Natural Plastics

News about the bioplastics industry

Cardia secures expanded patent protection for its bioplastics technology

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Yoghurt Containers made from Cardia Biohybrid™ technology, now patent protected

Cardia Bioplastics Limited (ASX: CNN) has secured patent protection for its Cardia Compostable, Biohybrid™ and PPC-starch resin and finished products from Japan, Australia, New Zealand and China Patent and Trademark Offices. Seven new patents were granted during 2014 for Cardia’s unique and innovative bioplastics resin formulations and production processes.

These new patents expand Cardia Bioplastics growing intellectual property portfolio of 11 patent families, with 19 patents so far granted in USA, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. The patents protect the composition formulation and manufacturing process invented by Cardia’s R&D team.

On receiving the news, Dr. Frank Glatz, Managing Director of Cardia Bioplastics said, “This marks an important milestone for Cardia Bioplastics. These granted patents protect the intellectual property of the Company and further support the technical differentiation of our globally certified Cardia Compostable and independently validated lower carbon foot print Cardia Biohybrid™ product offering.”

“Cardia is collaborating with leading global brand owners to reduce the environmental impact of their packaging. Cardia’s Biohybrid™ technology enables them to reduce the carbon footprint and the use of less oil in their packaging with an environmental benefit whilst maintaining product performance. Cardia’s strong patent position and freedom to operate is a critical requirement for these large global brand owners.”

Richard Tegoni Cardia Bioplastics Chairman stated, “Protecting Cardia’s intellectual property is a high priority as it supports our businesses long-term growth strategy of creating new Compostable and Biohybrid™ resins that meet the needs of the growing market for resins and finished products.”

The continual expansion of Cardia’s patent portfolio validates Cardia’s technical capabilities and unique formulation. With rapid global growth of bioplastics use in diverse product applications, Cardia’s patent portfolio capitalizes on the demand of leading brand owners where strong intellectual property position is a key requirement.

Leading German Consumer Goods Company chooses Cardia Biohybrid™ technology

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Extrusion blow moulded bottles made with Cardia Biohybrid™ technology

Cardia Bioplastics Limited  is pleased to announce that a leading German Consumer Goods Company has chosen Cardia Biohybrid™ technology for their product packaging.
Following four years rigorous quality and performance testing, the German Consumer Goods Company, which can not be named for commercial reasons, has chosen Cardia Biohybrid™ technology for their product packaging.

Cardia Biohybrid™ technology was validated in a stringent approval process for high performance rigid packaging applications including – quality, performance, price, environmental claims, intellectual property position and freedom to operate.

The Cardia Biohybrid™ technology had to satisfy full food safety compliance as well as deliver superior packaging performance through the product life cycle.

As a European market leader, the German Consumer Goods Company is redefining packaging with a European market launch of Cardia Biohybrid™ technology packaging in early 2015.

The German major placed initial container orders.  The business has the capacity to expand rapidly due to the company’s market presence within the Fast Moving Consumer Goods category.

Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director Dr Frank Glatz said: “Collaborating with this well-known German Consumer Goods Company presented an exciting opportunity to develop high performance packaging with lower environmental impact. In addition to offering a product with beneficial environmental profile and full food safety compliance, a key criterion for success was in delivering superior packaging performance through the entire product life cycle.”

“In addition to meeting all product performance criteria, the tests confirmed that our Biohybrid™ technology enhanced the shelf life of the packaged product due to its good gas barrier properties. This is a real value add outcome for our customer,” Dr Glatz added.

Meeting the stringent testing and approval process of the German consumer goods company further validates Cardia Biohybrid™ versatility in product applications, its environmental benefits and product performance.

Cardia continues to be well positioned in benefiting from the trend towards sustainable packaging. Offering customers the choice of using sustainable Cardia Biohybrid™ technology (less oil, lower carbon foot print) or Compostable technology (delivering certified compostability to international standards); Cardia is continuing to see increased demand in a broad range of applications, including flexible film, bag, injection moulding and blow moulding applications.

Cardia Bioplastics announces proposed merger with Stellar Films Group

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image Cardia Bioplastics Limited (ASX: CNN) is pleased to announce that it has signed a terms sheet with privately held Stellar Films Group (Stellar Films) under which it is proposed to merge the businesses of the two groups.

The merger, should it proceed, is intended to create a leader in sustainable packaging.

The proposed merger is subject to completion of satisfactory due diligence by both parties, execution of a sale agreement, Shareholder and regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions.

Under the terms of the proposed merger, Cardia Bioplastics will acquire all of the shares and units issued in Stellar Films and issue ordinary shares in Cardia Bioplastics to the owners of Stellar Films. Following completion of the proposed merger, it is currently anticipated that Cardia shareholders will own 42% of the merged group and the owners of Stellar Films will own 58% of the merged group.

An Extraordinary General Meeting of Cardia Bioplastics shareholders is expected to be held in early 2015. A notice of meeting setting out all relevant information for shareholders, including an Independent Expert's Report, would be circulated to Cardia Bioplastics shareholders prior to the meeting.

The terms sheet provides for an exclusivity period of 4 months from 21 November 2014.  During the exclusivity period the parties will undertake due diligence enquiries and act in good faith to agree the commercial terms of the proposed merger, and enter into a sale agreement. Cardia, Stellar and the owners of Stellar have agreed to no shop, no talk and no due diligence restrictions for the duration of the exclusivity period.  The no talk and no due diligence restriction will not apply where not responding to a competing proposal would be likely to result in a party breaching its fiduciary obligations.

Background to Proposed Merger

Cardia Bioplastics and Stellar Films originally partnered to produce environmentally friendly, high quality and cost competitive Biohybrid™ films tailored for the global personal care and hygiene products industry. The Biohybrid™ film produced on Stellar Films proprietary cast film process, exhibits a high performance property profile. It is differentiated through its unique soft touch and warm feel that is ideal for personal care product applications such as nappies/diapers, feminine or incontinence products.

The close and efficient cooperation between the companies over the last three years has clearly drawn out the strategic fit of the two businesses and the major benefits of a merger, including scale and geographic footprint of combined operations, market access and reach, production and operational savings, complementary intellectual property positions, resources to deliver business strategy and high quality management teams.
Stellar Films is an Australian privately owned company that manufactures and globally markets high quality cast films to the personal care, hygiene and medical product industries. The company is headquartered in Melbourne and operates manufacturing facilities in Melbourne and Port Klang, Malaysia. Over the last fifteen years, Stellar Films Group with average sales over the last three years of over $21 million has developed partnerships with customers in over twenty-seven countries throughout North America, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Australia/New Zealand. In addition, Stellar holds an interest of 50.8% in Akronn Industries. Akronn manufactures silicone-coated paper and film products at their Nilai, Malaysia operation supplying the global hygiene and medical packaging markets as well as the sustainable energy sector.

Cardia Bioplastics develops, manufactures and markets its patented renewable resource-based materials and finished products, derived from Cardia’s proprietary technology for the global packaging and plastic products industries. The company holds a strong patent portfolio and its growth is fuelled by the global trend towards sustainable packaging. Established in Australia in 2002, the company Headquarters and Global Application Development Centre is in Melbourne. Cardia Bioplastics’ Product Development Centre and resins manufacturing plant is in Nanjing, China. Cardia’s manufacturing plants for film and bag products are in Nanjing, China and São Paulo, Brazil with further offices in Australia, China, USA, Brazil and Malaysia, and a network of leading distributors across the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Cardia Bioplastics Chairman, Richard Tegoni, stated “The Cardia Bioplastics Board is excited about the intended merger with Stellar Films Group, a business that will complement and strengthen our Cardia Bioplastics business in its product offering, market position and global reach. The combined business has the scale and resources to deliver the successful implementation of our profitable business growth strategy in our carrier bags, films & packaging, and waste management target market segments. We look forward to working with the Stellar Group Board and management to bring the merger transaction to a successful conclusion”.

Stellar Films launches sustainable personal care films made from Cardia Biohybrid™ technology

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  • Stellar Films and Cardia Bioplastics partnered to produce sustainable films using Cardia Biohybrid™ patented technology for the personal care and medical products industry.
  • Environmentally friendly Biohybrid™ films offer high product performance and are cost competitive.
  • Films are strong and tough while delivering a unique soft touch and warm feel ideal for the personal care industry.
  • Market launch of these novel films at Outlook Asia 2014, the world’s premier non-woven personal care products conference in Singapore commencing 26 November 2014.

imageCardia Biohybrid™ technology to be used by Stellar Films

Australian Stellar Films and Cardia Bioplastics partnered to produce environmentally friendly, high quality and cost competitive Biohybrid™ films tailored for the global personal care and hygiene products industry.

