fuels, said Alice Pilgeram, a research professor in plant biology at Montana State University. She found it would take millions of acres of camelina, an oil plant, to produce enough fuel to offset 10% of the fuel oil used at one major airport.

She also said some biobased products cost more. With a USDA study grant, she tested a lubricant made of canola oil that cost more than a petroleum-based alternative, but she said it performed much better. "You effectively use less, because you lubricate the chain saw less often."



Cereplast to Unveil Several New Bioplastic Resin Grades at the International Plastics Showcase, NPE 2012

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logo cereplastCereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, sustainable plastics, will unveil several new technologically advanced bioplastic resin grades at The International Plastics Showcase, NPE 2012. The exhibition is hosted by SPI, The Plastics Industry Trade Association, and takes place April 1-5, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.

The new bioplastic resin grades include Sustainable 1020D, a translucent injection molding grade, Compostable 4008D, a new paper extrusion coating grade, Hybrid 106D, a high starch, high melt flow injection molding grade, and an EVA Hybrid grade. Cereplast will also feature the Cereplast Compostables® family of resins, including the recently added Compostable 3002, Compostable 3010 and Compostable 3020, which are for use on blown film extruder lines for the manufacture of compostable bags, all of which have received DIN CERTCO certifications of compostability. Additionally, the Company will feature the Cereplast Sustainables® product line, which includes the new Cereplast Hybrid Resins® grades Hybrid 102D and Hybrid 105D.

"We are excited to be an exhibitor at NPE, the world's largest plastics exhibition, a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our unique and technologically advanced materials to the international marketplace," said Cereplast Chairman and CEO, Frederic Scheer.


New plastic for biodegradable mulch film

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With the addition of Ecovio® F Mulch, BASF is expanding its line of biodegradable plastic compounds in the form of a grade for use in the manufacture of agricultural films. In contrast to agricultural film made from conventional polyethylene (PE), film made from Ecovio F Mulch biodegrades. It is no longer necessary for farmers to retrieve the film from the field for disposal or recycling after the harvest. They can simply plow it under along with what remains from the plants. This saves time and reduces costs. Production of the film is also economical, since it can be manufactured at a lighter gauge than conventional PE film without any loss in performance. Moreover, Ecovio F Mulch represents a drop-in solution for the film producer: Since this resin can be processed on conventional PE extrusion machines without extensive modification, the processor can convert his equipment quickly and without great effort. The material is now available in commercial quantities around the world.


basf mulch

A blend for direct production of film

BASF has been offering Ecoflex® F Mulch for years, a grade of biodegradable polyester that compounders have mixed with other components to produce individual formulations of mulch films for their customers in agriculture. "With Ecovio F Mulch, the company is now going one step farther to better address the requirements of farmers and film producers", explained Jürgen Keck, head of BASF’s global business in bioplastics. The new material is a blend of Ecoflex and polylactic acid that is already optimized for agricultural applications – compounding is no longer necessary. In addition, film made from Ecovio F Mulch can already be used at a thickness of 10 micrometers (µm) without experiencing tears and perforations when placed on the field by machine. Conventional PE film is usually at least twice as thick.

The new plastic grade is suitable for the production of classical black and transparent but also for colored films. Moreover it is available in custom formulations for different vegetation times and climates.

Mulch film under test

To test the performance of its resin, BASF conducted comparative investigations with recognized agricultural institutes in Spain and France. These involved growing vegetables in different locations without mulch film, with conventional PE film as well as with Ecovio F Mulch film. The institutes investigated growth and yield in addition to the tear strength of the film. While for this purpose melons and lettuce were planted in France, the institutes in Spain grew tomatoes and peppers. All tests demonstrated that growth and yield do not depend on the type of plastic film. Compared to growing without film, use of film always increased yields by 10 to 20 percent. In addition, the Ecovio F Mulch film biodegrades in the soil after having been plowed under.

Mulch film is used worldwide for crop forcing (early harvesting) and weed prevention, since it accelerates growth and retains water in the soil. In Europe, the focus is on black mulch film: Thanks to its ability to absorb visible radiation, it helps to prevent growth of weeds.

Biodegradable plastics Ecoflex and Ecovio

Under the brand names Ecoflex® and Ecovio® BASF offers biodegradable and compostable plastics that comply with European standard EN 13432 with regard to biodegradability, compostability, compost quality and plant compatibility.


RTP Company Expands Bioplastic Products to Include Impact-Modified PLA Compounds

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Global custom engineered thermoplastics compounder RTP Company has expanded its line of polylactic acid (PLA) bioplastic compounds to include impact modified grades suitable for select semi-durable and durable applications. These new compounds deliver enhanced impact strength and higher heat deflection temperatures than are possible with unmodified PLA resin, providing performance that is equivalent to traditional thermoplastics.


impact-pla"RTP Company has developed bioplastic compounds with mechanical properties that are comparable to existing petroleum-based thermoplastics in terms of both function and processability," said Will Taber, RTP Company's Business Manager of Emerging Technologies. "Using our formulation and compounding expertise, RTP Company now has a full line of PLA-based compounds that allow bioplastics to be considered for broader use, giving product designers the ability to create eco-conscious products and meet end-use sustainability goals."

