Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

Plant Bottle for Sorocaba Refrescos

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The PlantBottle is the first PET bottle made partially of renewable materials.Following the platform of sustainable packaging for Coca-Cola Brazil, Sorocaba Refreshments launched in Sorocaba, on Wednesday, 15  a revolutionary packaging made of PET, in which ethanol from sugar cane replaces some of the oil used as raw material.

Durante the event, held in the auditorium of Sorocaba Refreshments, company executives presented the new packaging, which have originated partially from plants - up 30% plant-based renewable - will reduce the company's dependence in relation to non-renewable resources, and reduce by 20% the emissions of CO ².

No change in chemical properties, color, weight or appearance compared to conventional PET, the PlantBottle is 100% recyclable and now enters the chain of reusing materials, consolidated in the country, since its arrival in the market. The new bottle will begin to be marketed in the region from May, initially in the packaging of Coca-Cola 600 ml. "There was a huge mobilization and investment for the Coca-Cola Brazil got the formula of PlantBottle, and with its release, again confirmed our leading position in packaging innovation. By replacing some of the oil used in the manufacture of PET by ethanol from sugar cane, a feature absolutely renewable and abundant in the country, the Coca-Cola Brazil inaugurates a new era for plastic packaging, "says the CEO of Sorocaba Refreshments, Cristiano Biagi.

Besides the environmental benefits, the use of the new bottle also brings benefits to the economy of Brazil. "The cane sugar is the most efficient source for ethanol production. With this context, Brazil is placed as a future exporter of bio-MEG (component made with cane sugar, used in PlantBottle), thus fostering job creation and leveraging the sugarcane industry in Brazil is a country of first markets to adopt and we PlantBottle as system manufacturers Coca-Cola Brazil seek to encourage other industries to take similar measures. Is also worth mentioning that 100% of PlantBottle packaging from around the world will use Brazilian ethanol, "explains Biagi.Com technology development led by The Coca-Cola Company, PlantBottle is made by an innovative transformation of sugarcane sugar feedstock in a process of manufacturing the PET polymer. Your plastic is produced from the chemical reaction of two components: MEG (monoethylene glycol), responsible for 30% of its weight, and PTA (politereftálico acid), responsible for the remaining 70%.

Supply chain and sustainability
The sugar cane used to produce PlantBottle bottles comes from audited suppliers, using mostly natural irrigation  and mechanical harvesting.

Note: Translated from the original in portuguese.  See the original

EuropaBio appoints new Chair, Vice-Chairs and welcomes eleven new members

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At its Annual General Assembly, held in Brussels on June 26th, EuropaBio formally appointed André Goig, Regional Director EAME (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Syngenta AG, as Chair of the Association. He succeeds Stephan Tanda, who has completed his mandate and will continue to represent Royal DSM in his new function as Chair of the Industrial Biotechnology Council and one of the Vice Chairs of EuropaBio.

The General Assembly also confirmed the appointment of the other Vice-Chairs of the association with Emmanuel Chantelot, Shire, as Chair of the Healthcare Biotechnology Council; Ricardo Gent, DIB-The German Biotechnology Association, as Chair of the National Associations Council and Tom Saylor, Arecor Ltd, as Chair of the SME Platform. André Goig, will also remain Chair of the Agriculture Biotechnology Council ad interim for a year.

The association also elected four new corporate board members, bringing the number of representatives of companies and associations from across Europe to 26 on the EuropaBio Board.

In addition to these appointments, 11 new corporate and associate members were approved by the General Assembly. These are: Biogen Idec; Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp; Sanofi Pasteur MSD; TWB Toulouse; Vito; Vitromics Healthcare Holding; Protaffin Biotechnology AG and Global Bioenergies SA as corporate members and Deerfield Management Company, iQX; Maxhill Publishers LTD as associate members.

Commenting on his appointment, André Goig said: “Having represented Syngenta on the EuropaBio board for a number of years, and having held the position of Vice Chair of the association in my role as Agri-Food Council Chair, I relish the new challenges that lie ahead as Chair of the association.  EuropaBio members are a key driving force behind the European innovation agenda, and I firmly believe that biotechnology is uniquely positioned to bring solutions to the Grand Challenges we face today, of healing, feeding and fuelling an increasing population.  I look forward to working closely with EuropaBio members and staff in bringing our industry, and the benefits that it offers, to the attention of European policy makers and the wider public.”