Stellar Films are an international manufacturer of finest quality films that fully meet their customers’ needs, including films for the disposable nappy/diaper, feminine hygiene, incontinence and medical disposable markets including films for packing of surgical instruments, surgical drapes and gowns.

Cardia Biohybrid™ proprietary technology combines renewable thermoplastics with polyolefin material to reduce dependence on finite oil resources and lower carbon footprint.  The Biohybrid™ film produced on Stellar Films proprietary cast film process exhibits a high performance property profile. It is differentiated through its unique soft touch and warm feel that is ideal for personal care product applications like nappies/diapers, feminine or incontinence products.

Stellar Films will launch the Biohybrid™ film range as environmentally friendly product expansion aimed at capturing a share of the three hundred million dollar hygiene product films market. (1)

Stellar Films Managing Director, Stephen Walters, said: “The combination of performance, environmental profile and cost effectiveness made Cardia Biohybrid™ technology the solution for Stellar Films product needs. The unique texture of the new Biohybrid™ personal care and medical films gives our customers products with a plush, satin feel and appearance.”

Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director, Dr Frank Glatz, said: “Stellar Films is an innovative company, that has developed a strong market position in the personal care and medical films industry. Collaborating with them presents an exciting opportunity to develop high performance Biohybrid™ and Compostable films that are tailored to the global personal care market and are unique in their offering and their low carbon and sustainable benefits.”

"Our partnership with Stellar Films will enable their personal care films customers to purchase innovative film products with reduced dependence on finite oil resources, lower carbon footprint and differentiated product properties.”

Stellar Films new range of Biohybrid™ Films will be launched at Outlook Asia 2014, the world’s premier non-woven personal care products conference in Singapore commencing 26 November 2014.

(1) Capital Market Day 2013, Huhtamaki presentation

Source: Cardia Bioplastics

Corbion Purac intends to produce PLA at its new production plant

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imageCorbion Purac will accelerate its thrust into the biotechnology arena, making the next step in the bioplastics value chain by becoming a PLA producer. With entry into PLA, Corbion Purac intends to bring new biodegradable solutions to the plastics industry, and increase global PLA production capacity by a further 75 kTpa.

This announcement forms a part of Corbion's updated strategic direction for 2015 - 2018. Tjerk de Ruiter, CEO of Corbion, comments: "As part of our strategic review we confirmed there is an attractive demand outlook for PLA, albeit at a lower growth pace than previously assumed. Given our strong position in lactic acid, our unique high heat technology and the market need for a second PLA producer, we plan to forward integrate in the bioplastics value chain, from being a lactide provider to a PLA producer."

Corbion intends to invest in a 75 kTpa PLA plant (estimated EUR 60 million capex) in Thailand. "We will only commence with this investment if we can secure at least one-third of plant capacity in committed PLA volumes from customers", states de Ruiter. Corbion will also continue exploring strategic alliances as part of their PLA growth strategy, in order to enhance the business opportunities while mitigating the associated risks.

Corbion Purac will continue selling lactides to both existing and new PLA polymerization customers. Lactide sales for the coatings and adhesives markets will also continue. Many of Corbion's existing polymerization customers have already successfully built a strong local presence and distribution channel, with great market coverage. Worldwide PLA capacity is almost sold out and with the PLA market expected to grow to 600 kTpa by 2025, the market is seeking additional PLA suppliers.

Source: Corbion

Global demand for biobased and biodegradable plastics will rise 19 percent per year to 960,000 metric tons in 2017

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imageWorld demand to skyrocket 19% annually through 2017

Global demand for biobased and biodegradable plastics will rise 19 percent per year to 960,000 metric tons in 2017. The bioplastics industry, while still in the emerging growth phase, has established itself as a fixture in a number of commercial markets and applications. Robust growth in demand is expected in virtually all geographic markets, driven by consumer preferences for sustainable materials, the increased adoption of bioplastics by plastic processors and compounders, and new product developments that expand the range of applications for bioplastics. However, despite the rapid rise in demand, bioplastics are still expected to account for less than one percent of the overall plastic resin market in 2022.

Biobased commodity resins to be fastest growing types

Starch-based resins and polylactic acid (PLA) will remain the leading bioplastic products through 2017, combining to account for over 60 percent of demand. For starch-based resins, advances will be bolstered by increased regulation of conventional plastic products, particularly plastic bags, as governments around the world continue to promote sustainability. PLA demand will benefit from the development of resins and compounds with enhanced performance attributes, suitable for more durable applications such as fibers, automotive parts, and electronic components.

The most rapid gains in demand, however, are expected for biobased commodity resins such as polyethylene and polypropylene, which are just beginning to enter the commercial market. The rapid adoption of these bioplastics will be fueled by their ability to be used as a “drop-in” for existing applications, as well as by an increased focus on biobased content rather than biodegradability as a desired attribute. By 2022, biobased polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is also expected to become available in commercial quantities and will begin to penetrate the beverage container market.

Western Europe to remain dominant regional market

Western Europe was the largest regional consumer of bioplastics in 2012, accounting for over half of global demand. The region will see strong gains through 2017 as well, bolstered by added regulations and incentives that favor bioplastics over conventional resins. North America will also register strong advances, with demand in the region expected to more than double, driven by rising consumption of PLA and biobased commodity resins. Advances in the Asia/Pacific region will be fueled by robust growth in China, which has become a major consumer of bioplastic resins used to manufacture goods for export.

Study coverage

This study analyzes the 408,000 metric ton world bioplastic industry. It presents historical demand data for 2002, 2007 and 2012, and forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by product (e.g., starch-based resins, polylactic acid, biobased polyethylene, polyester bioplastics, biobased polyamides), market (e.g., containers, packaging film, loose-fill packaging, nonpackaging bags, foodservice disposables, automotive and electronics, agriculture), world region, and for 17 countries.

The study also considers market environment factors, details industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles 35 industry players, including NatureWorks, Arkema and Novamont.

Source: Freedonia Group

3 Lessons Coke Has Learned Since Launching PlantBottle™

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Since introducing PlantBottle™ packaging – the first-ever fully recyclable PET plastic bottle made partially from plants – Coca-Cola has distributed more than 25 billion of the bottles to thirsty consumers in 37 countries. The breakthrough technology also has helped catalyze a movement to redirect the entire polyester fiber and plastic resin industry toward a renewable future.
“We continue to advance what has been received as a transformational innovation in the materials space,” said Scott Vitters, general manager, PlantBottle Packaging Innovation Platform. “We believe the power of an idea is in its use and want to achieve global scale, and we know we can’t do that alone.”
PlantBottle packaging now accounts for 30 percent of the company’s packaging volume in North America and 7 percent globally, making Coke the world’s largest bioplastics end user.
Over the last five years, the company’s adoption of the technology has eliminated the equivalent of approximately 450,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions. PlantBottle packaging also has resonated with consumers, helped boost sales of brands like Dasani and generated headlines and won sustainable and innovation awards, and captured the collective attention of the supplier, scientific/academic and investor community. Earlier this year, PlantBottle packaging was recognized by the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry for helping to fuel the bio-based manufacturing boom during a hearing on Capitol Hill.
Part of this buzz is because PlantBottle Technology is being used to produce more than plastic bottles. From day one, Coke decided to license it to non-competitive companies to expand its application and build a global supply chain for PlantBottle material.
In 2011, Coca-Cola took the first step in this collaborative innovation approach by licensing PlantBottle Technology to H.J. Heinz for use in its ketchup bottles. In 2013, Ford Motor Company announced plans to use the same renewable material found in PlantBottle packaging in the fabric interior of its Fusion Energi hybrid sedan. And earlier this year, the first reusable, fully recyclable plastic cup made with PlantBottle Technology rolled out in SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks across the U.S.