These new materials, available in both injection and extrusion grades, expand RTP Company's PLA-based product line -- which includes PLA alloyed with traditional thermoplastic resins and glass fiber reinforced PLA compounds -- to also include impact modified, nucleated, and mineral reinforced compounds. Varying levels of impact modification are available providing several combinations of stiffness and ductility. The compounds are available in both opaque and translucent versions and can also incorporate FDA compliant ingredients.

With impact modification, PLA compounds can achieve notched Izod impact performance as high as 30 times that of neat PLA, making it comparable to PC/ABS. High performance nucleators raise the heat deflection temperature up to 1.5 times, in degrees F, giving PLA bioplastic compounds performance similar to ABS, HIPS (high-impact polystyrene), and acrylic. "A unique feature of these compounds is their excellent balance of strength and stiffness," according to Taber.

PLA compounds are fully colorable and have bio-content as high as 95% depending on additive loading levels. Key applications include injection molded covers, housings, and structural components for appliance, consumer electronics, furniture, lawn/garden, medical devices, office equipment, sporting goods, tools, and toys.

The bio-based component of RTP Company's bioplastic compounds, PLA resin, is derived from renewable and sustainable resources. Additionally, its production consumes less energy and produces less CO2 than petroleum-based thermoplastics. Bioplastics are part of RTP Company's "Eco Solutions" product portfolio that includes compounds using bio-based or recycled-content resins, natural fibers, or halogen-free flame retardant and wear resistant additives. These products allow for a broad range of design and performance options to produce eco-conscious products.


NatureWorks and BioAmber Form Joint Venture to Commercialize New Bio-based Polymers.

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Two industry-leading companies join forces to expand the range of low carbon-footprint, high-performance, bio-based polymers


NatureWorks, the bio-plastics market leader with its commercial range of Ingeo™ biopolymers, and BioAmber, a next-generation chemicals company and a market leader in the commercialization of bio-succinic acid, have announced the creation of AmberWorks, a joint venture to bring new performance bio-based polymer compositions to market.

The joint venture builds on the natural synergy that exists between NatureWorks and BioAmber. Beyond its Ingeo PLA technology platform, NatureWorks brings to the joint venture a global commercial presence, established customer relationships, developed applications across a breadth of industries and deep experience in commercializing new-to-the-world polymers. BioAmber owns PLA/PBS compounding intellectual property and applies award-winning biotechnology and chemical processing to produce renewable chemicals. These renewable chemicals deliver high-performance, low-carbon-footprint building blocks that are cost competitive with their petrochemical equivalents. The joint venture combines the best of both companies into an entity tasked with developing a new family of bio-based compounded polymer solutions.
With the formation of the joint venture, NatureWorks plans to commercialize a new family of compounded Ingeo resin grades, and is immediately offering samples of developmental grades aimed at thermoforming and injection-molding processes. This new family of developmental Ingeo compounded resins is designed for food service ware applications, expanding the Ingeo property range in terms of flexibility, toughness, heat resistance, and drop-in processability on existing manufacturing equipment. Based on market interest, further formulated solutions optimized for a number of different applications beyond food service will be assessed over the coming 12 to 24 months.

Compounded PLA/PBS resin grades, developed and manufactured by AmberWorks, will be marketed exclusively through the NatureWorks global commercial organization as new and distinct solutions within the company’s Ingeo portfolio of products.

“The new product range being developed by the joint venture enables NatureWorks to broaden its existing product portfolio, allowing for bio-based product solutions in applications that were previously difficult to address,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and chief executive officer, NatureWorks. “The properties of PLA and PBS are complementary and making Ingeo compounds using both materials will result in a broad and attractive property profile for a number of different applications.”

“The AmberWorks JV builds on BioAmber’s core business: the production of cost competitive, renewable chemicals that include succinic acid and 1,4-butanediol,” said Jean-Francois Huc, president and chief executive officer, BioAmber. “Our novel PBS compounding technology has enabled us to forward integrate into polymers and our partnership with NatureWorks, the global market leader in biopolymers, will strengthen and accelerate market access for our growing portfolio of renewable solutions.”

In the USA, developmental samples of the new Ingeo injection molding and thermoforming solutions for the food service industry are available from NatureWorks,, 800-664-6436, While an assessment of the European Union chemical regulation REACH status is underway, research and development samples are available in Europe at NatureWorks Europe, +31 (35) 694 5056. The regulatory status of these grades in other geographies is under review.


About NatureWorks

natureworks 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. In October 2011, Thailand’s largest chemical producer, PTT Chemical Public Company Limited, entered into an agreement to make a $150 million equity investment in NatureWorks. The transaction remains subject to regulatory clearances. For more information on NatureWorks and Ingeo, visit

Ingeo™ and the Ingeo™ logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of NatureWorks LLC in the USA and other countries.


