Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

100 Percent Plant-Based Greenware® On-The-Go Boxes Now Available

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Crystal clear containers allow for multi-ingredient food combinations made for consumers on-the-go


Greenware® On-The-Go Boxes provide foodservice operators with an innovative solution to attractively present food for grab-and-go consumption and increased consumer appeal. The containers allow the flexibility to display an assortment of creative food combinations like fresh fruit and dip, hummus and crackers and sandwiches and salads.


Greenware® On-The-Go Boxes are made from plants, not oil. Available in three styles with one flat lid that fits all, Greenware® On-The-Go Boxes are available in 2-, 3- and 4-cell designs that are shrink-band compatible for tamper evident applications. Crystal-clear, durable and stackable, Greenware® On-The-Go Boxes have a compact, square shape to maximize cold case and shelf space. It’s a solution that is good for your business and good for the environment.


Greenware® On-The-Go Boxes are the newest member of the Greenware® family, which includes cold drink cups in seven sizes and portion containers in three sizes. Matching flat and domed lids as well as cup inserts are available. Greenware® products are made from Ingeo™ biopolymer, a PLA resin derived entirely from plants. Greenware® is made in the U.S.A. and is 100% compostable in actively managed municipal or industrial facilities, which may not exist in your area. Not suitable for backyard composting.


Enhance your brand. Let your customers know you are making a difference by using Greenware® products – FREE Greenware® merchandising materials are now available to foodservice operators.


For all the ways Greenware® On-The-Go Boxes can help build your business, contact your Fabri-Kal sales representative today at 1-800-888-5054 or visit


About Fabri-Kal
Fabri-Kal is a leading provider of plastic foodservice and custom thermoformed packaging solutions. As one of the largest thermoformers in North America, Fabri-Kal’s customer base includes thousands of foodservice operators and dozens of consumer product manufacturers. Headquartered in Kalamazoo, Mich., and in continuous operation since 1950, Fabri-Kal employs more than 800 people in five manufacturing, printing and warehousing facilities throughout the United States. More information about Fabri-Kal may be found at the company’s website,

Multibax boosting its bioplastics production

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Thai plastic packager Multibax Public Co. Ltd. is more than doubling capacity for its new line of biodegradable bags, based largely on strong European demand for such lower-carbon-footprint packaging.

Multibax plans this year to add a second extrusion line for bioplastics products, with an annual nameplate capacity of 8 million pounds, and expand capacity in its more traditional business of polyethylene bags, said Pisuth Lertvilai, deputy managing director of the Bangkok-based company.

Its current nameplate capacity for bioplastic bags is about 4.4 million pounds a year, he said.

Looking to reduce costs for biodegradable resins, the company has spent at least 50 million Thai baht ($1.67 million) since 2008 to develop its own formulations, blending tapioca starch derived from Thai cassava root with imported biodegradable polymers to manufacture its own blend of material called MBIO resin.

"We are well aware that if we just buy biodegradable resin from overseas, blow the bag and sell, we won't be competitive," he said. "As such, we then decided to invest in our own R&D."

The research took several years to pay off, and the company only started shipping its MBIO plastic bags in 2012 because it needed to go through the detailed certification for international standards for biodegradability, heavy-metal residue and eco-toxicity, including Germany's DIN Certco, BPI in the United States, and EN 13432 and ASTM 6400, Lertvilai said.


"Right now there are so many customer inquiries [for the biodegradable bags] we can't keep up," he said in an interview at the Inno Bioplast 2013 conference, held Jan. 24-26 in Bangkok.

Lertvilai said that while biodegradable plastics are only 10 percent of its overall business, the market is at the moment stronger than its traditional petrochemical-based plastic packaging because there are fewer companies capable of meeting the strict standards for biodegradable packaging.


"Working in the bioplastics market is easier," he said. "I would say conventional [plastic packaging] is very, very competitive, but in the bioplastics market there are only a few good-quality processes."


Multibax, which is publicly traded on the Stock Exchange of Thailand, hopes its biodegradable materials will account for 40 percent of sales within five years, Lertvilai said.

It has developed both film and injection grades of its bio-based polymers, and is exploring the possibility of selling its resins, he said in a presentation at Inno Bioplast.

