Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

ALPLA joins The Coca-Cola Company and Danone in Avantium’s PEF bottle development

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Avantium, a renewable chemicals company, and ALPLA Werke Alwin Lehner GmbH, one of the world’s leading plastic converters, today announced their Joint Development Agreement for the development of PEF bottles. After The Coca-Cola Company and Danone, ALPLA is the third company to collaborate with Avantium on PEF, a bioplastic based on Avantium’s proprietary YXY technology. The goal of these collaborations is to bring 100% biobased PEF bottles to the market by 2016.

“Avantium is very excited to have ALPLA enter the Joint Development Platform for PEF bottles,” says Tom van Aken, CEO Avantium. “With ALPLA’s extensive and proven know-how in PET conversion, bottle design and bottle manufacturing, ALPLA will be a major contributor to accelerate the commercial roll out and industrialization of PEF. Jointly we can make PEF available for packaging in innovative markets and traditional applications.  Together we have taken up the challenge to develop the supply chain for PEF as sustainable biobased packaging material to the beer and alcoholic beverage markets.  As one of the world’s most innovative converters, ALPLA will be a key enabler to develop PEF bottles meeting the technical requirements for the market.”


Günther Lehner, ALPLA CEO comments: “By signing this agreement ALPLA once again demonstrates its leadership in innovation in this industry. In the 1980’s ALPLA was the first to introduce the two step PET bottle which started the transition from PVC to PET. Today we are able to take innovation a step further and introduce our customers in the food, home care and personal care area to the next generation of biobased polyester: PEF. Sustainability is a key driver for growth for ALPLA and its customers. We are therefore pleased to collaborate with Avantium to bring the first 100% biobased and recyclable PEF bottles to the market.”


YXY technology

Brand owners are leading the transition from fossil resources based packaging materials like PET (polyethylene terephthalate), to biobased materials. Biobased materials should be compliant with existing recycling solutions. The YXY technology platform is a cost competitive ground-breaking catalytic technology to convert plant based materials into chemical building blocks for bioplastics, like PEF (polyethylene furanoate). PEF is a novel generation of 100% biobased and recyclable polyester which has the potential to replace conventional fossil resources based durable materials like PET. PEF has properties superior to PET such as a significantly higher barrier to oxygen, carbon dioxide and water, extending product shelf life and reducing production costs. An independent life-cycle-analysis study by the Copernicus Institute at the University of Utrecht has demonstrated the carbon footprint of PEF is 50~70% lower than today’s PET.


PEF bottles

ALPLA will develop PEF bottles for Personal Care/ Home Care applications, such as cosmetics and detergents and for Food applications such as sauces, dressings, baby foods and edible oils. ALPLA and Avantium will furthermore work on the development of bottles for beer and other alcoholic beverages. Today Avantium is supplying its development partners with PEF manufactured from material produced at its Geleen pilot plant. Avantium is currently planning a 50,000 ton commercial plant, which is projected to be operational in 2016 to enable the full commercial launch of the first PEF bottles to consumers.



ALPLA is one of the worlds-leading companies in the packaging solutions sector producing for renown brands of all categories including the Food and Beverage industry, Personal & Home Care products and the Oil and Lubricants industry.

ALPLA provides its clients with innovative, top quality products including bottles, preforms and caps at more than 149 plants in 39 different countries.

With such an enormous presence, every customer encounters an ALPLA product at least once a day in the form of an unlimited variety of plastic packaging items for the most diverse contents - from shower gel to engine oil, detergent to lemonade.


About Avantium

Avantium is a leading technology company specialized in the area of advanced high-throughput R&D. The company develops and commercializes YXY – the brand name for its technology platform to catalytically convert plant based carbohydrates into chemical building blocks like Furanics and Levulinics. These chemical building blocks can be applied for making green materials with superior product properties at competitive pricing. Currently the focus of the YXY technology platform is on a building block called FDCA, (2,5- furandicarboxylic acid). FDCA can be polymerized together with ethylene glycol (EG) to form PEF (Polyethelyne Furanoate), which is Avantium's lead application. Combined with the significant reduction in carbon footprint, PEF fulfills key criteria to become the next generation biobased plastics for bottles, film and fibers. PEF for example has gas barrier to oxygen, carbon dioxide and water is superior to PET, leading to longer product shelf life and offering the potential for light weighting of packages. Avantium has demonstrated the value and commercial potential of its unique technology by collaborating with leading companies in the energy and chemical industries. Avantium offices and headquarters are based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Avantium is running an YXY pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands.