About BioAmber


BioAmber is a next generation chemicals company. Its proprietary technology platform combines industrial biotechnology, an innovative purification process and chemical catalysis to convert renewable feedstocks into chemicals for use in a wide variety of everyday products, including plastics, food additives and personal care products. BioAmber produces bio-succinic acid in what it believes to be one of the world’s largest bio-based chemical fermenters. For more information visit the company’s web site at


From plants to plastics

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Biomass transferred into valuable chemicals –
Funded by the Knowledge Based Bio Economy program of the EU, the 13 M€ BioConSepT project started in February 2012. The project wants to convince and inspire stakeholders of the Bio-based Economy by demonstrating the complete feasibility of an integrated chain approach, which is regarded as the basis for the next generation industrial White Biotechnology processes. The aim is to deliver processes that convert 2nd generation biomass into valuable chemicals, which are 30% cheaper and 30% more sustainable than the corresponding chemical routes or the biotechnology processes starting from 1st generation feedstocks like glucose.

BioConSepT focuses on the use of so-called 2nd generation feedstocks like lignocellulose and non-edible oils and fats, which cannot be used for the production of food. The partners have selected 7 chains for chemicals that can be made from these materials. Both bioconversions with enzymes and microorganisms and chemical reactions are used in the production chains. The introduction of continuous processes, novel reactors and selective separation technologies will generate breakthroughs in costs and sustainability. The project will deliver samples of the envisioned applications, which include green polymers, resins, plasticizers, surfactants and solvents for testing in the market. After 2 years BioConSepT will select the 2 most promising chains for demonstration at a scale of 100 to 1000 kg product.
The transition of a fossil-based to a bio-based economy will have a tremendous impact on both society as a whole and important industrial sectors like agriculture, the chemical and food industries and the energy sector. Taking a frontrunner position in the bio-based economy is essential for maintaining the leading economic position of the European process industry, the conservation of jobs, the security of energy supply and the creation of a sustainable society.
The project is an initiative to reduce the closing gap between the laboratory and the industrial practice for the production of chemicals from abundantly available biomass.

Source: Fraunhofer-Institut für Grenzflächen- und Bioverfahrenstechnik IGB

Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. Develops First Renewable, Plant-Based Plastic

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Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. Develops First Renewable, Plant-Based Plastic for Precious® Sticksters® Varieties.  New Packaging Supports Lactalis American Group Sustainability Commitment´.

Achieving a first for the snack cheese market, Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. has developed new, renewable packaging for Lactalis American Group, Inc. The new packaging is being produced for all varieties of Lactalis’ Precious® Sticksters® brands and features a revolutionary new film material made partially from plant-based plastic. This development is part of Clear Lam’s Project EarthClear™initiative.


The renewable Precious® Sticksters® package is made at Lactalis on horizontal form, fill and seal machines. The package, which holds individually sealed cheese sticks, is made from a lamination of plant-based, renewable plastic and an outer layer made from traditional petroleum-based plastic. This new material, which is 50 percent plant-based, generates up to 35.2 percent fewer greenhouse gases and uses up to 36.8 percent less energy than the conventional petroleum-based materials it replaces. Lactalis made the packaging change as part of its corporate sustainability commitment.

“We’re pleased to have partnered with Lactalis to help introduce this new, renewable package for Precious® Sticksters®,” said James Sanfilippo, president and CEO of Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. “Clear Lam and Lactalis conducted extensive internal R&D and real-world testing to ensure this material met our rigorous standards for sustainability, durability and print quality.”

The finished bags perform well under typical distribution conditions and meet all FDA requirements for food use. It was very important to Lactalis that the finished materials had a lower carbon footprint and used less energy without losing production efficiencies or impacting product performance. High-speed sealing was a critical requirement.

“We achieved that and more with this new packaging,” said Frederick Bouisset, President and CEO of Lactalis American Group, Inc. “We believe that by adopting this new packaging, we are promoting a better future by reducing our energy consumption and environmental impact — a long-term goal to which we are fully committed.”

Clear Lam produces the proprietary bio-based layer used in the film from pellets and additives, then the finished film is shipped to a Lactalis production facility where its Precious® Sticksters® products are packaged on horizontal form, fill and seal machines.

Clear Lam’s renewable packaging materials are produced from plant-based bioplastics derived from Natureworks Ingeo™ PLA (polylactic acid) along with ingredients that enhance performance. 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.

For 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


poultry feather fibre composites and PHA/PLA blends

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Bio-polymer distributor A and O FilmPAC Limited have added 2 new materials to their product range.  Both of which are New and Unique and offer exciting market opportunities.

EMERALD Fibre Reinforced Bio-Composite and SOGREEN PHA /PLA blends.

A and O the UK’s leading distributor of bio-based polymers including PLA, PHA and TPS has now added the Fibre Reinforced Bio-Composite from Eastern Bioplastics of Mt Carmel USA  to the range of available products.

The Bio-composite fibres are derived from chicken feathers which are normally sent to landfill- Over 2m tons a year in the USA and around 1.2m tons in Europe go to landfill .   The sustainable fibres added to Polypropylene have a  low carbon footprint they are totally bio based and GM free. 

This is the first Bioresin on the commercial market that is produced from a non food source.

Properties of the material are close to virgin PP with low specific gravity of 0.9 g/cc for the 30% fibre filled grade and slightly higher stiffness.  The material can be injection moulded and target markets include automotive components, office furniture, pet care products, DIY products and sporting goods. The Emerald range of natural fibre composites is produced by Eastern Bioplastics .