The company last year had about 1.6 billion baht ($53.4 million) in sales.


Multibax also plans to introduce a second MBIO formulation, for carrier bags, he said. Its first formulation has been for garbage bin liner bags. It also plans to start a new pilot plant for more extensive research and development by 2015.


Besides the bioplastics investment, the company also plans to increase extrusion capacity for its petrochemical-based products this year from 40 million pounds to about 45 million pounds, he said.


Multibax's factories are all located in an export processing zone in Chonburi province, with 100 percent of its products shipped overseas, he said. It employs about 800 people.


ReBioFoam: innovative packaging

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Officially inaugurated on the first of February 2009, the ReBioFoam (Renewable Biopolymer Foams) project has reached its goals and the results of four years of research and experimentation has been illustrated to the stakeholders on January 30 in Novara in the Aula Magna of the School of Economics. The project was funded by the European Union as part of the Seventh Framework Program and involved a consortium of 10 partners from eight countries: Italy, Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

The objective of ReBioFoam, coordinated by Novamont (Italian firm dedicated to the development of chemical products and materials from renewable resources through the integration of chemistry and agriculture), is the development of an innovative starch-based biopolymer for the production of protective foam packaging offering an alternative to traditional foams used in the sector. The biopolymer is foamed via an innovative and continuous process using microwaves and a technology that exploits the water naturally present in the materials as a foaming agent.

The results of the ReBioFoam project will open new and very important prospects for progress in environmental sustainability and reduction of the use of non-renewable resources. The biopolymer is created in a highly efficient process that modifies the physical properties of starch while preserving its natural characteristics and thus making the material highly recyclable. The new foam is also completely biodegradable and compostable.


Brewlux(R), the First Disposable Tea Infuser by The Tea Spot, is Made From Cereplast Bioplastic Resin

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Cereplast, Inc. (OTCQB:CERP), a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, sustainable bioplastics, today announced that The Tea Spot is launching Brewlux®, the first disposable tea infuser, which is made from Cereplast Biopropylene® 106D.


Cereplast Biopropylene 106D offers a lower carbon footprint when compared to conventional resins, making it an ideal fit for the Brewlux® application. Winner of the World Tea Expo "Best New Product" Award, the Brewlux® brings the full teahouse experience to a to-go cup with its convenient and unique filter design. The first premium alternative to the teabag and paper filters for whole leaf tea, the large fixed volume of the Brewlux® filter allows tea leaves room to expand so tea drinkers can enjoy the full flavor of the tea leaves on-the-go. The infuser sits elevated in the cup, so tea stops steeping when the water dips below the filter. There's no wet bag to remove and it's durable enough to be reused for multiple infusions. With Brewlux®, tea moves from the barista to the customer's hand faster, requiring less preparation than a tea bag and produces a better tasting cup of tea. The Brewlux® is US patent-pending.




Cereplast Biopropylene 106D was designed to have an excellent balance between impact strength, rigidity and processability. The resin can be processed on existing conventional electric and hydraulic reciprocating screw injection molding machines. In addition to the Brewlux® tea infuser, Biopropylene 106D is recommended for the manufacture of consumer goods, furniture, toys, fashion accessories, packaging, and automotive applications.


Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast commented, "Our bioplastics serve many end product markets evidenced by the launch of Brewlux®, the first disposable tea infuser. The renewable industry as a whole is rapidly evolving not only in Europe due to government intervention and mandates, but globally including the United States. Every day that passes the industry continues to evolve with large and small corporations making increased investments, creating opportunities for Cereplast. We look forward to partnering with more companies like The Tea Spot in the future."


About The Tea Spot
The Tea Spot is a for-profit philanthropic business producing handcrafted loose leaf teas and Steepware® - the tools that make loose tea easy. The Boulder, Colorado-based woman owned and operated company was founded by Maria Uspenski in 2004. A cancer survivor drawn to the health benefits of leaf tea during her recovery, she set forth to modernize the loose leaf tea experience. Her message is simple and powerful: tea in its freshest form renders incredible flavor, unmatched health benefits, and is eco-friendly. The Tea Spot is a Certified B Corporation and ensures that its products uphold clean, sustainable and fair manufacturing standards. The company's model of social entrepreneurship incorporates a culture of giving as it grows: ten percent of every sale made is donated in-kind to cancer and community wellness programs.