Biofore Concept Car Being Built with UPM’s Innovative Biomaterials

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UPM and students from Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences are building a Biofore concept car utilising UPM’s innovative biomaterials as main raw material for many parts and components.

Together with Metropolia, UPM is now able to test the use of renewable biomaterials in automotive applications. The engineering and industrial desing students of Metropolia desing, manufacture and test the car. The project is a cooperation of several organizations, including also the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation.

“For our students, it is a valuable experience to achieve such a target after several years of focused work. This kind of cooperation project makes is possible.” says Pekka Hautala, Technology Manager from Metropolia.


The Biofore concept car is designed following the principles of sustainability and recyclability.
“UPM creates value from renewable and recyclable materials by combining the expertise and technologies from fibre-based, energy-related and engineered materials businesses. With our breakthroughs, various industries can now replace fossil components with biomaterial-based alternatives without compromising quality, durability or safety”, says Juuso Konttinen, Vice President, New Businesses & Development, UPM.


In the concept car many traditionally plastic parts are made of UPM Grada thermoformable wood material and UPM ForMi cellulose fibre biocomposite. Both UPM Grada and UPM ForMi bring considerable environmental benefit in the overall lifecycle of modern vehicle manufacturing. The concept car will be driven with UPM BioVerno woodbased renewable diesel. UPM’s label materials will be used to mark spare parts as well as in the interior and exterior design. The concept car will be manufactured to be a street-legal vehicle and will be finalized during spring 2014.


Both paint and pail are plant based

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After years of research and trials a new paint product based on plants is now being launched by France’s leading quality brand TOLLENS in a pail, which also contains plant material. RPC Superfos is one of three driving forces together with Roquette and Matéris on the project which bolsters a sustainable development.

A unique collaboration between three different companies has led to a groundbreaking result within paint and packaging. The trio consists of Roquette, a producer of bioplastics, paint producer Matéris and RPC Superfos, the biggest packaging provider for Matéris in France and European leader in injection moulded plastic packaging.

A fruitful cooperation
The result is a solution, where both the pail and the paint under the brand GEODE are plant based. Estelle Wallich-Petit, Raw Material and Packaging Purchasing Manager at paint producer Matéris, stresses that the collaboration between Matéris, Roquette and RPC Superfos has been exemplary, each party complementing the other two:
“The three of us could join forces on this highly interesting project because we share the same values concerning sustainable development and innovation. We developed the plant-based paint GEODE. Roquette has created the plant-based plastic GAÏALENE® from starch. RPC Superfos has worked intensively in laboratories with the injection process, for example by testing how the starch-based plastic pail would interact with elements of the water-based paint.”

“For a plant-based paint, we found it obvious to develop a container that also holds renewable resources. Our paint GEODE contains up to 97 per cent natural ingredients and has a high density and a very low content of volatile organic compounds. For any indoor painting task it leads to beautiful results and the plant-based packaging solution is a perfect match.”

Starch – a renewable resource
Léon Mentink, Product Manager at Roquette, has been working pertinaciously with the plant-based plastic called GAÏALENE® for the pail. A specific grade has been developed for the purpose. It derives from starch, a natural renewable polymer widely produced by plants by atmospheric CO2 capture. He explains:
“Our plant based plastic material represents a big leap forward and is now available in industrial quantities. GAÏALENE® can be used to replace the fossil-based raw material normally used for plastics and among the environmental benefits is the reduction of the carbon footprint by 65 per cent compared to polypropylene, as certified by the accountancy and consultancy company PwC. It has been a pleasure to be part of this exciting project, turning an eco-friendly raw material into an industrial solution together with our partners.”