“Once we fully realized the power of PlantBottle Technology, we knew it had real-world, global applications well beyond our own products," said Vitters. "These collaborations demonstrate that this technology can be used across the entire polyester universe – in everything from the inside of a car, to carpet, to clothing – and with a lighter footprint on the planet.”
Coke is actively working with partners around the world to develop a supply chain for PlantBottle material, including teaming up with JBF Industries Ltd. to build a world-scale production facility in Brazil.
Additionally, the company has invested in three leading biotech companies – Virent, Gevo and Avantium – to speed the commercialization of a PET plastic bottle made entirely from plants. Recently, the company made an additional investment in Virent’s development and commercialization of its bio-based technology. 
Press Event
The PlantBottle packaging journey is still just beginning. Coke plans to convert all PET plastic bottles – which account for approximately 60 percent of its packaging globally – to PlantBottle packaging by 2020.
Here are three lessons Coke has learned during the first five years of its PlantBottle Technology journey:

1. PlantBottle Packaging Can Be Used as an Effective Marketing Tool

The environmental and long-term cost benefits of PlantBottle Technology have been clear since day one, but it took the team a few years to realize its potential to build emotional connections with consumers. PlantBottle packaging has proven to be a top differentiator for many Coke brands, particularly its water portfolio, led by Dasani in the U.S. “We’ve seen great momentum and recently introduced the technology across our water portfolio in key markets such as Russia, Great Britain and Italy,” Vitters said.
Now, the technology is rolling out across several tea and juice brands, including Simply, Minute Maid and Gold Peak in the U.S., plus Coca-Cola Life. “The next step is to learn how to use PlantBottle packaging to reinforce intrinsics like plant-based, natural and premium with these brands,” Vitters said.
When it comes to linking the technology with a brand, there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all marketing approach. The PlantBottle packaging message must be tailored from brand to brand. A soon-to-launch campaign for Coca-Cola, for example, will leverage the proven connection between plants and personal happiness.
“With Coke and the other 20-plus brands in PlantBottle packaging, it’s not about slapping a logo on a pack,” Vitters said. “It’s about positioning PlantBottle packaging authentically and properly in a way that’s relevant to a specific brand’s voice to drive growth.”

2. Cost Improvement, Not Cost Parity, is What Matters Most.

PlantBottle Technology has the potential to drive long-term cost advantages for Coke as the plant-based material supply chain develops. Vitters and his team continue to identify new bio-based technologies that are less expensive – and more stable – than volatile, fossil-based resources such as oil and natural gas.
“We’re seeing technologies move from R&D to commercial scale and becoming more real by the day,” Vitters said. “We are investing in and working on solutions that will allow us to both optimize the cost and improve the price predictability of our most important packing system.”

3. Support from the Environmental and Academic Community is Growing.

Working together with environmental organizations and researchers, Coca-Cola has been careful to identify current and future plant sources that truly deliver improved sustainability performance and do not compete with food crops.
“There’s a very healthy scientific discussion taking place around uses for biomass that's increasingly prioritizing biomass use for products – like PlantBottle packaging – that can be used multiple times unlike bio-energy or fuel,” Vitters said. PlantBottle Technology uses natural sugars found in plants to make ingredients identical to fossil-based ingredients traditionally used in polyester fibers and resin for bottles.
Coke is focused on PlantBottle Technology’s use of responsibly sourced biomaterials that can be reused and recycled again and again. Work is also underway to develop new technologies to source sugars from plant waste such as barks, stems and peels, and Coke is partnering with World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to create guiding principles for sourcing agricultural feedstocks.
Vitters also says the program’s progress can be attributed the fact that a “collaboratively matrixed” team – which includes R&D, Supply Chain, Marketing, Procurement and other functions – is stewarding the PlantBottle Technology platform, and because Coke has been willing to share the technology to drive scale.
“I think the results we’ve seen with PlantBottle Technology can be replicated,” he said. “Our work is built around a strong leadership commitment against a big bet and a compelling business case.”

Basque research center BIOMAT Develops Biodegradable Container for Oily Products

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Innovation in the packaging industry has been focusing on the development of new, more sustainable, economically viable materials with enhanced properties and which also perform the functions required by this sector: to contain, protect and preserve the product, to inform the consumer about it and to facilitate the distribution of it. Traditional containers protect the product and, what is more, are cheap and durable. However, their durability poses a serious problem for the environment, so work is being done to develop sustainable materials that are in line with the trends observed among manufacturers and consumers.

"Today's society with new consumption habits needs new designs that adapt to its needs. The pace of life reduces the frequency of going shopping, which means that containers need to preserve the product for a longer period of time. What is more, there is a need to take into consideration the concern of packaging manufacturers and packagers to address the new trends in production and logistics systems and offer fresh solutions at a competitive price. It will be possible to achieve this aim if the development of new containers is adapted to the technology currently being used and if the design is optimized to cut the amount of material used," explained Pedro Guerrero, researcher in Renewable Materials Engineering at the Polytechnic University School of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country.

One of the environmental strategies that is being implemented is the use of materials obtained by using raw materials coming from renewable sources which, once their life cycle is over, have the capacity to biodegrade. "Right now, these materials only account for 1% of world production, according to data from European Bioplastics, but in the short term this market share is expected to grow and could see a fourfold increase by 2017. Specifically, world production of bioplastics in 2013 was 1.6 million tonnes and is expected to reach 6.2 million tonnes by 2017, according to the Institute for Bioplastics and Biocomposites. Within this line of research the BIOMAT group is running various projects with applications in food packaging and in other sectors like pharmaceuticals, electronics or transport."

The bioplastics industry is a dynamic, constantly growing sector, which has enabled the selling price of these materials to be cut, and in the near future their price is expected to be comparable with those of conventional plastics. This aspect has made it possible to gear the applied research in the food packaging sector towards the development of containers based on biodegradable and/or renewable materials. One of the lines of research of the UPV/EHU's BIOMAT group is to prepare renewable, biodegradable polymer blends so as to improve the properties of the materials and cut their costs.

So this research group has developed a new biodegradable/compostable container for both liquid and solid oily products; agro-industrial by-products have been used and this will contribute towards the sustainable consumption of raw materials and the upgrading of by-products. The container is transparent and, at the same time, provides an excellent barrier for keeping out ultraviolet light and gases like oxygen. Multilayer laminates are generally used as a barrier against gases, yet the product developed by the BIOMAT group has a single layer, which cuts its cost considerably. Furthermore, it can be thermally sealed and is printable.
This new container, which acts as a barrier between the food and the outside, moves from being a mere container (passive packaging systems) to performing an active role in the maintenance and even improvement of the quality of the food.  The main function of this container is to prolong the useful life of the packaged food through the control of permeation phenomena, either through the use of barrier materials or through the retaining of harmful substances and/or the incorporating of beneficial substances for the packaged food. "In the specific case of the deterioration of the food owing to oxidation reactions," added Prof Guerrero, "you have to bear in mind that this is a reaction started by free radicals that progresses very rapidly, and this makes it difficult to control. To delay or inhibit this reaction, it is possible to use various strategies that act directly on the oxygen or on the species capable of reacting with it. In the first case, it is possible to prevent gas entering from the outside by means of barrier materials; in the second case, it is possible to resort to the adding of antioxidants, either inside the container on in the container itself. The demand by consumers for products that do not contain synthetic chemical compounds has led to a growing interest displayed by the food industry in the development of active containers with natural additives."

The BIOMAT group has manufactured an active container with natural antioxidant agents for full-fat, fat or semi-fat cheeses, and cheese portions. The packaging makes the product last longer in a good condition, which plays an important role not only in the quality of the product but also in reducing discarded, uneaten food. 

NatureWorks Teams up with PE INTERNATIONAL to Revise Ingeo Biopolymer Eco-Profile

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NatureWorks releases today the first findings of its updated eco-profile for its naturally advanced family of Ingeobiopolymers. The revised profile, which is based on the latest version of PE INTERNATIONAL’s GaBi LCA software and database, follows the ISO 14040/44 standards and reinforces the fact that the production of Ingeo polymer emits fewer greenhouse gases and consumes less non-renewable energy compared to commonly used plastics such as polystyrene (PS), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and polycarbonate (PC).
The eco-profile of a polymer gives information such as the total energy and raw materials consumed, and the total emissions to air, water, and soil from the cradle to the finished polymer pellet. An eco-profile is an essential input to any full life cycle assessment (LCA) conducted on consumer products made from that polymer. NatureWorks works closely with brand owners, manufacturers, universities, and other research groups in using life cycle assessment to compare the impact of various material types on products.
“Our most recent eco-profile in 2010 was calculated using the methodology, the modeling software, and core database in place at the time,” said Erwin Vink, Environmental Affairs Manager, NatureWorks. “The same approach was used by such industry organizations as Plastics Europe since the beginning of the nineties to calculate the eco-profiles for the fossil based polymers. However, LCA tools and databases have progressed in the past four years, and we decided it was time to recalculate the eco-profile based on those advancements.
“While the Ingeo manufacturing process remains the same, what has changed are the LCA software modeling tools and extensively broadened LCA databases and datasets, which give us the most up-to-date and accurate picture on the greenhouse gas emissions and other commonly used indicators in LCA.”
NatureWorks teamed with PE INTERNATIONAL, one of the world’s leading LCA consultants, basing the update on PE´s GaBi6.3 modeling software. PE INTERNATIONAL subsequently reviewed the methodology used, the final modeling work as well as the use of upstream data by NatureWorks, to determine the 2014 eco-profile and found that the company’s LCA process was scientifically and technically valid and consistent with ISO 14040 and 14044 standards for conducting LCAs.
The most recent recalculated eco-profiles for Ingeo, PP, PS, PET, and PC show smaller overall greenhouse gas emissions for each polymer compared to previous European industry data. The ranking of the polymers from lower overall environmental impact to higher overall impact remained the same.
Cradle-to-Gate Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The chart below compares the greenhouse gas emissions (including biogenic carbon uptake in the case of Ingeo) for Ingeo manufacture with the emissions resulting from the manufacture of a number of different polymers produced in the US and Europe using the latest available industry assessments for each. The numbers represent the totals for the first part of the life cycle of the polymers, starting with fossil or renewable feedstock production up to and including the final polymerization step.
Production Greenhouse Gas Emissions Including Biogenic Carbon Uptake1