About Cereplast, Inc.
Cereplast, Inc. (OTCQB:CERP) designs and manufactures proprietary biobased, sustainable bioplastics which are used as substitutes for traditional plastics in all major converting processes - such as injection molding, thermoforming, blow molding and extrusions - at a pricing structure that is competitive with traditional plastics. On the cutting-edge of biobased 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 biobased content and compostability are advantageous, especially in the food service industry. Cereplast Sustainables® resins combine high biobased 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 You may also visit the Cereplast social networking pages at, and

FKuR launches GMO-free PLA products based on PURALACT Lactides from Purac

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Combining technological performance with the GMO-free aspect results in a high quality PLA based product especially designed for those brand owners, retailers and consumers requiring a GMO-free product. The products are pleasant to the touch, have a pearlescent gloss and are biodegradable. BIO-FLEX F 6513 is ideally used for injection molding, whereas BIO-FLEX F 6611 has been developed for thermoforming.

High heat capabilities with PURALACT Lactides from Purac
Purac’s solutions for high performance PLA unlock bioplastic potential for high temperature applications, such as microwavable food packaging and hot beverage cups, and also for durable applications in a range of high end markets, such as automotive, carpet, clothing and consumer electronics and appliances. PURALACT L & D based homopolymers – known as PLLA and PDLA – are the key to this improved heat performance and are commercially available from Purac.

Sustainable, GMO-free feedstocks
Purac is a member of Bonsucro and SEDEX, which forms a part of Purac’s sustainable sourcing initiative. Bonsucro is a global, multi-stakeholder, nonprofit initiative dedicated to reducing the environmental and social impacts of sugar cane production. Purac exclusively uses “GMO-free” feedstocks to produce its PLA monomers.

Next generation biomass feedstocks
Purac is actively involved in various fundamental research and development programs to develop cellulose-based, non-food raw materials into a sustainable feedstock for PLA. Purac is investigating some specific, currently available, by-product streams that can be used as PLA feedstock. Purac is committed to having a pilot facility using these alternative feedstocks in the near future.


For more information:


bioplastic from wheat straw

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FERMAX and AIMPLAS have developed a bioplastic made entirely from wheat straw and that can be used for electronics and appliances.

A bacterium that is fed with sugars derived from wheat straw produces the innovative plastic , while the cellulose fibers from the same residue are the key to providing the necessary rigidity of the material for application in electronics and appliances.

Wheat straw is an agroindustrial residue, but thanks to this project, it gets more value and is able to reduce significantly the cost of manufacturing a biodegradable plastic.

AIMPLAS is  developing for the firs time a biodegradable plastic produced entirely from wheat straw and with the properties required for use in the manufacture of white goods industry and home electronics. He does as coordinator of the European project BUGWORKERS, that lasts 48 months and involves   15 European partners.


The residue that has been chosen to conduct investigations is wheat straw for its low cost and high availability, especially in central Europe. Thus is achieved giving a high value to a residue in BUGWORKERS constitutes 100% of input raw material for the production of a biodegradable plastic.

Cellulose nanofibers as reinforcement

The preparation of this bioplastic starts with  of a bacteria that feeds on sugars extracted from wheat straw and produces this innovative synthesized material (inside its body converts sugar into the bioplastic). Just get agricultural residue extracted nanomaterials (such as cellulose nanofibers lasnanopart√≠culas lignin) that are the key additive to improve the properties of the material and making it usable in sectors such as electronics and appliances manufacturing range white.

So far, BUGWORKERS partners have achieved good results  efficiency in process and now they are going into an industrial scale. These results allow longer talk about costs and competitive properties. "We need high performance in bioplastic synthesis process using bacteria to speak of a competitive product at cost, and are getting very positive results in this regard," says Ana Espert, technical coordinator in AIMPLAS project.




Note:  translated from original in Spanish

Biocomposites containing peat fibre for making new kinds of biodegradable products

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VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed methods and product innovations for processing the most rapidly renewable surface layer of peat instead of using it for energy production. The goal is to develop bio-based composite materials containing peat fibre, for example for the manufacture of consumer products and construction materials, at the same time reducing the use of oil-based raw materials in production.