Innovation is paramount
Regional Sales Director from RPC Superfos, Laurent Morel, is thrilled about both the process and the result and says:
“Roquette approached Matéris in France, who decided to take us on board as an innovative partner for the packaging. The collaboration has worked out very well and we have been very enthusiastic about it, keeping focus on common goals, mutual confidence and innovation.”

The plant based pail has the design of the SuperLift pail from RPC Superfos. The paint made of plant resin targets the professional segment and the launch of the product takes place in April 2013 in France.

presented the WHEYLAYER2 project at the 10th edition of the “PLAGKEM” fair

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Slovenian Plasttechnics Cluster (PCS) presented the WHEYLAYER2 project at the 10th edition of the “PLAGKEM” fair, held in Celje, Slovenia from 16th to 19th April 2013. This is an international fair of plastics, rubber and chemistry. It was visited by more than 10 thousand visitors, who came also from countries of Southern Balkans and the European Union. Most visitors were from professional area and they were satisfied with the event. Other 50 exhibitors from several European countries presented their technologies and products.

Exhibition programme included:

  • synthetic masses; semi-manufactures and products, special multipurpose products; products reinforced with fibers and metals,
  • crude rubber and rubber; semi-manufactures and products, special multipurpose products, products in combination with metals, products from foam rubber,
  • chemistry; semi-manufactures and products in the chemical, pharmaceutical, para-pharmaceutical, food, leather, cellulose, metallurgical and energetic process industry,
  • equipment and tools manufacturing, projecting, automatization and process monitoring and control in the production of synthetic masses, rubber, crude rubber and chemistry,
  • production of synthetic masses, crude rubber and chemistry – reprocessing and recycling,
  • ecology – clean environment in the production of synthetic masses, rubber, crude rubber and chemistry,
  • smelting plants

Project WHEYLAYER2 (FP7 315743) that was presented with a brochure raised high interested among visitors, who expressed desire to check sample materials. Those visitors were advised to visit project’s web site for more details.

PCS presented on a booth their business activities and their running research and development projects with brochures, posters and sample products; as well as products of some of their industrial members.

World First Ultra High Barrier Renewable and Recyclable P ackaging L aunched

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Plantic Technologies Ltd, an international supplier of performance biopolymers, has developed the first  renewable and  recyclable  ultra-high barrier packaging format,

Plantic eco Plastic™ R.


Building on the success of Plantic eco Plastic™, the new material format combines PET and

Plantic biodegradable film to provide a packaging material which has ultra-high gas barrier

properties and is made from up to 60% renewable materials.


"Plantic eco Plastic™ R, unlike other barrier packaging formats, can be fully recycled with the PET recovered in the traditional recycling streams with Plantic’s barrier material dissolving and biodegrading in the process." says Brendan Morris, Plantic Technologies CEO. “


The combination of renewable materials with recyclable materials is unique in the packaging sector and brings together the best of both biopla stics and traditional materials

. Plantic eco Plastic™ R deliversfor the environment too with up to 60 % renewable  materials coupled with recyclable PET  content.


Unlike traditional barrier materials which are difficult to recycle due to the complete

mix of plastics used , Plantic eco Plastic™ R provides performance and sustainability/recyclability in a truly unique way.”


Plantic eco Plastic™ R trays and roll stock require no investment in new processing or packaging technology and can be directly substituted for existing materials into the supply chain . They are a drop-in replacement for a range of traditional plastics used in modified atmosphere and ultra-highbarrier packaging. The rigid trays and roll stock are offered in a

high clarity transparent form as well as a variety of colours and even multi-colour formats.


From an environmental point of view the impact of using renewable and recyclable Plantic eco Plastic™ R, compared to traditional barrier plastics are compelling, with every 1000 MT of Plastic saving:


Energy Savings: 5.4 million Kwh of energy or the equivalent energy needed to power 850 homes per year, and CO2


Savings: 2,700 MT of CO2 equivalent to planning 300,000 trees or removing 700 cars from the road


Toppan Printing develops Japan's first packaging film using biomass polyethylene Used commercially for standing refill pouches and adopted for items such as hair care products

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Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (hereafter Toppan Printing; head office: Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo; President & Representative Director: Shingo Kaneko) has developed Japan’s first film for use in packaging materials that uses biomass polyethylene (PE). Full-scale sales will be launched from August 2011.