The new Ingeo eco-profile information is expected to be available shortly in industry life cycle inventory databases. In the meantime, for further information, see the NatureWorks eco-profile page. In the near future, LCA practitioners interested in accessing the full eco-profile will be able to download it in such file formats as xls and GaBi.
For more information on NatureWorks and Ingeo, visit

Cardia Bioplastics Brazil commences retail carry bag production and wins new contracts equalling $1.5 million worth of annualised business

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Australian headquartered Cardia Bioplastics Limited (ASX: CNN) is pleased to announce that Cardia Bioplastics Brazil has commenced production of retail carry bags and secured new contracts with initial orders equalling $1.5 million worth of annualised business.

With the opening of the new production facility in São Paulo, Brazil, Cardia Bioplastics has already increased orders through new customers such as Minas Gerais supermarkets, including their high profile chain Mart Minas Supermarkets.
Cardia Brazil has secured important customer wins in advance of the annual AMIS trade show (Association of Minas Gerais Supermarkets) where Cardia will exhibit its product offering in October.
The timing for Cardia to set up production has been perfectly chosen. The market is responding very well to Cardia’s commitment, own operation, cost competitive, quality sustainable offering and service. With Cardia’s production capacity of 500 million bags per annum, the business is now in a strong position to meet increased customer demand.
Cardia Bioplastics has established itself over the last couple of years, as a reliable supplier of quality environmentally preferred retail carry bags to the Brazilian market, securing annual supply contracts with high profile Brazilian retailers.
Cardia Bioplastics Latin America Managing Director João Paulo Mignot stated, “We are thrilled with the market’s response to our new manufacturing facility. We continue to win new customers for our locally manufactured environmentally friendly Biohybrid™ and Compostable bags.”
João Paulo Mignot continues, “Our presence at the AMIS trade show will further showcase our Biohybrid™ and Compostable products and capability.”
Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director Dr. Frank Glatz stated, “We are already reaping the rewards of the establishment of Cardia’s own production facilities in Brazil. We have expanded our team to create a real presence in the Brazilian packaging market. With a quality sustainable offering our Biohybrid™ and Compostable bags are in high demand in the Brazillian market.”

Cardia Bioplastics wins $350,000 waste management products supply contract in Nanjing, China

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Cardia Bioplastics Limited is pleased to announce that Nanjing Jianye District has extended its supply contract for Cardia waste management products and awarded additional orders of A$350,000 to be supplied before the end of October. The additional orders are for the supply of Cardia Biohybrid™ kitchen waste bags to the individual households of this region validating the former forecast announced on 17 February 2014 of a A$1 million annual supply requirement and Cardia Bioplastics as preferred supplier.

Cardia Biohybrid™ kitchen waste bags in use, enabling organic waste diversion in Nanjing Jianye District in China
Cardia renewable products were validated through the Jiangsu Province Testing Laboratories, with Jianye enforcing the renewable content requirement, all of which standards Cardia products successfully met. Cardia Biohybrid™ kitchen waste bags are made with Cardia's proprietary Biohybrid™ technology that uses less oil, is cost competitive and delivers a lower carbon footprint compared to conventional plastics.
The contract win follows the successful one-year trial of Cardia products in Nanjing’s various city districts and initial order placements of A$250,000 in February 2014. Nanjing Jianye District is the first city district to have moved forward with full commercial roll out of their organic waste diversion programme using Cardia products. Nanjing’s other district councils are at various stages of their trial programmes, with several councils expected to progress to full-scale implementation. With a population of over 6 million, Nanjing is actively moving towards organic waste diversion.
The win follows the recent expansion of Cardia’s production capability with a move to a new factory in Nanjing. The new factory has increased Biohybrid™ and Compostable bag making capacity to 100 million bags per year, meeting the increasing global demand for Cardia’s carry and waste management bags, hygiene and nappy films and custom products.
Dr. Frank Glatz, Managing Director of Cardia Bioplastics said: “We are very excited about the continued growth of the Nanjing Jianye District waste management programme.  The success of winning these contracts is a result of our superior product technology, validation of product performance and effective supply capability through our new manufacturing plant in Nanjing, China. We feel confident that by the end of this year more China City Councils will be implementing similar programmes.”
Mr. Jacky Chen, Cardia Bioplastics Global Director of Sales and Head of China Operations stated: “The increased order validates our product’s quality and sustainability benefits, as well as our strong Government relationships with China City Councils. We look forward to further working with China City Councils towards managing household waste sustainably and reducing their environmental footprint. Our recent move to larger production facilities is certainly reaping rewards.”
Cardia offers certified compostable products through its organic waste management business, which is delivering sales in Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Canada, USA, Brazil and the UK.

Key Trends Driving Bioplastics for Packaging

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imageWith packaging markets consuming more than 60% of all global bioplastics production, the packaging industry has become the most important end-use sector for bioplastics.

The growth in consumption of bioplastics for packaging is very much linked to the relative competitive prices for traditional polymers (petro-polymers), based on fossil fuel products such as oil, natural gas and derivatives. Therefore, the acceptance and growth of bioplastics in packaging is driven by the dynamics and economics of the fossil-fuel industry on a global basis.

In this bulletin, Smithers Pira identifies the key trends which are driving the market for bioplastics for packaging.

Fossil fuel costs
The increasing cost for oil, gas and coal is not new, but what is new is the potential for 'economic de-linkage' of fossil fuel costs as was seen in 2008. In July of 2008, oil prices spiked to over $135/barrel for the first time. Although prices have declined since, a steady-state of $100/barrel as seen in much of 2013 is not considered an attractive price range by consumers. Furthermore, the fear of higher prices is now branded in public memory; most consumers and industries believe that costs will escalate again in the future. Bioplastics demand is directly affected by the relative competitive cost of petro-polymers, which is strongly influenced by the cost of fossil fuel feedstocks.

Although bioplastics by definition do not rely on fossil fuel raw materials, the competitive price-point for bioplastics is still very much influenced by the cost-performance of the incumbent fossil-fuel-derived polymers.

Global supply chain linkage
Today, the chemical and polymer industries are completely global, with supply agreements extending between all the major regions of the world. Therefore, fossil fuel feedstocks, as well as chemical and polymer derivatives, are traded on a global basis.

As the world's largest supply region for low-cost fossil fuel and chemical production, the Middle East acts as the 'price-point' for determining the competitive basis for global chemical and polymer production economics.

Environmental regulations and the 'carbon footprint'
Environmental regulations will play a role in motivating more biopolymer consumption in the longer term, especially with regards to recycling and composting. However, broad-based regulations that drive specific polymer consumption are not likely. Therefore, regulatory impact is expected to be driven less by legislation, and more by industrial and consumer perceptions.

New generation biorenewable technologies
Continued improvement in production and process technology that is used to produce building block chemicals as well as monomers, polymers, compounds and other components such as natural fibre will lead to better performance and provide economic incentives to motivate biopolymer market acceptance.

The industry expects that second and third generation cellulose conversion technology for non-food crops such as corn husks, grass and wood will soon become economic. Cellulose waste is the cheapest raw material in the biomass pool of resources, and if conversion becomes economic, it then becomes another competitive price point to beat out petro-polymer economics.

There is no doubt that future technology development will provide many new types of bioplastics for packaging and better ways of producing traditional bioplastics. These developing bioplastics will offer varying degrees of biorenewability and biodegradability. The degree to which a product is biorenewable and/or biodegradable is an important determinant for achieving market acceptance.

Overall, there are a variety of trends driving the market for bioplastics in packaging. However, it is the competitive cost and availability of fossil fuels that will have the largest impact on the commercial production and use of biopolymers.