In welcoming the new appointments and members, Nathalie Moll, Secretary General of EuropaBio stated: “We are delighted to welcome our new Chairman, Vice Chairs and Board members and are grateful for their dedication to our association and our common mission. Moreover, it is particularly telling to see that there are eleven new members joining EuropaBio this year, highlighting the ever increasing commitment of biotech companies and their service providers to promoting an innovative and dynamic biotechnology-based industry in Europe.”

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Tetra Pak and Braskem to sign supply agreement on bio-based plastic for carton packaging in Brazil

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In a carton packaging industry first, low density polyethylene from a renewable source planned to be used in all Tetra Pak packages produced in Brazil

In a first for the carton packaging industry, Tetra Pak® today announces that it plans to sign an agreement with Braskem, the largest thermoplastic resins producer in the Americas, for the supply of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) made from sugar cane to its packaging material factories in Brazil.

This breakthrough initiative, which will be limited in scope to Brazil only for the duration of the trial, is scheduled to start during the first quarter of 2014. According to the plan, Tetra Pak will use bio-based LDPE as a component of its packages produced in Brazil. The planned move to bio-based LDPE means that 100% of Tetra Pak packages produced in Brazil, about 13 billion, will have up to 82% packaging material from renewable sources.

“The new agreement to be signed with Braskem demonstrates our commitment to bring environmental innovations to our customers and is a further step in our journey to develop fully renewable packages,” said Tetra Pak President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Jönsson.

Braskem will use ethanol derived from sugar cane to produce ethylene, which will then be converted into LDPE. The LDPE made from renewable sugar cane has the same technical properties as LDPE made from fossil sources, and the environmental benefits of being from a renewable source. Braskem biopolymers are known under the trademark I´m green™.

“The new bio-based I´m green™ LDPE is as inert, resistant and recyclable as the polyethylene made from fossil sources but, contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the sugar cane growth process,” said Braskem President Carlos Fadigas. “The expansion of the green products line reinforces our commitment to adding value through sustainable development for the value chain.”

Since 2008, the Brazilian paperboard chain of custody is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council™ (FSC™), which means that all the paper used in the production of Tetra Pak packages comes from forests managed in accordance with responsible forestry management principles.

Tetra Pak was the first liquid food packaging supplier to use bio-based plastic in its packaging, launching Tetra Brik® Aseptic packages with StreamCap™ 1000 produced with bio-based high density polyethylene (HDPE) supplied by Braskem in 2011. Earlier this month the company announced global availability of a bio-based version of LightCap™ 30, which uses HDPE made from sugar cane.


CSM nv presents its new company name and strategy

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On June 18th, CSM, Purac and Caravan Ingredients have launched the new company name and brand.

At the Capital Markets Day for analysts and investors in Amsterdam today, CSM will present its new company name, Corbion, and its new growth strategy for the period 2013 to 2016. The new name and strategy mark the latest stage of the ongoing transformation of the company into a leading provider of biobased products, with activities in biobased food ingredients and biochemicals. The company is on track to complete the earlier announced divestment of its Bakery Supplies business to Rhône Capital early Q3 2013.

Built on the strong foundations of Caravan Ingredients and Purac, Corbion has a wealth of expertise in the world of biobased food ingredients and biochemicals, combined with a rich history of service and innovations spanning more than a century.


In biobased food ingredients, Corbion is a leading player offering high value added ingredients to food companies, helping them solve their food integrity issues such as food safety, microbial spoilage, look & feel and taste & smell. Corbion is especially strong in the bakery and meat sectors. Organic growth will be driven by leveraging its leadership positions into adjacent markets, and will be supported by selective M&A.


In biochemicals, Corbion is a fast-growing, innovative supplier of fermentation-derived, sustainably sourced biochemicals. Corbion's aim is to replace fossil-based chemicals in selected markets by offering products with similar or improved functionality, lower cost-in-use, and enhanced environmental credentials. Accelerating growth in biochemicals will be underpinned by investments in innovation and developing partnerships. Corbion has already reached a number of key milestones, such as the recently announced partnerships with BASF and Cargill.