In order to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society, Toppan Printing engages in the development of products that are environmentally friendly. This new product is a film that partially uses a raw material derived from sugarcane and has a biomass ratio of up to 40% (ratio by weight). While using a raw material derived from plants, the film retains the same performance as existing films in terms of properties such as shock resistance and ease of tearing.

This product is being used for standing refill pouches for items such as hair care products.

Samples of standing refill pouches that use biomass polyethylene
Copyright 2011 TOPPAN PRINTING CO., LTD.

Biomass plastic is a renewable resource that uses plant-based raw materials and can be used sustainably. It can contribute to the creation of a sustainable society as it enables a reduction in the use of fossil resources such as oil. In addition, since it is considered that the volume of CO2 generated during incineration and the volume absorbed during the growth of the plant cancel each other out, it is receiving attention as an environmentally friendly material that can reduce CO2 emissions in comparison with oil-based plastics.
As an initiative to mitigate global warming and reduce the use of oil, since 1991 Toppan Printing has been engaged in the development and commercialization of packaging materials using biomass plastics. In addition, Toppan Printing developed biomass packaging using polylactate in 2000 and it was adopted for the outer packaging for home electrical appliances. Since then, it has been used widely in sectors such as the food and clothing industries.

Polyethylene is a material that is the base for many types of flexible packaging. With the development of this biomass polyethylene film, it has become possible for the first time in Japan to provide biomass packaging materials in all areas of flexible packaging.

Overview of the product
This product achieves a reduction in the use of oil by replacing oil-based linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) with a film that partially uses LLDPE derived from sugar cane. For example, in the case of a standing refill pouch that uses the new film, by replacing part of the oil-based LLDPE that accounts for around 75% of the total material with LLDPE derived from sugar cane, it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions during incineration by up to 40%(*).
The film retains the same properties and suitability for processing as existing PE film and is ideal for packaging for everyday items such as shampoo and food products such as seasonings.

Sales target
Toppan Printing is targeting sales of 12 billion yen in fiscal 2015 for its biomass plastic product business as a whole.

Future developments
Using the know-how acquired in the development of this product, Toppan Printing will aim to expand the use of biomass PE as a packaging material for other products and proactively advance the development of packaging using biomass plastics such as biomass high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polylactate, and biomass PET.


* When 1 kg of this product with a typical structure is incinerated, 2.95 kg of CO2 derived from plastic is generated.
If the percentage of biomass in the product is 40%, the volume of biomass-derived CO2 released is 1.25 kg.

Because the CO2 derived from biomass is not counted, there is a 42.4% reduction (1.25/2.95=42.4%).
If the CO2 derived from ink and adhesives is included, the final CO2 reduction is around 40%.

Arkema launches the Rilsan® T, a new range of biosourced polyamides

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Rilsan® T represents the only alternative to other long chain polyamides while benefiting from Arkema’s specialty polyamides differentiation in terms of innovation, quality and service.


Leadership sustained by unique integration

Arkema is the only chemicals manufacturer to offer expertise spanning over 60 years in the chemistry of castor oil, the raw material for its Rilsan® polyamide 11. This position was bolstered in 2012 by the acquisition of Chinese companies Casda, the world leader in sebacic acid derived from castor oil, and Hipro Polymers, which produces polyamides also from castor oil (Hiprolon® PA6.10, PA6.12, PA10.10, PA10.12), as well as the recent purchase of a stake in Ihsedu Agrochem, a subsidiary of Jayant Agro in India which specializes in the production of castor oil. Building on its unique integration and an already unsurpassed offering in high performance polyamides, Arkema has now enhanced its product range with Rilsan® PA.10.10 T processed from castor oil.