Sonny Meyerheoffer President & CEO of Eastern Bioplastics said that “We have spend 4 years developing the technology to turn waste chicken feathers into a truly Sustainable material that does not interfere with the food chain and we are pleased to see its launch on the European market with A&O”


Sogreen PHA/PLA blends are available for packaging applications where sustainability and composting to en13432 are required.  There are a number of formulations available for film extrusion, sheet extrusion, injection moulding and in powder form for rotational moulding and compounding. The PLA enhances the properties of the PHA and also contributes to faster processing.

Lutz Richter- Owner of A&O Filmpac said that the collaboration with these two market leading companies in the field of Sustainable materials is an exciting development and one that will break new ground and increase market acceptance of Bio materials in Europe.


Vivergo biorefinery to start operating in late spring

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The new Vivergo biorefinery being built at Saltend near Hull is nearly complete and the Managing Director of Vivergo Fuels - the joint venture behind the plant - says operations will begin in late sping.


When finished the Vivergo biorefinery will be one of the largest in Europe and each year it will turn 1.1 million tonnes of locally grown feed wheat into 420 million litres of bioethanol and 500,000 tonnes of animal feed.image_mini

The plant has been under construction since 2008 and according to Dave Richards, Managing Director of Vivergo Fuels Ltd, should enter commercial operation within the next few months: "What we are saying to the market is late spring," he said. "When we get up and running, we will want to get up to our full rate as soon and as safely as we can."

Richards said the company had already started commissioning the "farm end" of the plant where the first stage of the refinery process takes place and the animal feed byproduct is produced. There are two other processing sections which must be finished before fuel can be made but work is more than 95 per cent finished.

Vivergo Fuels Ltd is a joint venture between British Petroleum, Associated British Foods and DuPont, and the biorefinery sits at the heart of the UK's wheat belt area, which is one of the highest yielding in the world.

Richards said the refinery aimed to use UK feed wheat: "Within 50 miles (of the refinery) there are a couple of million tonnes of feed wheat. We think over time we will take the majority of our wheat from within that zone," he said.

The wheat will be supplied by Frontier Agriculture, the UK's largest grain merchant, while the animal feed will be marketed by KW Trident. The bioethanol fuel has two potential customers nearby with the ConocoPhillips Humber refinery and Total's Lindsey Oil Refinery just around the corner.

The fuel can then be blended with fossil petrol and used to meet UK renewable transport fuel targets or be sold on the European market.

Biofuels still prove divisive with some and concerns have been raised over the sustainability of so called first generation biofuels made from food crops but Richards explains that the greenhouse gas savings from the bioethanol produced at the plant are likely to be between 50-60 per cent lower than those of fossil fuels and will have "very high" sustainability credentials.


European Commission proposes strategy for sustainable bioeconomy

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The European Commission has adopted a strategy to shift the European economy towards greater and more sustainable use of renewable resources. With the world population approaching 9 billion by 2050 and natural resources finite, Europe needs renewable biological resources for secure and healthy food and feed, as well as for EU Flag Main Text materials, energy, and other products.


The Commission's strategy and action plan, “Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bioeconomy for Europe”, outlines a coherent, cross-sectoral and inter-disciplinary approach to the issue. The goal is a more innovative and low-emissions economy, reconciling demands for sustainable agriculture and fisheries, food security, and the sustainable use of renewable biological resources for industrial purposes, while ensuring biodiversity and environmental protection. The plan therefore focuses on three key aspects: developing new technologies and processes for the bioeconomy; developing markets and competitiveness in bioeconomy sectors; and pushing policymakers and stakeholders to work more closely together.

"Europe needs to make the transition to a post-petroleum economy. Greater use of renewable resources is no longer just an option, it is a necessity. We must drive the transition from a fossil-based to a bio-based society with research and innovation as the motor. This is good for our environment, our food and energy security, and for Europe's competitiveness for the future," said Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn.

The term "Bioeconomy" means an economy using biological resources from the land and sea, as well as waste, as inputs to food and feed, industrial and energy production. It also covers the use of bio-based processes for sustainable industries. Bio-waste for example has considerable potential as an alternative to chemical fertilizers or for conversion into bio-energy, and can meet 2% of the EU renewable energy target.

The EU bioeconomy already has a turnover of nearly €2 trillion and employs more than 22 million people, 9% of total employment in the EU. It includes agriculture, forestry, fisheries, food and pulp and paper production, as well as parts of chemical, biotechnological and energy industries. Each euro invested in EU-funded bioeconomy research and innovation is estimated to trigger €10 of value added in bioeconomy sectors by 2025.


The Strategy has three main pillars:

1) Investment in research, innovation and skills for the bioeconomy. This should include EU funding, national funding, private investment and enhancing synergies with other policy initiatives.

2) Development of markets and competitiveness in bioeconomy sectors by a sustainable intensification of primary production, conversion of waste streams into value-added products, as well as mutual learning mechanisms for improved production and resource efficiency. As an example, food waste costs the European taxpayer between €55 and €90 per tonne to dispose of, and produces 170 million tonnes of CO2. This waste could be transformed into bio-energy or other bio-based products, creating jobs and growth.