Gerard Hoetmer, CEO of Corbion: "Our new name and logo signify the next phase in the development of our company. We will leverage our proprietary technologies and intimate understanding of customers and consumers to further develop our market positions in biobased products. In short, we create value for our customers through our biobased products, designed by science, powered by nature and delivered through our dedication. This will in turn create value for our shareholders."

Calysta Energy and NatureWorks Announce an R&D Collaboration to Transform Methane into the Lactic Acid Building Block for Bioplastics

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Calysta Energy™ and NatureWorks have entered into an exclusive, multi-year collaboration to research and develop a practical, world-scale production process for fermenting methane — a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) — into lactic acid, the building block for Ingeo, lactide intermediates and polymers made from renewable materials. If the collaboration results in the successful commercialization of this first-of-its-kind technology, the cost to produce Ingeo would be structurally lowered, and the wide range of Ingeo based consumer and industrial products could be produced from an even broader set of carbon-based feedstocks, complementary to what is already in use by NatureWorks.


A greenhouse gas 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide, methane is generated by the natural decomposition of plant materials and is a component of natural gas. Methane is also generated from society’s organic wastes and is produced from such activities as waste-water treatment, decomposition within landfills and anaerobic digestion. If successful, the technology could directly access carbon from any of these sources. Determining the feasibility of methane as a commercially viable feedstock for lactic acid may take up to five years, according to NatureWorks.


Feedstock diversification for Ingeo

“If proven through this R&D collaboration, the new technology could be revolutionary because it will provide alternatives to the current reliance on agricultural feedstocks, and with the direct conversion of methane, it will greatly simplify the number of steps and operations needed to convert carbon into performance consumer products,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and CEO of NatureWorks. “This could structurally lower the cost of producing Ingeo.”


Currently, Ingeo relies on carbon from CO2 feedstock that has been fixed or sequestered through photosynthesis into simple plant sugars, known as “first generation materials.” NatureWorks’ flagship facility in Blair, Neb., uses industrially sourced corn starch, while its second facility currently in planning for a location in Southeast Asia will use cane sugar. In parallel with the collaboration, NatureWorks is continuing its broad technology assessment of “second generation” cellulosic sources of carbon. In the case of Southeast Asia, opportunities exist for harvesting cellulosic sugars from bagasse, an abundant lignocellulosic byproduct of sugarcane processing.


The research and development collaboration with Calysta Energy relates to NatureWorks strategic interests in feedstock diversification and a structurally simplified, lower cost Ingeo production platform. Calysta Energy is developing its BioGTC™ (biological gas-to-chemicals) platform for biological conversion of methane to high value chemicals. For NatureWorks, methane could be an additional feedstock several generations removed from simple plant sugars. The project will wrap up with an evaluation of potential sources of a methane feedstock for commercial scale production of lactic acid. The evaluation will include criteria such as purity, availability, price, location to customers, GHG sequestration potential and environmental and energy impacts. Feedstock diversification supports the organization’s goal of utilizing the most abundant, available and appropriate sources of carbon to produce Ingeo for the local geographic region served by a NatureWorks’ production facility.


“We are pleased to be partnering with NatureWorks, an industry leader in renewable technology and biopolymer business development,” said Alan Shaw, Ph.D., chairman, president and CEO of Calysta Energy. “Calysta’s proprietary technology enables a novel route from a significant greenhouse gas to high-value industrial chemicals such as lactic acid. This approach demonstrates the power of biology compared to chemical transformation. Specific products, such as lactic acid, would be extremely difficult to make economically from methane using traditional catalysts.


“Calysta technology offers NatureWorks a competitive advantage through excellent product performance at a lower cost, and we look forward to a productive collaboration. This exclusive project validates our value proposition of converting existing, proven biological pathways to advantaged feedstocks.”



Myriant Corporation and Johnson Matthey - Davy Technologies Produce Market Grade, Bio-Based Butanediol

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Myriant Corporation (Myriant), a global renewable chemicals company, and Johnson Matthey - Davy Technologies (JM Davy) a leading chemical technology licensing company, announced today the successful production of bio-butanediol (BDO) and tetrahydrofuran (THF) made from Myriant's bio-succinic acid. The qualification work was conducted at JM Davy's facility at Teesside, England using bio-succinic acid supplied by Myriant and the JM Davy BDO/THF process.