The advantages of products containing peat fibre are their bio origin, low cost, water resistance, impact strength, excellent fire endurance characteristics and biodegradability.

Through its various projects VTT has developed materials containing thermoplastic and panel-form peat fibre, as well as fibre-suitable preprocessing methods. Milled peat can be used as peat fibre because it contains several peat fractions and preferably long fibres, which are not silt up, so it can function both as filling material and as reinforcing material in composite structures.


The amount of raw material necessary for composite products would equate to a fraction of current peat production, which is a factor in support of its use in ecological products. Composite production is also an alternative to peat burning, and would preserve jobs in the peat industry.


Materials containing peat fibre are suitable for processing with normal plastic processing methods, using compounding, extrusion and injection moulding, for example. Currently no company in Finland is producing or exploiting these kinds of peat composite materials.

Material solutions containing peat fibre can be used in construction (boards, moulding, profiles, plate structures), product applications in horticulture and in agriculture and forestry (seedling guards, planters, peat-coloured wall structures, plant supports), consumer products (golf tees, ornaments), biodegradable packaging, earth-moving (erosion protectors, biodegradable support structures) and funerary products.


VTT currently has three patent applications pending related to peat containing biocomposites.

Development work has been funded partly by the TULI project of the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation Tekes.


Bioplastics market to increase five-fold by 2016

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The global bioplastics market will see a five-fold increase in production volumes by 2016, from 1.2 million tons to an anticipated 6 million tons.



According to a new market forecast from the study from the University of Hannover, Germany, partially bio-based PET will continue to lead the field; it currently accounts for approximately 40% of the global bioplastics production capacity.



Geographically, Asia is predicted to be home to 46.3% of the global bioplastic production capacity by 2016, the study found, and South America to just over 45%, driven mainly by feedstock availability. In Brazil, world number one in bio-PE production Braskem has targeted 2013 as the year to bring its bio PP facility on stream. Other factors impacting growth include robust market demand growth, relative scarcity of oil and gas and supportive government policy in most countries of the region. These regions are also less likely to have large fossil energy discoveries or feel any major supply impact of the large shale gas discoveries in North America.



However, several factors might conspire to hold back the potential of biorenewable materials in Asia Pacific. “Prices remain high, since application and technology development is an ongoing process,” the study said. “The low scale-up of manufacturing capacity also increase per unit costs. In addition, bioplastics' inferior performance attributes, such as moisture absorption, low heat deflection temperature, and reduced resistance against chemical attacks, limit their application range.” Also, the poor execution of eco-labeling policies and insufficient composting facilities in Asia-Pacific countries will continue to restrict the potential applications of bioplastics going forward.



For the time being, bioplastics are playing a limited role in packaging and in the plastics market overall, the study concluded.


100% biodegradable plastic resins using avocados

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Mexican company Biofase plans to develop 100% biodegradable plastic resins using avocado discarded seeds. Mexico is one of the biggest avocado producers, discarding about 30,000 tons (MT) of seeds a month, as per


Under Biofase’s plan, companies would no longer need to pay third parties to dispose of such waste. The company would pick the product up and reintegrate it into the production system for a 100% sustainable alternative. The process was taken up for production after technical feasibility testing.


Biofase has two product lines: Biocom, 100% biodegradable and compostable thermoplastic resins, and Bioblend, an additive that can be mixed into petroleum products to make them partially biodegradable.



Bioserie Launches Innovative Line of iPhone 5 Covers Integrating Bioplastics with Premium Recyclable Materials

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bioserie is first to market with a diversified line of iPhone 5 covers that will give earth and design conscious Apple device owners the protection they crave. The new line of iPhone 5 covers consist of three distinct products, BioCover, GlassCover, and AluCover, all using exclusively plant-based renewable resources and recyclable components.



GlassCover is a delicate merger of bioplastics with strengthened glass, turning the cover into a tasteful accessory which will no doubt seduce the stylish crowd. Glass, a non-toxic material, is dear to our heart as it is also virtually infinitely recyclable.



AluCover allies bioplastics with aluminum, a robust material whose reusability is endless. AluCovers combine exceptional protection with a techno aesthetic by using hologram engraved aluminum panels.