This research is based on Smithers Pira's report The Future of Bioplastics for Packaging to 2023. This report is available for purchase now and is essential reading for anyone involved in the bioplastics for packaging market.

Source: Smithers Pira

Sealed Air uses Cardia Compostable films for new PakNatural® Biodegradable Cushion Bags

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Leading global protective packaging manufacturer Sealed Air has selected Cardia Compostable films for its new PakNatural® Biodegradable Cushion Bags.
The PakNatural® Biodegradable Cushion Bag is a versatile and moldable cushioning bag made from renewable materials that is certified biodegradable and compostable. The entire PakNatural® cushion is certified biodegradable and compostable. Cardia Compostable film has proven to be the ideal choice for PakNatural® as it meets Sealed Air’s drive to deliver more environmentally friendly solutions.
The new PakNatural® Biodegradable Cushion Bag expresses Sealed Air’s environmental commitment offering its customers environmentally friendly solutions of high performance, efficiency and verified biodegradability and compostability.
Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director Dr. Frank Glatz said, “The main design goals by Sealed Air were to offer biodegradable and compostable packaging solutions made from renewable resources and to maintain the packaging integrity of the PakNatural® Biodegradable Cushion Bag protective void fill cushions.” Dr Glatz continued, “Working closely with the Sealed Air team, we contributed to making their commitment to delivering more environmentally friendly packaging solutions of high performance to their customers a reality. Sealed Air is another example of a major market leader taking the initiative of introducing compostable and biodegradable solutions to their customers.”
The Cardia Compostable film had to meet precision performance standards during both the manufacture of the film and later at the point of use, when the film is converted to a cushion bag. These systems are fast and easy to operate delivering cushions on demand for excellent protection and efficient void filling, while reducing material and shipping costs. At the point of use for Sealed Air customers, this compostable film delivers robust performance in demanding conditions.
John Wolf, Sealed Air Global Vice President, General Use Segment said: “When it comes to sustainability, we focus on the total life cycle of our products and the products we protect. Our strategy involves understanding the beginning and end of life, in addition to the performance during use. The new PakNatural® Biodegradable Cushion Bags addresses all of these areas.”
Source: Cardiabioplastics

Biopolymer Partners Program at Harbec, Inc. Provides Sustainable Solutions to Vendors, Customers

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image Based in Ontario, NY, Harbec, Inc. ( is best known as an innovative tooling, machining, prototype development, molding and production company. HARBEC excels in the use of innovative materials, problem-solving, and working with R&D organizations on unique prototypes. HARBEC has capabilities for short (1-to-100 parts) or longer run (>1MM parts) production as well.

Harbec has supported the consumer products, sporting goods, aerospace, transportation, medical, marine, and energy industries. Their core values are sustainability-minded and they are striving to support a sustainable supply chain, the use of innovative materials, and the development of more sustainable products.

To that end, Harbec announces the launch of their Biopolymer Partners Program. Through the
Biopolymer Partners Program Harbec is working to connect the dots between sustainable design and manufacturing and materials development and management. Harbec is working with customers who are looking for unique bio-based polymer solutions which can enable their products to reduce or eliminate petroleum-and-carbon based feedstocks within their product portfolio. Harbec is also working with a diversity of biopolymer and bio-origin polymer companies to sample, validate, and assess the vitality of their material within the production parameters and tolerances demanded by customers.

Bob Bechtold, President of Harbec, Inc. stated, “Our Biopolymer Partners Program is our way to bridge two worlds: materials developers and product developers. By linking need with opportunity we are attempting to streamline and accelerate the transition of bio-based polymers into more mainstream products by demonstrating its ability to be successfully integrated within the modern injection molding manufacturing environment. Our goal is to collaborate with and support the long-term growth, innovation, and sustainability objectives of both our vendors and customers. We see the Biopolymer Partners Program as a mutual benefit to our and their business objectives.”

The details of Harbec’s Biopolymer Partners Program includes the following:
• Harbec commits to testing one bag (30 lb. minimum) of biopolymer with one of its injection
molded designs at no cost to the supplier.
• Harbec asks that the customer or vendor provide a one bag sample of their biopolymer to
Harbec so that they can mold it with one of their in-house designs.
• In return Harbec will send back ½ of the parts that are produced for inspection and use,
including the processing parameters of the part.
• Harbec will keep ½ of the parts for mutual marketing objectives.
• Harbec will publish favorable results on its web-site with the key specifications and include
links to your business and materials. Please see Harbec’s Biopolymer Information Center for additional information:

• Harbec commits to promoting your material with customers as an option for producing
more sustainable parts, and through the use of your specific biopolymer.
• You will have immediate access to Harbec’s capabilities as an option for molding your
product and provided access to some of our innovative approaches in sustainable product
design, and sustainable manufacturing principles.

In July 2014 Harbec welcomed Eco Bio Plastics Midland, Inc. (EBPM) into its Biopolymer Partners
Program. Established in 2011 as a joint venture between Michigan Molecular Institute (MMI) and Tokyo, Japan based Eco Research Institute Ltd (ERI), Eco Bio Plastics Midland is advancing research and developing bio-composites for applications in food, pharmaceutical, industrial, and automotive applications.

Harbec’s Biopolymer Partners Programs offers an option for EBPM to collaborate with other industry leaders to accelerate the use and adoption of biopolymer resins for high quality injection molded parts.

Further, as a carbon-neutral manufacturing company, Harbec offers sustainably-minded biopolymer companies such as EBPM a unique opportunity to further advance their own sustainability objectives.

Kyle Volz, Sales and Marketing Coordinator for EBPM states, “Eco Bio Plastics Midland (EBPM) embraces the concept of “WORKING TOGETHER WORKS,” both inside and outside our organization. We are proud to partner with Harbec to supply our innovative bio-polymer resins to help create quality injectionmolded parts while together fostering a commitment to environmental and social responsibility.”

For more information on the Biopolymer Partners Program at Harbec please contact us,

Edeniq and Global Bio - chem to Develop and Commercialize Corn Stover to Industrial Sugars Conversion Technology

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image Edeniq, Inc.(“Edeniq”), a cellulosic sugar producer, announced it has signed a letter of intent with Global Bio-chem Technology Group Company Limited (“Global Bio-chem,” HKG:0809) to develop and commercialize processes to convert corn stover to industrial sugars for use in the production of chemicals, fuels, and other bio-based products.

Pursuant to the letter of intent, Edeniq and Global Bio-chem intend to integrate their technologies in a commercial demonstration plant to produce 50,000 metric tons per year of industrial sugars from corn stover, and subsequently to form a joint venture to further develop and commercialize their technology platform.

Global Bio-chem is currently working on modification of corn stover, consisting of leaves, stalks and cobs of corn at its facility in the Jilin Province of China.“This relationship with Global Bio-chem will accelerate the scale-up and commercialization of  our continuous sugars process and build upon years of technology development at our pilot facilities in California,” said Mr.Brian Thome, President and CEO of Edeniq. “We believe our joint venture will offer an industry-leading, low-cost technology platform to biochemical and biofuel producers in China, the United States, and elsewhere, enabling significant market growth for bio-based products.”

Ms. Xu Ziyi, Executive Director of Global Bio-chem, said: “The Group is a pioneer in using corn stalk as raw material for further downstream processing, and has been working on fully utilizing other corn residues as well.

Our collaboration with Edeniq is to focus on enhancing our technology to significantly reduce the production costs of corn stover-based sugar,and to enable us to expand into a variety of bio-based products with such biomass as raw material.”

The collaboration between Global Bio-chem and Edeniq has gained government support. “The Jilin provincial government is pleased to support Global Bio-chem-Edeniq partnership in its goal to develop processes to utilize the millions of metric tons per year of corn stover available in our province,” said Mr. Dawei Liu, Deputy Commissioner of Industry Department, Jilin Province Development and Reform Committe

Source: Edeniq | Low-Cost Cellulosic Sugars for Ethanol, Advanced Biofuels, and Biochemicals

Development of biodegradable containers for fruit export

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Some of the fruits that Chile exports such as berries and blueberries are sent to different markets in clamshell containers, which are commonly made ​​of a traditional clear plastic.

However, due to the strong tendency in the world to develop environmentally friendly products and the applicability of new environmental regulations regarding the handling of polluting waste of production processes, the industry is looking for alternative containers that are friendlier to the environment.


In this context, Conicyt approved the project to produce biodegradable containers for export fruit packaging and transportation, which are executed by the Technological Development Unit (UDT) of the University of Concepción.