3) Reinforced policy coordination and stakeholder engagement, through the creation of a Bioeconomy Panel, a Bioeconomy Observatory and regular Stakeholder Conferences;

The strategy seeks synergies and complementarities with other policy areas, instruments and funding sources which share and address the same objectives, such as the Cohesion Funds, the Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies (CAP and CFP), the Integrated Maritime Policy (IMP), environmental, industrial, employment, energy and health policies. The preparation of the Strategy was led by Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn with the support of four other Commissioners: Vice-President Tajani and Commissioners Cioloş, Damanaki and Potočnik. With Research and Innovation at the heart of the Strategy, it will first be presented to EU Member States at the Competitiveness Council on 21 February 2012.

EU Member States including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands already have Bioeconomy Strategies in place. On the international stage, Canada, China, South Africa and the US either have or are planning their own ambitious strategies.

The Commission's proposal is one of the operational proposals under the Innovation Union and Resource–efficient Europe flagships of the EU 2020 strategy. The need to increase public funding for bioeconomy research and innovation has been recognised under the Commission's future research programme Horizon 2020: €4.7 billion has been proposed for the Challenge “Food security, sustainable agriculture, marine and maritime research, and the bioeconomy”, with complementary funding in other areas of Horizon 2020.

For details on Horizon 2020 click here

For details of the Innovation Union click here

For details of Resource-efficient Europe click here

For details of Europe 2020 click here


Bioplastics and the search for green packaging

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Bioplastics are starting to take off, driven by sustainability concerns, particularly among major brands. GTForum investigates.

bioplastic-concept-185x114 Poised for growth
The global bioplastics market is expected to reach revenues of over US$2.8 billion in 2018, according to Ceresana Research, with annual growth rates averaging 17.8%. While Europe was responsible for about 48% of the market in 2010, followed by North America and the Asia-Pacific, the latter is expected to catch up quickly, with South America also predicted to see strong growth, led by large capacity additions in Brazil.

In 2010, starch-based bioplastics accounted for the bulk of demand, with polylactic acid (PLA) in second place. Other bio-based plastics, such as PHA/PHB, cellulose, PBS and fossil fuel-based biodegradable plastics represented less than 17% of global demand. Ceresana expects non-biodegradable plastics made from renewable feedstocks to increase their market share from the 8% seen in 2010 to over 48% by 2018.
A similar study conducted by Lux Research is more bullish, expecting the market in bio-based chemicals and plastics to expand to US$19.7 billion in 2016, with capacity for 17 major bio-based materials rising to 9.2Mta, compared with the 3.8Mta estimated for 2011.

“Several strong forces – consumer preference, corporate commitment, and government mandates and support – are driving development in this space,” says Kalib Kersh, Lux research analyst and lead author of the report.

Lux expects growth in bio-based materials to start to moderate during its forecast period. It also expects the share of cellulose polymers and starch derivatives in total capacity to drop from the 45% seen in 2011 to 21% in 2016. Consolidation in the sector is predicted to take place by 2016, with leaders in the industry buying up technologies and access to feedstock.

Meanwhile, research firm Reportlinker expects the global bioplastics market to be worth US$2.9 billion in 2015. “Global demand for biodegradable and bio-based plastics will more than triple to over 1Mt in 2015…” It notes that biodegradable plastics accounted for 90% of the world’s bioplastics market in 2010, and predicts “excellent growth” for starch-based resins and polylactic acid, “both of which will more than double in demand through 2015”. It expects more rapid demand for PLA, due in part to “advancements in compounding polymerisation technology, as well as its relatively low cost compared to other bioplastics”.

Growing demand from major brands

One of the driving forces behind the push for more renewable and sustainable packaging is that of customer demand. Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are both moving in this direction, with Coca-Cola having recently introduced PlantBottle packaging, which is up to 30% plant-based, with the bioplastic contribution coming from monoethylene glycol (MEG), which the company can now make from renewable feedstock. Coca-Cola states that its ultimate goal is a “carbon-neutral, 100% renewable, responsibly sourced bottle that is fully recyclable”. It is currently exploring with partners the possibility of producing purified terephthalic acid (PTA) from plants.
Coca-Cola has also signed a partner agreement to further co-develop Avantium’s patented YXY technology for producing 100% bioplastic-based bottles using polyethylene furanoate (PEF). The YXY technology converts biomass into “furanics building blocks, such as FDCA (2,5-furandicarboxylic acid), the monomer for the production of PEF”.

In a December 2011 press release, Avantium’s CEO, To van Aken, said: “We have already made bottles with exceptional barrier and thermal properties and our production process fits well with existing supply chains. We plan to initiate commercial production of PEF in about three to four years.”
Avantium has also entered into a partnership with Rhodia, a member of the Solvay group, to jointly develop a range of bio-based polyamides, “targeting a variety of applications…based on Avantium’s YXY technology in the larger polyamide field”.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo has developed a “100% plant-based PET bottle made from fully renewable sources”, and is looking to start pilot product of the new bottle in 2012.