Combining the efficiencies of Myriant's bio-succinic acid process and the JM Davy BDO/THF process, the bio-butanediol and bio tetrahydrofuran has an overall carbon efficiency of 87%, believed to be substantially better than the carbon efficiency achieved in the direct fermentation route to bio-butanediol.


"The recent developments that JM Davy and Myriant have been able to achieve together are clear milestones in our overall strategy to bring renewable products to the market," said Antoine Bordet, Managing Director, at JM Davy. "We have provided process technologies based on petroleum feedstocks to the BDO and THF markets globally for 25 years and understand what it takes to be competitive from a cost and quality point of view.

The JM Davy BDO/THF technology, which has undergone significant improvements over the past 10 years, can now be offered with process and performance guarantees to produce commercial grade bio-butanediol, tetrahydrofuran and gamma-butyrolactone equivalent to the petrochemical material that is currently produced in commercial plants, from Myriant's bio-succinic acid at a competitive cost level."


"With this most recent success at Teesside, Myriant has proved that we are able to produce succinic acid suitable for the production of commercial grade bio-butanediol," commented Cenan Ozmeral, Ph.D., Myriant's Chief Operating Officer. "Our bio-butanediol offers superior carbon efficiency that will enable our customers to reduce their overall carbon footprint. Achieving this success is another major step towards advancing Myriant's commercialization strategy for bio-succinic acid and its derivatives, and, it is significant because it provides us immediate entrance into a large market with JM Davy, the global leader in BDO/THF process technology."


JM Davy, a global leader in esterification and hydrogenation technology, has licensed 800,000 MT/year of annual capacity for the production of butanediol, tetrahydrofuran and gamma-butyrolactone representing approximately 25% of the global installed capacity.

Myriant's flagship bio-succinic acid plant in Lake Providence, Louisiana, is currently being commissioned and it is the largest bio-succinic acid plant in the world.


Avantium wins 2013 Innovation in Bioplastics Award

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The Bioplastics Council, a special interest group of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, is pleased to announce that Avantium has won the first annual Innovation in Bioplastics Award presented by the SPI Bioplastics Council.


Avantium is recognized for the development of polyethylene furanoate (PEF). PEF’s superior barrier to oxygen, CO2 and water provides exciting new packaging opportunities to beverage makers including lightweighting of bottles and simplification of the production process by removal of coating layers or oxygen scavengers. The excellent bottle properties of PEF have generated interest from beverage makers like The Coca-Cola Company and Danone, who joined Avantium in a joint development platform to roll out the first PEF bottles to the market.


The SPI Bioplastics Council ‘s new 2013 awards program recognizes outstanding innovation in unique and creative application of bioplastics materials, products or processes by a company. The award will be officially presented on June 12, 2013 at the Biopolymers Symposium organized by Smithers Rapra in Chicago, IL. A representative from Avantium will give the closing keynote presentation at the symposium.


“The Bioplastics Council is thrilled to recognize Avantium for its outstanding innovation in the industry,” said Melissa Hockstad, SPI’s vice president, science, technology and regulatory affairs. “The award showcases Avantium’s game changing achievements in the bioplastics industry and provides a platform to showcase an exciting bioplastics success.”


“Avantium is honored to have been awarded the first Innovation in Bioplastics Award,” said Tom van Aken, Avantium CEO. “We view this award as recognition and confirmation of the progress that Avantium has made in the development of our YXY Technology. The successful technology scale-up and operations of our pilot plant and the joint development partnerships with The Coca-Cola Company and Danone have created a strong commercial momentum, which enables us to continue our path to a successful first commercial production of PEF”.


Applications were judged by a panel of authoritative sources in the industry: Dr. Jim Lunt of Jim Lunt LLC; Matt Naitove, Plastics Technology magazine’s Executive Editor; and Dr. Jo Ann Ratto of the U.S. Army.


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.

Learn more about the group at


Cardia Bioplastics and University of Sydney cooperation

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Biomolecular engineers at the University of Sydney are creating cleaner, more cost-effective PPC polymers that promise to transform the biodegradable polymer industry.


The plastics being developed will have a broad range of usability, at one end of the spectrum being used for fully recyclable shopping bags, at the other, as restorative implants in the human body.

Associate Professor Fariba Dehghani


A team led by Associate Professor Fariba Dehghani from the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies has commenced a project to design a process for creating purified biodegradable, renewable and CO2 based polypropylene carbonate (PPC) polymers.