The idea of this initiative is to seek alternatives to produce biodegradable containers for fruit export in partnership with various companies in the field.

Johana Castaño, project manager and investigator of the Biomaterials Department at UDT, explained that the idea is to scale the production of biodegradable containers developed for the domestic fruit industry, considering in turn, the most convenient economic and market alternatives for their industrial application”.

In addition, the investigator said that the development of this type of containers can position Chile as an international benchmark, which would also allow fruit sector companies and container suppliers to be much more competitive internationally.


“Scientific and technological studies such as the optimization of processing at the pilot and industrial level, container design, thermo-mechanical characterization and their evaluation in simulated conditions of use will be required to achieve the development of biodegradable plastic containers”, suggests Castaño.

Companies linked to this initiative, which have a budget of 120 million pesos, are Petroquim, Ultrapac Sudamérica y Agrícola and Ganadera Rio Cato.

Source: UDT Unidad de Desarrollo Tecnológico UdeC

Calysta Demonstrates Lab-Scale Production of Lactic Acid From Methane

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image Calysta, Inc. (  has successfully fermented methane into lactic acid, under a research collaboration with NatureWorks. Lactic acid is the building block for NatureWorks Ingeo™ lactide intermediates and polymers used in consumer and industrial products worldwide.

The joint development program, started in June 2013 between Calysta and NatureWorks, is focused on creation of a commercially viable methane-to-lactic-acid process. The key aims are providing a structurally simplified, lower cost Ingeo production platform and diversifying NatureWorks’ feedstock portfolio.

“This important milestone was achieved ahead of schedule, and demonstrates the capability of Calysta’s proprietary Biological Gas-to-Chemicals® synthetic biology platform to create new manufacturing pathways using methane as an advantaged and sustainable feedstock,” said Alan Shaw, Ph.D., Calysta President and CEO. “Calysta offers NatureWorks innovative biological tools to activate a broader array of greenhouse gas feedstocks supporting NatureWorks’ commitment to feedstock diversification.”

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.

While the critical lab scale first stage of the project has confirmed methane conversion to lactic acid, much additional development work remains. A full demonstration of commercial feasibility may require up to five years of development effort. The companies will share commercialization rights for select products developed under the agreement.

About Calysta, Inc. (

Calysta Inc is an innovator in industrial products from sustainable sources. Calysta Energy is developing new Biological Gas-to-Liquids® and Biological Gas-to-Chemicals® technologies using methane, the primary component of natural gas. The technology allows conversion of a plentiful energy resource into high value chemicals and transportation fuels with cost and performance advantages over current processes. Calysta Nutrition develops and commercializes fish and livestock nutritional products based on gas fermentation of methane. Calysta Nutrition has operations in Stavanger, Norway.

Cardia Bioplastics successfully completes relocation to new purpose built factory and installation of three new production lines

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Cardia Bioplastics Limited  is pleased to announce that it has expanded its manufacturing operations by moving to an upgraded purpose built facility in Nanjing, China.

The new factory increases both Cardia Biohybrid™ and Cardia Compostable bag making capacity to 100 million bags per year to meet the increasing global demand for Cardia’s carry and waste bags, films for the hygiene market and custom products. With the launch of a new Cardia bag range aimed at the retail sector already in high demand, the factory is already running to full capacity.



Cardia Bioplastics China General Manager Jackie Chen stated, “We are thrilled with our new manufacturing facility in Nanjing. We are now poised to deliver the increasing orders that we have been receiving, whilst further growing the business. The factory is also a win for the local area with 40 jobs being created through the move.”

Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director Dr. Frank Glatz stated, “The move to the new factory could not have come at a better time, with the growing demand for sustainable bags and products with a lower carbon footprint, driven by consumers, brand owners, governments and municipals our Biohybrid™ and Compostable bags and films are a quality solution.”  Dr Glatz continues, “ Following the success of both Interzoo and APAS trade fairs we have committed to the purchase of six additional new film extrusion and bag making lines to meet further increased orders, doubling our current production capacity to meet demand.”

Cardia Bioplastics Chairman Richard Tegoni stated, “This is a major milestone for Cardia because it underpins the company’s capability to manufacture high quality finished products including Biohybrid™ and Compostable bags, film and custom products at a lower cost. The move to vertically integrate our business means we can better control supply to our customers and this will support our growth strategy moving forward”

Submitted by: Cardia Bioplastics

Biodegradable and stable in use now also food contact approved

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Perstorp is the world leader in the supply and technological development of ε-polycaprolactones (PCL) under the Capa™ brand name. Bioplastics is a core focus area for Perstorp and an important part of Perstorp’s vision for a more sustainable future, and its commitment to a greener environment. Capa™ thermoplastics are an excellent choice for bioplastic formulations especially since they are now also food contact approved in Europe.

In terms of biopolymers for bioplastics, Capa™ caprolactones is a tried and tested technology imparting precise and advantageous performance properties, which support both renewable and disposable bioplastic product development. Being both biodegradable and at the same time stable in processing and end use properties means, Capa™ caprolactones can be customized to satisfy the often competing demands of long-life, reusable and disposable bioplastics without any compromise. Capa™ for bioplastics offers real flexibility and the best of both worlds.

From stable to table
Capa™ for bioplastics (Capa™ 6500D) is now food contact approved in Europe and supports the development of many bioplastic products that end up on our tables. These products include shopping bags, drinking bottles, disposable & reusable cutlery and plates, and food packaging. 
“Packaging is a huge market segment with an excellent potential for bioplastics. The increasing demand for packaging made from renewable and biodegradable material goes hand in hand with the products we offer and the solutions that we can provide in this segment”, says Linda Zellner, Project Manager Bioplastics.


Biopolymers with Capa™ is a winning formula
Biopolymers represent an exciting opportunity to significantly reduce the environmental impact of many fossil based polyethylene and polystyrene products by replacing them with bioplastic ones. However biopolymers are notoriously sensitive to processing temperatures, which can weaken the polymer structure, change the color, and even burn them. The mechanical properties of bioplastics, such as polylactic acid (PLA), starch-based plastics and polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), also suffer from brittleness, stiffness and moisture sensitivity.
Capa™ caprolactones’s many advantages make it suitable for PLA, PHAs and starch blends in both durable applications, to improve mechanical properties, and in disposable or one-time use packaging applications where fast biodegradation is sought. External tests have been performed according to the biodegradation standard EN13432 to certify the compostability of Capa™.
“Caprolactone polymers are widely recognized for their excellent biodegradability and compatibility with a wide range of polymers. Adding and blending in Capa™ with PLA, starches and PHAs overcomes many of the processing problems, and dramatically improves the mechanical properties too“, Linda adds.

Capa™ for Bioplastics really is a winning formula because it provides fast biodegradation, and acts as a stable mechanical property enhancer in formulations and applications.

Source: Radtech Europe

Beer brewing waste could help bone regeneration

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Researchers at the UPM and the CSIC have developed biomaterials for bone regeneration from beer brewing waste.

As a result of a research study conducted by researchers from the Centre for Biomedical Technology of Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) and the Institute of Materials Science and the Institute of Catalysis and Petrochemistry of Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), all in collaboration with the Mahou and Createch Co., have developed biocompatible materials to be used as support for bone regeneration from the food industry waste, mainly bagasse (residue) from beer brewing. These new materials can be considered as an alternative to the prosthesis made from processed sheep bones or synthetic materials which are more expensive and more harmful to the environment.

image The waste obtained from the beer brewing process contains the main chemical components found in bones (phosphorus, calcium, magnesium and silica), that after undergoing modification processes, this waste can be used as support or scaffold to promote bone regeneration for medical applications such as coating prosthesis or bone grafts. The waste usage from the food industry is a great source of raw material recovery rich in chemical diversity, and simultaneously it can reduce the impact generated by the accumulation of waste in the environment

So far, the usage of synthetic materials as bone substitutes is the most used therapy for treatment of bone diseases. The therapeutic strategies are based on stiff porous scaffolds made of biocompatible materials to be used as molds. These molds will provide mechanical stability and will promote the growth of the new bone tissue that helps its regeneration.

The synthetic calcium phosphates are frequently used as matrices and coatings for orthopedic implants because of their resemblance to the composition of a bone. These materials are often obtained through chemical reactions of complex synthesis that use toxic reagents (for example benzoyl peroxides benzene and aniline) and calcinations at high temperatures close to 1500 ° C. As a result of this process, we obtain bioceramics but just after adding silicon through the hydrolysis of TEOS and sintering over 1,100 ° C.


The billing of the brewing sector was €2,990 million in 2012, almost covering completely the total production of malt and hops in the country. The most common products in the production process are bagasse, yeast and malt dried residues.