Another company working to reduce the environmental impact of its packaging through increased use of bioplastics is Proctor & Gamble, which has declared a “long-term vision” to have all its products and packages made from “100% renewable and recycled materials”, to increase the sustainability of its business model. P&G is also looking for opportunities to use bio-resin where it makes business and technical sense.
“Our 2020 goals [include] a 25% shift from non-renewable to renewable bio-based materials and a 20% reduction in packaging used per consumer,” a company spokesperson told GTForum.
“We have already started with our recent launch of Pantene Nature Fusion, which uses renewable HDPE sourced from sugar cane. This material is chemically identical to petroleum-sourced HDPE and equally recyclable.”



SPI Bioplastics Council Announces Release of Two New Free Guides

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“Understanding Biobased Carbon Content” and “Life Cycle Analysis Primer” Continue Council’s Commitment to Industry Education

The Bioplastics Council, a special interest group of SPI: the Plastics Industry Trade Association, announced the release of two new industry guides – “Understanding Biobased Carbon Content” and “Life Cycle Analysis Primer – What, Why and How.”  The Council has developed and issued these free guides as part of its commitment to bioplastics education and related subjects impacting the plastics industry.

The focus of the Life Cycle Analysis Primer is to provide the reader with a better understanding of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) in general, including the various phases of an LCA with explanatory comments and practical advice for the LCA sponsor. The primer is not specific to bioplastics, and therefore may be useful to anyone considering an LCA. The focus of the Understanding Biobased Carbon Content guide is to provide the reader with information about biobased content, ASTM D6866, alternative approaches to reporting biobased carbon content and other key points.

“LCAs and the topic of ‘biobased carbon content’ are two areas where the Council is often asked to provide guidance.  As part of our mission to educate the plastics industry, government and stakeholders, we recognized the need for enhanced education about these important topics and are pleased to make both guides available free of charge,” said Melissa Hockstad, SPI’s vice president, science, technology and regulatory affairs.

Both publications may be downloaded here.

Launched in 2008, the Bioplastics Council was created to provide a forum for the full bioplastics value chain to promote the development and growth of the bioplastics industry. Currently, the members of the group are BASF Corporation, Cereplast Inc., DuPont, Ecospan, Jamplast, Metabolix, NatureWorks LLC, Nypro Inc., PolyOne Corporation, Teknor Apex, Telles and UL.


Cereplast Strengthens Sales Force in North America and Europe

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Cereplast, Inc. (Nasdaq:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, sustainable plastics, today announced the addition of two plastics industry veterans to key roles in North America and Europe. William G. Mashy has been appointed as Vice President of Sales and Marketing of North America, and will lead the Company's strategy to maximize sales and profitability in the region. Emilio Sitta has been appointed as Regional Sales Director in Italy, and will identify new markets and drive sales for the Cereplast Hybrid Resins® product line in the country.

William G. Mashy has a 24-year track record of success in sales, management and marketing working for privately held international plastic packaging manufacturer, Rehrig Pacific Company. Most recently he was General Manager for the Material Handling Business Group, a division generating $175 million in annual sales. Prior to spending nearly a decade as General Manager, Mr. Mashy was Vice President of Marketing and had also worked in various senior sales roles. At Cereplast, he will lead the sales and marketing team in North America, and will be responsible for negotiating strategic partnerships to drive revenue growth and increase margins.

"Cereplast's North American manufacturing presence combined with its strong product development capability uniquely positions Cereplast to capitalize on the growing demand for sustainable products," said Mr. Mashy. "I am excited to be a part of Cereplast and look forward to working with Mr. Scheer and the rest of the sales and marketing team to drive results quickly."

Emilio Sitta has nearly forty years of experience working in the plastics industry, including senior marketing and business development roles at American and European multinational corporations including GE Plastics Italia, Borealis Italia, and Witfield S.r.L. as Regional Sales Director, he will be responsible for developing new markets for Cereplast bioplastic resins in Italy, with a specific emphasis on the Cereplast Hybrid Resins® product line.

"The industry for bioplastic substitutes of traditional plastics has experienced rapid growth in recent years and we expect that growth to continue in the foreseeable future. We are ideally positioned with proprietary technology and industry expertise. To sustain our growth and continue establishing ourselves as a leader in the industry we must surround ourselves with top executives. We are pleased to welcome Mr. Mashy and Mr. Sitta with their wealth of experience, and are excited for them to be a part of the Cereplast team. We are confident that the steps we are taking to strengthen our sales force in North America and Europe will help drive the sales growth that we expect to achieve in 2012 and beyond," concluded Cereplast Chairman and CEO, Frederic Scheer.

Starcla - Bio-based Bionolle resin

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StarclaTM is the newest member of Showa Denko K.K.’s (SDK) BionolleTMfamily; already launched into market. SDK is recognized globally as the inventor and producer of the industry’s best performing PBS, trademarked BionolleTMand StarclaTM, a key component used in the production of bio-plastic products that include biodegradable mulch films and compostable bag applications.

