Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

BASF produces first commercial volumes of butanediol from renewable raw material

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image BASF has produced its first commercial volumes of 1,4-butanediol (BDO) from renewable raw material, and is offering this product to customers for testing and commercial use. The production process relies on a patented fermentation technology from Genomatica, based in California. The fermentation process uses dextrose as a renewable feedstock. The quality of BDO based on renewable raw material is comparable to petrochemical-based BDO. BASF plans to expand its portfolio with selected BDO derivatives based on renewable feedstock, including Polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF®).

BDO and its derivatives are used for producing plastics, solvents, electronic chemicals and elastic fibers for the packaging, automotive, textile, and sports and leisure industries, among others. The starting materials for the production of conventional BDO are natural gas, butane, butadiene and propylene. BASF currently produces BDO and BDO equivalents at its sites in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Geismar, Louisiana; Chiba, Japan; Kuantan, Malaysia; and Caojing, China. In July BASF announced to increase its global capacities for BDO to 650,000 metric tons and for PolyTHF to 350,000 metric tons within the coming two years.


DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Expands Distribution of Susterra® 1,3-Propanediol

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dupont tate lyle bio logo DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products Company, LLC,  has selected Archway Sales, Inc. as a distributor to represent the Susterra ® 1,3-propanediol product line in the U.S. market . With the additional states of Arizona , California, Idaho, Montana , Nevada, New Mexico , Oregon and Washington added to their existing area; Archway now covers the entire United States as authorized distributor for Susterra ® .

" We are pleased to continue expanding our ability to provide our customers with a full range of products across the United States" Archway President David Baumstark  said. " Archwayhas been a proven partner to our growing sales of Susterra ® in the market for polyurethanes ," commented Steve Hurff , VP of Marketing & Sales , DuPont Tate & Lyle Bio Products .

Susterra ® 1,3-propanediol offers  leading manufacturers the possibility of replacing petroleum-derived materials with high-performance , bio-based solutions that can significantly reduce the environmental impact of their products.

Source: DuPont Tate and Lyle Bio Products Company

Cereplast Launches reVive™ Bioplastic Resins on America Recycles Day

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cereplast logo Cereplast , Inc. a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased , compostable and sustainable bioplastics will launch  reVive™ bioplastic resins next 15 November 2013, America Recycles Day . This new line of products is part of Cereplast Sustainables ® family of resins and uses post-industrial and post-consumer plastics to produce bioplastics . These revolutionary resins are the first bioplastics to combine recycled polymers with bio-based resins for improved sustainability with each other , reducing the carbon footprint for this type of bioplastic by the environmental benefits of recycling plastic.

The first three commercially available grades in the reVive line combine polypropylene ( PP) with vegetable starch and are reVive R625D with 25 % bibased content , reVive R650D  with 51% organic ingredients and reVive R610D , an impact modified grade with no bio-content that takes recycled PP and enhances its properties, answering the increased demand for clean, recycled PP.

Cereplast Chairman and CEO Mr. Frederic Scheer stated, “Cereplast is committed to its quest for higher sustainability and we are always looking for ways to reduce the carbon footprint of our product offerings. Not only does adding recycled materials to our bioplastic resins improve the overall environmental benefits, we hope that it also encourages further recycling of PP, for which recycling is typically very low. We are offering the reVive line as an answer to the demands of market, which in the USA is geared toward an increased use of recycled material. In addition, reVive will be close to parity with traditional recycled material, while offering a superior carbon footprint for companies that are interested in enhanced sustainability. We are excited to launch reVive on America Recycles Day, the only nationally recognized day dedicated to
promoting recycling programs in the United States.”


First 100% biobased T-shirts from recycled PEF bottles

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Avantium has made another breakthrough with its PEF (or polyethylene furanoate). It has demonstrated that PEF can also be used to make fibers, and even that PEF bottles can be recycled into PEF fibers. These PEF fibers from recycled PEF bottles have been processed into 100% biobased T-shirts.



The PEF fiber spinning and fabric weaving and dyeing was performed by the Institute of Textile Technology at RWTH Aachen University, using conventional polyester processing technology and equipment. The fiber market is an important recycling outlet for today’s PET packaging, and the results presented today show similar end-of-life solutions that can be applied for PEF. During the World Cup 2010 in South Africa, shorts and jerseys made from recycled petroleum-based PET bottles were introduced by Nike for the national soccer teams of Brazil, Japan, England, the Netherlands and Team USA, saving petroleum based raw materials and reducing energy consumption by an estimated 30%. PEF T-shirts made from 100% biobased and recycled material would be the next step in sustainability, reducing dependence on petroleum and further decreasing the carbon footprint of apparel.

“These first PEF T-shirts are yet another important step in the development and commercialization of PEF as a 100% biobased and recyclable material”, comments Tom van Aken, Avantium CEO. “The production of the first biobased PEF T-shirts produced from recycled bottles, adds apparel and sportswear to the many potential outlets of PEF. With its reduced carbon footprint, and improved performance, PEF is truly the sustainable plastic material of the future.”

Since 2011 Avantium is developing PEF bottles with its partners The Coca-Cola Company, Danone and ALPLA. Recently Avantium signed a partnership with Wifag-Polytype for the development of thermoformed PEF containers, drinking cups and trays.


Biome Bioplastics serves up compostable coffee pods

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Biome Bioplastics has helped to develop a biodegradable coffee pod, offering one of the first sustainable packaging alternatives in the single-serve market.

The global coffee capsule market is worth $6.6bn and is considered to be a rare bright spot in the global food and drink industry. There are now around 50 different coffee pod or capsule systems on the market, but their convenience comes at a price.



An estimated 9.1 billion single-serve coffee and drink cartridges wind up in US landfills every year, amounting to some 19 million cubic feet of waste. Coffee-pod machines are also increasingly popular in Britain with usage up by 45.1% between February 2012 and 2013, equating to around 186m capsules.

Unfortunately, single serve coffee pods are not easily recyclable. Mixed material pods are sent to landfill and those brands that do offer a recycling service have few recycling points and limited collection service. With mounting pressure around the environmental impact of their success, the coffee industry urgently needs more sustainable packaging options.

In response to this challenge, Biome Bioplastics has developed a portfolio of compostable materials for coffee pods based on renewable, natural resources including plant starches and tree by-products. These bioplastics will degrade to prescribed international standards in composting environments.

Biome Bioplastics CEO Paul Mines explains:

Single–serve coffee pods are an excellent example of the fundamental role that packaging plays in delivering quality and convenience in the food service sector. The challenge is to reduce environmental impact through packaging optimisation without impacting on food quality or safety, or inconveniencing the customer. Bioplastics are an important part of the solution.

Based on the success of the biodegradable pods, Biome Bioplastics is working with manufacturing and brand partners to develop a number of natural polymer-based solutions for the hot drinks industry, with further announcements expected in the coming months.

Source: Biome Bioplastics