An unrivaled polyamide offering in the market

Arkema’s PA10.10 is the only polyamide to rank between PA6.10, PA6.12 on the one hand, and PA10.12, PA12, PA11 on the other, all of which are already part of Arkema’s product range. Over and above the well-known properties of long chain polyamides (chemical resistance, low moisture absorption, mechanical properties), Rilsan® T affords an excellent degree of rigidity (in particular when reinforced with glassfiber), thermal stability, permeability to petrol and gas, and processability, while consisting of up to 100% renewable carbon.


Rilsan® T also benefits from what sets Arkema’s polyamides apart in terms of technical possibilities (e.g. exclusive multilayer solutions for transport markets) and services (it qualifies for the exclusive RcycleTM offer of service which covers the collection, sorting and recycling of waste, and the development of a range of recycled polymers).

The various PA10.10 grades already available cover most applications in the field of transport (monolayer or multilayer brake lines for trucks and fuel lines for cars), industrial pipes, cables, and injection molded parts for sports or electronics applications.

« This innovation has been developed to meet the most pressing needs of our customers, who are looking for a credible alternative to high performance polyamides, but with specific thermomechanical properties. Thanks to our full integration, from raw material to polymers, we provide a solution that suits our customers’ medium to long term capacity and competitiveness needs », explains Lionel Guerdoux, Managing Director of the Specialty Polyamides business unit.



Biopac produces custom branded eco friendly tumblers for SIBA

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Biopac and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) have once again joined forces to produce a branded tumbler specifically for use by SIBA members.


PLA Tumblers are made from renewable cornstarch, so the tumbler is 100% compostable and can be disposed of by industrial composting. They are printed with 'I am not a plastic cup', giving a clear message about your commitment to the environment. Both half pint and pint sizes carry the government approved CE marking, allowing you to use free-flow pumps.

Mark Brigden, Technical Director at Biopac said, “Our PLA Tumblers offer the same durability and aesthetic appeal as plastic tumblers but are kinder to the environment. They can be composted and broken down completely in less than 12 weeks, compared to conventional plastics which can take 400 years to break down.”


The tumblers are branded with the SIBA logo together with a statement stating the green credentials of the tumbler.


Sara Knox from SIBA National said, “It is our responsibility as the voice of the independent brewing sector to support our members to find eco friendly, high quality and affordable products in which to serve their beer. We buy Biopac's 'I am not a plastic cup' tumblers, printed with our logo and encourage our members to do the same. It's important we work together to help reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.”



Cereplast Announces New Bioplastic Resin Grade With 51% Algae Biomass

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Cereplast, Inc. announced a new bioplastic resin grade Biopropylene® A150D, an injection molding grade manufactured with 51% post-industrial algae biomass.


The post-industrial algae grade is the first offering with 51% algae content and will be commercially available this quarter. Additionally, the biomass content dramatically reduces the carbon footprint of the final product while reducing the petroleum-based plastic content. Biopropylene A150D has low to no odor due to the discovery of a post-industrial process that significantly reduces the distinctive smell that is inherent to algae biomass. The color of the material is medium to dark green and can be colored to dark brown, black or a darker green for color consistency. A matte or shiny surface can be accomplished based upon mold surface and process conditions. Biopropylene A150D can be processed on existing conventional electric and hydraulic reciprocating screw injection molding machines, and is recommended for thin wall injection molding applications. Biopropylene A150D meets CONEG and ROHS requirements.


"Our technology is at the forefront of the algae bioplastics market," commented Mr. Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast. "We consider this new grade to be an important milestone in our quest for new polymers. Our R&D and manufacturing team has done tremendous work and we are excited about the potential outcome. The introduction of our newest grade Biopropylene A150D is significant due to the high percentage of algae biomass content; the greater the algae content, the lower the carbon footprint of the final product. This is an important achievement as our subsidiary Algaeplast works toward the goal of manufacturing polymers made from 100% algae content. We believe Algaeplast can reach this next frontier within the next three years. Algae will allow us to serve a large market of highly engineered polymers at very competitive pricing."


Cereplast subsidiary Algaeplast will continue the research for all algae grades, and Cereplast will distribute all research made by Algaeplast.