Bionolle StarclaTM is a bio-based environmentally friendly material which is completely biodegradable. StarclaTM is a hybrid compound of BionolleTM, starch and PLA. Like all members of the BionolleTM family it is fully compliant with international biodegradability standards (ASTM D-6400 and EN 13432).
Apart from being biodegradable, StarclaTM stands out due to its bio-based raw materials, derived from corn or other starches. Depending on the grade, StarclaTM can be up to 60% bio-based. This greatly increases the value of this product.
Further plans to increase the bio-based proportion are underway.It can be used for various purposes instead of traditional polyethylene products because its film strength is higher than conventional polyethylene products (this enables production of an extremely thin film of 8µm) and has excellent printability.
Due to its biodegradable nature, StarclaTM is the ideal resin for use in mulching films. Extensive research and experience has given SDK the opportunity to fine tune the recipe for a resin perfectly suitable for this application. As StarclaTM biodegrades completely the higher initial costs are compensated by the savings in time and disposal costs compared to conventional mulching films.




StarclaTM can be processed with any conventional blown-film machinery – requiring no further investment into existing production lines. Other applications include shoppers and compost bags.



Roquette and Rhodia Acetow sign joint development agreement for the elaboration of new plant-based polymers

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Roquette and Rhodia Acetow have signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) to develop new plant-based polymers. The JDA will enable both companies to leverage synergies bringing together respective competencies in the field of plant-based polymer chemistry.

Jean Bernard Leleu, Deputy CEO and Research Innovation Development Director of Roquette commented: “Our goal is to continuously search for new solutions in growth markets and to boost our competitiveness with new technologies. This agreement is an excellent opportunity to speed up the development of a new range of starch derivatives, offering a cost competitive and sustainable alternative to fossil based polymers.”

This JDA will accelerate the launch of new polymers based on renewable raw material, for which the demand is drastically increasing. The plant-based polymer cellulose acetate and cellulose acetate fibre will remain the key products for Rhodia Acetow. This agreement is one first step towards the diversification of our product portfolio,” stated Gérard Collette, President of Rhodia Acetow.

Thanks to Roquette’s expertise in starch derivatives and Rhodia’s industrial technologies, some trials of starch acetate production will be carried out from early 2012 providing several tons which will be available for testing in diverse industrial applications. Potential fields of application include paper, paint and dye sectors and pharmaceuticals.

rhodia_member_solvay Rhodia, member of the Solvay group, is a specialty chemical company resolutely committed to sustainable development. As a leader in its businesses, the Group aims to improve its customers’ performance through the pursuit of operational excellence and its ability to innovate. Structured around 11 Global Business Units, Rhodia is the partner of major players in the automotive, electronics, flavors and fragrances, health, personal and home care markets, consumer goods and industrial markets. Rhodia employs around 14 000 people worldwide and generated sales of €5.23 billion in 2010.

Rhodia Acetow is a fully integrated global player in the manufacture of cellulose acetate fiber, used extensively in the manufacture of cigarette filters. Rhodia Acetow is the third largest producer of cellulose acetate tow (worldwide market share is over 16%), with facilities in Europe, Russia, USA and Brazil. Its strategy rests on four pillars: world class quality, continuous competitiveness improvement, product innovation and proactive customer support.

Logo_Roquette Roquette – Offering the best of natureTM
Roquette, a French family group with an international dimension, processes renewable raw materials: maize, wheat, potatoes, peas and micro-algae. Among the 5 global leaders in the starch manufacturing industry, it offers its customers a wide range of products and solutions in the fields of human nutrition, pharmacy-cosmetology, paper-board, chemistry-bioindustry and animal nutrition. Present in over 100 countries, Roquette has a turnover of 3 billion euros. The Group employs around 6,800 staff. Its development, focused on health nutrition and plant-based chemistry, is based on a strategy giving preference to the long-term, innovation and the commitment to achieve. Its mission: "Serve men and women by offering the best of nature".

For more information, please visit

DaniMer Scientific Announces Marketing Partnership with EnerPol

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DaniMer Scientific, LLC and EnerPol, LLC, an upstream oil and gas technology firm, will launch a marketing effort utilizing DaniMer’s degradable polymers at the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) event in The Woodlands, Texas on Feb. 7. DaniMer recently expanded its reach into the oil field services sector through the development of a series of new biodegradable polymers that can be used in the oil and gas extraction process.

EnerPol was formed to exclusively promote the use of DaniMer’s degradable polymer in the upstream oil and gas industry. The firm’s employees have more than 60 combined years of experience in the energy industry with a history of significant innovations in hydraulic fracturing. EnerPol and DaniMer formed the marketing partnership based on the result of their participation in the 2010 RPSEA initiative.

“DaniMer is excited to enter this industry segment with our friends at EnerPol and feel very fortunate to have such a renowned organization represent DaniMer’s degradable polymers at the SPE conference on hydraulic fracturing,” says Blake Lindsey, President of DaniMer Scientific. “This exclusive representation by EnerPol of DaniMer’s products and services is especially rewarding since the oil and gas industry is a relatively new expansion for us. EnerPol, utilizing their experience in the oil and gas industry, will enable DaniMer to provide our green products to the market where we can benefit organizations as well as the environment.”

DaniMer and EnerPol will continue to work collaboratively on future endeavors to effectively provide innovative valued solutions to the oil and gas industry.

About EnerPol:
EnerPol is a technology firm, located in Houston, Texas, focused on the promotion of degradable polymers in the upstream oil and gas industry. The company’s Chief Technology Officer, Claude Cooke, has had an extensive career of oil and gas innovations in hydraulic fracturing, cementing, and oil/gas well completions.