"The project's aim is to minimise reliance on fossil fuels and address the current problems with commercial production of sustainable bio plastics PPC starch not just in Australia but globally," states Professor Dehghani.


The team is developing large scale solvent free technologies that reduce the levels of heavy metal used in PPC.

The project has been funded by both the Australian Research Council and ASX listed Bioplastics company Cardia Bioplastics Limited (CNN) through its 100 percent owned subsidiary CO2Startch Pty Ltd that also has commercialisation rights to the PPC process that aims to reduce zinc levels in the PPC manufacturing process.


Cardia is the manufacturer of the world's first Co2 plus starch carrier bag utilising Cardia's patented PPC and starch blending technology. University of Sydney and Cardia are partnering to develop new applications with PPC, the first being a medical application.

The outcomes of the project will have enormous significance for both our environment and human health states Professor Dehghani.


"The clean technologies we develop will make it possible to produce environmentally friendly plastics utilising waste CO2.

"Converting captured CO2 into products such as chemicals, plastics or other commodities is pivotal in our attempts to reduce the need for volatile organic compounds (VOCS)," says Professor Dehghani.


"VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which can have short or long-term adverse health effects and are also potentially disastrous for our environment."


The process being developed by Professor Dehghani's team could have international reach with its adaptation assisting in reducing carbon emissions in countries where geologic storage of CO2 is impossible.


On the health front Professor Dehghani says the synthetic polymer can be used as an alternative for a range of biomedical applications such as musculo-skeletal tissue engineering and drug delivery.


The cost-effective and biomimetic product could be used to treat many bone diseases such as osteoporosis and musculoskeletal injuries that affect over 3.8 million Australians.

Myriant Produces Bio-Succinic Acid at Commercial Scale

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Myriant Corporation, a global renewable chemicals company, announced today the successful scaling and commercial production of bio-succinic acid at ThyssenKrupp Uhde's biotech commercial validation facility in Leuna, Germany. The production process meets targets for commercial yield and product quality.

Myriant and ThyssenKrupp Uhde signed an exclusive alliance agreement in 2009 to commercialize bio-succinic acid. The two companies have worked together since then to achieve two main objectives of the agreement. First, to ensure that the bio-succinic acid process is cost competitive and that it produces the highest purity product at commercial scale. Second, to enable ThyssenKrupp Uhde to provide important process and performance guarantees for the bio-succinic acid process at future Myriant plants built by Uhde.

"With the success at Leuna we have achieved the first objective set out in our alliance agreement with ThyssenKrupp Uhde. Producing on-spec, commercial grade bio-succinic acid while meeting our commercial cost targets would not be possible without the expert engineering, design and process expertise of ThyssenKrupp Uhde, our global alliance partner and our selected engineering partner for future commercial production plants," commented Cenan Ozmeral, Ph.D., Myriant's Chief Operating Officer.

"Myriant has established a track record for executing against our stated milestones and also for achieving significant industry-firsts," said Stephen J. Gatto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Myriant. "We believe obtaining a process guarantee from ThyssenKrupp Uhde will be an important strategic differentiator for Myriant in the bio-based chemicals industry and that, when coupled with a proven, scalable process, will enable us to access lower-cost capital to fund our plant build-out program in the United States and abroad."

"In Myriant we found a partner that delivers on its promises. ThyssenKrupp Uhde selected Myriant amongst a long list of bio-chemical companies globally because we believed the company not only had the best scientists and technology, but also because Myriant has the requisite depth to build a long-lasting, bio-chemicals company; staying power and longevity are important attributes for us. The success in Leuna, in addition to Myriant's other achievements in the bio-succinic acid market, confirms that we made the right decision," said Joachim Schulze, Ph.D., Head of Biotechnology Division for ThyssenKrupp Uhde.

Globally, the annual worldwide market for succinic acid is estimated at approximately $7.5 billion in new and existing applications. Succinic acid, which is traditionally produced from petroleum, can be used in a wide variety of applications including polymers, urethanes, plasticizers and coatings. Myriant's high purity bio-succinic acid is made from renewable feedstocks and is chemically equivalent to petroleum-based succinic acid while providing a lower environmental footprint. Myriant's bio-succinic acid reduces harmful green house gas emissions by 94% compared to petroleum-derived succinic acid and by 93% compared to petroleum-derived adipic acid.