SPI Bioplastics Council to Recognize Innovations in Bioplastics at the 2013 Awards Program

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The Bioplastics Council, a special interest group of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, recently announced the first annual Innovation in Bioplastics Award presented by the SPI Bioplastics Council. The new 2013 awards program will recognize outstanding innovation in unique and creative application of bioplastics materials, products or processes by a company. Entries will be judged on innovation, sustainability benefits and impact on the marketplace.



"The SPI Bioplastics Council is thrilled to announce this new awards program to recognize innovation in the industry," said Melissa Hockstad, SPI's Vice President, science, technology and regulatory affairs. "The award provides a platform to showcase exciting bioplastics success stories, allow industry leaders to be recognized by their peers and highlight novel, game changing achievements in the bioplastics industry."



Companies interested in submitting an application will be able to access the application form and additional information about the nomination process on the SPI Bioplastics Council website. Applications will be accepted through March 31, 2013, and the award winner will be recognized at the June 2013 Biopolymers Symposium organized by Smithers Rapra in Chicago, IL. Applications will be judged by panel of authoritative sources in the industry who are qualified to determine what truly represents state of the art innovation.

The award will include a featured speaking opportunity and free exhibit space at the 2013 Biopolymers Symposium, extensive press coverage to over 200 media outlets, free award promotion banner ad on the Bioplastics Council website for one year, and recognition at future Council events.



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, DuPont, Ecospan, Jamplast, Metabolix, NatureWorks LLC, Nypro Inc., PolyOne Corporation, Teknor Apex and UL.



D&L, Japan firm tie up for plastic alternative

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A UNIT of newly listed D&L Industries, Inc. has sealed an agreement with Japan-based Showa Denko K.K. to manufacture Bionolle Starcla, described as an environmentally friendly compound positioned an alternative to non-biodegradable plastic used for bags, D&L said in a statement on Friday last week



  “D&L Polymer and Colours, Inc. (DLPC), a subsidiary of D&L, and Showa Denko, Japan’s leading chemical engineering company, have signed an original equipment manufacturing agreement covering the compounding, manufacturing, and distribution in the Philippines of Bionolle Starcla,” the statement read.


Bionolle Starcla is a starch-based biopolymer that fully decomposes within one to two months of exposure to bacteria.

It is used to make compost, garbage, and shopping bags.
It is a product of Showa Denko, a manufacturing company founded in 1908 initially to make and sell iodine in China, Japan, Showa Denko’s Web site read. The company is currently engaged in the manufacture of petrochemicals, industrial gases, chemicals, ceramics, carbons, aluminum, electronics, and battery components.


“Showa Denko is a tech company and they [sic] develop these material technologies… but they don’t have a large-scale manufacturing capability like we would,” Alvin D. Lao, D&L executive vice-president and chief financial officer, said in a telephone interview last Saturday.


D&L will manufacture Bionolle Starcla at its 50,000 metric ton-capacity plant in Canlubang, Laguna, for one year until Nov. 19, the statement added.
“[W]e’ve already done some test runs and produced some in small quantities which we exported back to Showa Denko in Japan,” Mr. Lao said.


D&L will manufacture Bionolle Starcla for local use, and at the same time supply Showa Denko which in turn will handle the product’s overseas marketing and distribution, he explained.
D&L is confident its new product will help the environment and at the same time help the struggling plastics industry, which has been hit as more and more local governments of major urban centers ban the use of plastic shopping bags.


“Bionolle Starcla will breathe new life into the plastics industry, which has lost almost 40% of its business to bans,” Lester A. Lao, DLPC managing director, said in the statement.


“At the same time, we are also complementing the paper industry as we help them enhance their products and still be environment friendly.”


In its statement, D&L explained that Bionolle Starcla may be used to make thin film laminates to reinforce paper bags and cups.


D&L cited growing market potentials of Bionolle Starcla and similar materials.
“Based on studies, global production capacity for eco-friendly plastics will see a four-fold jump in five years from 1.2 million metric tons in 2011 to 5.8 million tons in 2016,” the company said in the statement.


Bionolle Starcla is D&L’s second environmentally friendly product after it introduced in 2007 BIOmate, a plastic compound used for shopping bags that partially decomposes after some time.