About DaniMer Scientific:
DaniMer Scientific, an international corporation, believes people’s lives can be improved and the environment can be better protected by utilizing renewable resources to manufacture products that are intended for short life cycle use. One of the company’s goals is to aid and assist the oil petroleum industry in utilizing renewable and environmentally friendly products. For more information about DaniMer Scientific, please visit:



Showa Denko K.K. Selects Myriant as its Supplier of High-Purity BioSuccinic Acid for the Production of Renewable-based Polybutylene Succinate (PBS)

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Showa Denko K.K (SDK) and Myriant Corporation announced today that SDK has selected Myriant as its global supplier of biosuccinic acid. Under the terms of the supply agreement, SDK will utilize Myriant’s biosuccinic acid for the production of high-performance biodegradable polybutylene succinate, or PBS, a key polymer used in the production of bioplastics.

The ever-increasing worldwide demand for more environmentally sound and cost competitive consumer products and packaging is rapidly accelerating the growth of the bioplastics industry and forecasts currently project that more than one million metric tons of bioplastics will be used by 2015. SDK is recognized globally as the inventor and producer of the industry’s best performing PBS, trademarked Bionolle®and Starcla®, a key component used in the production of bioplastic products that include biodegradable mulch films and compostable bag applications. SDK’s Bionolle family of biodegradable plastics have received numerous “green” certifications from associations across the globe including the “GreenPla” label by the Japanese BioPlastics Association (JBPA) and the “OK Compost” mark by AIB-Vincotte (AVI), the Belgian based certification and screening body, for its capacity to completely biodegrade.

“SDK’s comprehensive analysis of currently available biosuccinic acid shows that Myriant’s product is a great choice to meet our customers’ demands for high performance PBS,” said Yasushi Ichikawa,General Manager Bionolle Dept. of Showa Denko K.K. “We’re pleased to partner with the recognized world leader in biosuccinic acid production and we look forward to working with Myriant as SDK develops affordable, renewable PBS for our customers across the globe.”

“We believe it is a strong endorsement of our low-cost, feedstock-flexible technology platform that SDK, the pioneer in PBS, selected to partner with Myriant as its supplier for biosuccinic acid for the production of reliable, renewable PBS,” said Cenan Ozmeral, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Myriant.

“Myriant is setting the trajectory for success in the renewable chemicals industry by being a leader in the commercialization of affordable, high performing green chemicals, like biosuccinic acid. By securing industry leading customers, like SDK, Myriant has once again demonstrated its ability to meet both price and performance expectations,” said Stephen J. Gatto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Myriant. “The agreement with SDK is another example of Myriant’s ability to execute on its business strategy to become the global, strategic supplier of choice for targeted high-value chemical intermediates. By leveraging Myriant’s cost advantaged and innovative technology platform, new products such as PBS can be developed to successfully compete as sustainable replacements to traditional petroleum-based products.”

About Showa Denko K.K.

Ranking as one of Japan’s leading chemical companies, Showa Denko K.K. operates in the six major segments of petrochemicals, chemicals, electronics, inorganics, aluminum, and others. The company has established leading positions in various fields, including HD media and graphite electrodes. As of December 31, 2010, Showa Denko K.K.’s consolidated subsidiaries and non-consolidated subsidiaries/affiliates to which the equity method is applied, amounted to 36 in Japan and 21 in foreign countries. And the number of employees on a consolidated basis reached 11,597. For details, please visit Showa Denko’s website at
About Myriant Corporation
Myriant utilizes proprietary technology to provide innovative, performance-based renewable chemicals utilizing low-cost sugars. In December 2010, Myriant broke ground on its 30 million pound commercial succinic acid facility in Lake Providence, Louisiana. The company’s D(-) lactic acid started production at commercial scale in June 2008 for use in polylactic acid. Myriant has agreements with Uhde GmbH for engineering, Davy Process Technology for the integration of Myriant’s succinic acid process with the Davy butanediol process for the production of bio-based butanediol, and PTT Chemical for the commercialization of Myriant’s technology in South East Asia. Myriant is headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts. Details are available at


Bioplastics conference to be held in November

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bioplastics European Bioplastics, the association of the bioplastics industry in Europe, announces the 7th European Bioplastics Conference to take place on 6/7 November 2012 at he Maritim proArte Hotel in Berlin.

„More investments, more commodity products, and an increasing interest for the industry - the steadily growing market visibility puts bioplastics onto the agenda of brand owners, consumers and decision-makers,“ comments European Bioplastics Chairman Andy Sweetman. “Bioplastics are clearly moving from niche to mainstream.”

The 7th European Bioplastics Conference is the pre-eminent international industry event in Europe offering a unique information platform for industry trends and innovations in material and application development.

Participants can expect a newly diversified conference format as well as an improved mix of expert presentations meeting their individual needs and interests.

Excellent networking opportunities and a comprehensive product exhibition: building on last year’s success of the record exhibition, the 7th Conference is set to offer even more exhibition space, exclusiveness and networking areas.

In 2011, over 420 experts from around the globe came together at the 6th conference and impressively showcased the conference’s tremendous effectiveness in networking and information exchange.