Bagasse is constituted by organic waste from malt, never experiencing modifications afterwards. This is the reason why bagasse is considered a subproduct, commonly used to make fodder and it is inexpensive. The treatments applied to bagasse residue in this research give as a result a new material rich in silicon, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. The analysis of this new material shows the presence of interconnected pores of between 50 and 500 microns in diameter which is similar to the porosity of cancellous bone. All this would facilitate the complete vascularization after the bone implant.

A first approach using cell cultures has established the biocompatibility of the materials by analyzing the cell viability of cultured osteoblasts in the presence of powder materials components.  Then, after compacting and sintering the materials that became 3D solid matrixes, the ability of bone-like cells to adhere to these materials were analyzed. Also, researchers analyzed how these materials proliferate and distinguish from the mature bone cells which are able to express typical markers of bone phenotype such as alkaline phosphatase and to conduct the collagen synthesis and mineralization of the extracellular matrix.

This research, developed by UPM and CSIC in collaboration with the Mahou and Cratech Co. within the framework of the INPACTO project funded by MINECO, reveals the value of these materials derived from the food industry for their conversion into support or scaffolds suitable for bone regeneration.


Ford and Heinz Collaborate on Sustainable Materials for Vehicles

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It might seem that tomatoes and cars have nothing in common. But researchers at Ford Motor Company and H.J. Heinz Company see the possibility of an innovative union.

Researchers at Ford and Heinz are investigating the use of tomato fibers in developing sustainable, composite materials for use in vehicle manufacturing. Specifically, dried tomato skins could become the wiring brackets in a Ford vehicle or the storage bin a Ford customer uses to hold coins and other small objects.

“We are exploring whether this food processing byproduct makes sense for an automotive application,” said Ellen Lee, plastics research technical specialist for Ford. “Our goal is to develop a strong, lightweight material that meets our vehicle requirements, while at the same time reducing our overall environmental impact.”

Nearly two years ago, Ford began collaborating with Heinz, The Coca-Cola Company, Nike Inc. and Procter & Gamble to accelerate development of a 100 percent plant-based plastic to be used to make everything from fabric to packaging and with a lower environmental impact than petroleum-based packaging materials currently in use.

At Heinz, researchers were looking for innovative ways to recycle and repurpose peels, stems and seeds from the more than two million tons of tomatoes the company uses annually to produce its best-selling product: Heinz Ketchup. Leaders at Heinz turned to Ford.


“We are delighted that the technology has been validated,” said Vidhu Nagpal, associate director, packaging R&D for Heinz. “Although we are in the very early stages of research, and many questions remain, we are excited about the possibilities this could produce for both Heinz and Ford, and the advancement of sustainable 100% plant-based plastics.”

Ford’s commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle is part of the company’s global sustainability strategy to lessen its environmental footprint while accelerating development of fuel-efficient vehicle technology worldwide. In recent years, Ford has increased its use of recycled nonmetal and bio-based materials. With cellulose fiber-reinforced console components and rice hull-filled electrical cowl brackets introduced in the last year, Ford’s bio-based portfolio now includes eight materials in production. Other examples are coconut-based composite materials, recycled cotton material for carpeting and seat fabrics, and soy foam seat cushions and head restraints.


Research confirms next generation bioplastics could be made from trees

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A research project led by Biome Bioplastics has demonstrated the feasibility of extracting organic chemicals from lignin for the manufacture of bioplastics.

The results stem from a grant from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board, awarded to a consortium led by Biome Bioplastics in early 2013 to investigate lignin as a new source of organic chemicals for bioplastics manufacture, which could signficantly reduce costs and increase performance of these sustainable materials.

Lignin is a complex hydrocarbon that helps to provide structural support in plants and trees. As a waste product of the pulp and paper industry, lignin is a potentially abundant and low-cost feedstock for the high performance chemicals that could provide the foundation for the next generation of bioplastics.



The research was undertaken in conjunction with the University of Warwick’s Centre for Biotechnology and Biorefining led by Professor Tim Bugg, whose team has been working to develop methods to control the breakdown of lignin using bacteria and extract these chemicals in significant quantities.

The project has successfully demonstrated that bacteria can be effective in the selective degradation of lignin, and that the breakdown pathway can be controlled and improved using synthetic biology. Crucially, several organic chemicals have been produced at laboratory scale in promising yields that have potential use in bioplastic manufacture.

Initial scale-up trials on several of these target chemicals have demonstrated the potential for them to be produced at industrial scale, suggesting the commercial feasibility of using lignin-derived chemicals as an alternative for their petrochemical counterparts. Biome Bioplastics has also transformed these chemicals into a material that shows promising properties for use as an advanced bioplastic.

Scientists have been trying to extract chemicals from lignin for more than 30 years. Previously, chemical methods have been used but these produce a very complex mixture of hundreds of different products in very small amounts. By using bacteria found in soil we can manipulate the lignin degradation pathway to control the chemicals produced. This is groundbreaking work. We’ve made great progress over the last year and the results are very exciting.

The next phase of the project will examine how the yields of these organic chemicals can be increased using different bacteria and explore options for further scale-up of this technology. The first commercial target is to use the lignin-derived chemicals to replace the oil-derived equivalents currently used to convey strength and flexibility in some of Biome Bioplastics’ products, further reducing cost and enhancing sustainability.

Paul Mines, CEO of Biome Bioplastics, commented:

We are extremely pleased with the initial results of the feasibility study, which show strong promise for integration into our product lines. Looking ahead, we anticipate that the availability of a high performance polymer, manufactured economically from renewable sources would considerably increase the bioplastic market.

Industrial biotechnology, the use of biological materials to make industrial products, is recognised by the UK government as a promising means of developing less carbon intensive products and processes, with an estimated value to the UK of between £4bn and £12bn by 2025.

Source: Biome Bioplastics

New technology makes strong threads from cellulose

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Cooperation between Innventia and KTH in developing new process technology renders scientific successes and a wood-based material stronger than steel and can be used to replace cotton.

Results showing the successful assembly of fibrils from cellulose into very strong threads were published this week. The origin of the technology is an interdisciplinary collaboration with Innventia as partner within the Wallenberg Wood Science Center, which is located at KTH and Chalmers. Innventia also manufactured the fibrils used and is responsible for patenting the new technology. The new method is able to align the fibrils along the direction of the thread during the production process. This produces a controlled structure that can give extremely strong threads, which was demonstrated in tests at the DESY research centre in Hamburg. The structure makes the material stronger than both steel and aluminium, and can be used to replace glass fibres. The process can also be adjusted to produce threads that could replace cotton. The results are so spectacular that they were reported in the highly respected scientific journal Nature Communications.


Torgny Persson

"This is a superb example of successful cooperation between an institute and the academic world. And it doesn't just concern infrastructure resources such as laboratories and pilot plants. Innventia has had a number of people involved within Wallenberg Wood Science Center for many years. Daniel Söderberg, who is one of the researchers behind the published article, was employed at Innventia and simultaneously an adjunct Professor at KTH at the time of the work", says Torgny Persson, Vice President business area Material Processes.

Innventia will continue to work on thread spinning technology in Innventia's forthcoming Research Programme 2015-2017, within areas such as nanocellulose processes and lignin fibres.

"In the research programmes we are working together with industry in order to scale up and implement research findings. Thus our demonstration and pilot plants plays an important role", says Torgny Persson.

Source: Innventia

Avantium raises €36M Investment from Swire Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone and ALPLA

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image Avantium  has closed a financing round of €36 million ($50 million) from a consortium of iconic strategic players. This unique consortium consists of Swire Pacific, The Coca-Cola Company, DANONE, ALPLA, and existing shareholders. With this capital raise the new investors affirm their commitment to advancing PEF, Avantium’s next generation packaging material. Proceeds will be used to complete the industrial validation of PEF and finalize the engineering & design of the first commercial scale plant. As part of its strategy to use responsibly sourced plant based materials for PEF production, Avantium will validate the use of 2nd generation feedstock.

Follow on investments were made by existing shareholders Sofinnova Partners, Capricorn Venture Partners, ING Corporate Investments, Aescap Venture, Navitas Capital, Aster Capital and De Hoge Dennen Capital.

Tom van Aken, CEO Avantium stated: “Closing this financing round with Swire, The Coca-Cola Company, Danone, ALPLA and our existing investors underpins their commitment to making PEF bottles a commercial success. PEF is a 100% biobased plastic with superior performance compared to today’s packaging materials and represents a tremendous market opportunity. Our proprietary YXY technology to make PEF has been proven at pilot plant scale as we are now moving to commercial deployment.“

Philippe Lacamp, Swire Pacific’s Head of Sustainable Development said, “We are excited to invest in Avantium, which has an impressive track record in developing breakthrough technology. This investment aligns with our sustainable development strategy to build and develop a portfolio of promising early stage sustainable technologies to reach commercial scale. The technology that Avantium supplies represents a pathway to the next generation of bio-based packaging materials, and has huge potential application for our existing bottling businesses.”

Yu Shi, Director Next Generation Materials and Sustainability Research at The Coca-Cola Company comments, “By advancing smart technology, we believe performance and sustainability can go hand-in-hand to make a world of difference for consumers, the environment and our business. Avantium’s breakthrough technology continues to offer a promising pathway for supporting both our efforts to commercialize renewable, plant-based plastics and develop unique properties for packaging to drive new growth. We are pleased to further expand our existing partnership with Avantium through this latest investment.”

Frederic Jouin, Director of Danone Nutricia Packaging Center comments: "We participate in this venture as we believe in the future of bio-based plastics for our packaging, with a potential significant reduction in carbon footprint and enhanced barrier properties compared to PET. With this investment, we re-affirm our will to launch a 100% bio-based bottle not in direct competition with food and 100% recyclable and our wish to accelerate this launch on the market."

Jan van der Eijk, Chairman of the Avantium Supervisory Board, adds; “It is a remarkable milestone in the biobased chemicals industry that large brand owners, such as The Coca-Cola Company and DANONE jointly invest for the first time in a company like Avantium. Together with the investment of Swire and ALPLA, it is clear to us that the market is willing to back winning technologies, such as PEF”.

Source: Avantium

Mondi Coatings develops sustainable collection bag for Nespresso

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Following intensive product development, Mondi Coatings has introduced an innovative paper-based bag coated with Sustainex®, Mondi’s biodegradable, compostable and recyclable biopolymer solution. The novel bag will be launched as a collection bag for the Nespresso recycling programme. Thanks to the biopolymer extrusion coating of the FSC™-certified paper and a sealing strip, the bag can be safely closed and sealed against moisture.

Nespresso introduced a collection and recycling system for used aluminium capsules as part of the Nespresso Ecolaboration™ programme in 2009 with currently over 1'300 recycling collection points in Austria, adding up to a recycling capacity of 84%. According to the company, recycled aluminium generates only 5% of the CO2 emissions that are associated with primary aluminium. In order to offer its customers the utmost convenience, Nespresso Austria asked Mondi to develop a customised collection bag that reflects its sustainability principles.



Ranking among the pioneering companies that attach strategic importance to bioplastics, Mondi Coatings has assumed a leading role in the development of sustainable packaging. Sustainability and convenience are key elements of this product innovation. The aim was to create a collection bag that perfectly puts the Nespresso sustainability commitments into effect. Mondi was therefore identified as the ideal partner for satisfying the strict environmental and convenience demands of this project. Within a short period, Mondi Coatings originated the perfect solution: a paper-based bag made of FSC™ (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper with a Sustainex® coating. The collection bag is made from renewable raw materials (up to 85%) and the paper and coating are fully biodegradable according to DIN EN 13432.

The novel solution offers utmost stability thanks to the rigidity of the FSC™ paper and the rectangular flat bottom. "The use of paper in combination with Sustainex® supports both the look & feel and the high environmental requirements that Nespresso envisioned," explains Michael Strobl, Managing Director Mondi Extrusion Coatings. Thanks to excellent sealability and its grease and moisture barrier, Mondi’s Sustainex® ensures maximum safety and tightness. Furthermore, the biopolymer coating is thermo-sealed and largely dispenses with glue, thus making this packaging an eco-friendly and biodegradable solution. "Both companies, Nespresso and Mondi, are strongly committed to sustainability and innovation," continues Strobl, before concluding. "Thanks to our in-depth know-how of biopolymers and various packaging technologies, we were able to develop a truly perfect solution in cooperation with Nespresso."

„Recycling of capsules is one of the major corner stones of the Nespresso Ecolaboration™ programme. As market leader, we value corporate responsibility and are proud of our independent recycling system. In close collaboration with leading experts, we want to make it as convenient as possible for our club members to collect coffee capsules. Thanks to the new Nespresso Recycling Bag we are confident to increase our recycling rate even more", comments Dietmar Keuschnig, Market Director Nespresso Austria on the innovative recycling bag. The collection bag offers customers maximum convenience – once the bag is full, it can safely be closed with the help of a sealing strip and then easily transported to one of 1.300 local recycling points. Both the bag and the coffee are fully compostable and the aluminium is infinitely recyclable – a perfect example of Ecolaboration™ in action.

Source: Mondi Group

Cardia Bioplastics launches new dog waste bags at Interzoo 2014

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Australian headquartered Cardia Bioplastics Limited (ASX: CNN) is pleased to announce that it has launched a fresh new range of Compostable and Biohybrid™ dog waste bags at Interzoo 2014 in Germany. Cardia has a long history of supplying dog waste bags to councils and wholesalers around the world and is now focusing on further extending into the pet retail market.

The number of dog waste bags used globally runs into the billions annually. Governments and pet owners are looking for a sustainable and renewable alternative to the conventional dog waste bag and Cardia’s Compostable and Biohybrid™ bags offer a low carbon sustainable solution.


As the world’s leading exhibition of supplies to the pet retail sector, Interzoo 2014 drives innovation in the industry. In 2012, over 36,000 trade visitors sourced information on the latest pet food, accessories, grooming aids and technical innovations in the aquaria, garden pond and terraria segments from more than 1,500 exhibitors from over 100 countries. In 2012 the global pet care market had a total revenues of $84 billion, representing a compound annual growth rate of 4% between 2008 and 2012. The industry has been forecast to reach a value of $97 billion by 2014.

Cardia recognised the immense opportunity for sustainable dog waste bags and is showcasing the new Cardia retail range at Interzoo 2014, as well as the capability to make custom pet products from Cardia Compostable and Biohybrid™ resins.

Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director Dr. Frank Glatz who is attending Interzoo 2014 stated, “With the growing demands for a sustainable pet waste bag with a lower carbon footprint, driven by consumer, brand owners, government and municipals our Compostable and Biohybrid™ dog waste bags are a quality sustainable solution.”

Source: Cardia Bioplastics

FKuR and Corbion Purac in partnership to develop heat resistant PLA compounds

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image The Bioplastic Specialist FKuR Kunststoff GmbH and Corbion Purac, global market leader in lactic acid, lactic acid derivatives and lactides, have joined forces to develop PLA (Poly Lactic Acid) compounds for both heat resistant and GMO-free applications.

FKuR and Corbion are targeting new bioplastic compounds for applications which include both food and non-food packaging, as well as several durable products e.g. toys, office supplies. In particular, Corbion and FKuR will be working to develop those applications where high temperature resistance is required, which, until now, could not work with many standard bioplastics. In order to develop new markets for PLA, both partners have agreed to a common development.

Historically, PLA´s greatest challenge has been withstanding higher temperatures. In ambient conditions during the summer, for example, unmodified PLA´s can experience difficulty maintaining dimensional stability in higher temperatures. In addition to heat resistant compounds, an additional focus is the optimization of mechanical properties to increase the range of applications, and to adapt the polymers to run on existing processing equipment. A part of the development project was also to reduce the cycle time of PLA, particularly during injection molding. 

After the initial highly promising trials in October 2013, FKuR has begun systematic testing using PLA based on lactides from Corbion in its formulations. One of the first commercial applications resulting from this development work is a heat resistant thermoformed food tray, produced from Bio-Flex® F 6611 by Plastisud (Italy).

Edmund Dolfen, CEO of FKuR pointed out: "We are very excited about this strategic partnership with Corbion Purac and the technical capabilities of the PLA which offers us incomparable opportunities to design high engineered bio-compounds."

"FKuR, a recognized leading player in the development and production of bioplastics, is the right partner for Corbion Purac to develop compounds thus taking PLA further. By bringing together our expertise and combining our research strengths, we can develop biobased performance compounds to rival traditional fossil plastics," said François de Bie, Marketing Director PLA Bioplastics at Corbion Purac.

Corbion Purac's lactide monomers are sourced from GMO free, renewable feedstocks such as sugarcane, and form the basis for high performance Poly Lactic Acid bioplastics (PLA). The resulting homopolymers have already been proven to withstand boiling water, and can now boast performance characteristics to rival their oil-based counterparts. As a result, PLA can replace oil-based plastics and alleviate our dependency on fossil fuels.

Source: Purac