bioplastics MAGAZINE Issue 02/2017

Issue 02/17 (March/April) highlights Thermoforming/Rigid Packaging and Bioplastics in Agriculture/Horticulture


  • Dear readers

    It’s spring again, and before us lies a busy time. It starts with interpack, the world’s biggest packaging trade show, which takes place in Düsseldorf, Germany from May 4 -10. [more]


Application News

  • Environment-friendly toy blocks

    The Chinese toy company BanBao is committed to build a better tomorrow, and for this reason will start producing sustainable and environment-friendly building blocks made of new biobased materials. The educational toy brand with its headquarters in Shantou (Province Guangdong), China will start its production near Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The new eco-friendly toy line will be called BioBuddi. [more]

  • Organic 3.0 natural cosmetics in bio-PE bottles

    The German company SPEICK natural cosmetics (Leinfeldern-Echterdingen, Germany) has recently been awarded the Best New Product Award at VIVANESS 2017 (International Trade Fair for Natural and Organic Personal Care, February 2017 Nuremberg,Germany) in the Body Care category for their brand new Organic 3.0 body lotion. [more]

  • Recycling Containers

    Solegear Bioplastic Technologies Inc. and Braskem recently announced a 3-year partnership in which Solegear will utilize Braskem’s Green PE (bio-Polyethylene) to produce and distribute a series of household recycling containers under its good natured™ brand. The first products resulting from this partnership has been on display since mid March (starting at the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California USA). [more]

  • Environmentally friendly stand-up paddleboard fin

    Surf equipment manufacturer, Futures Fins (Huntington Beach, California, USA), introduced a new fin for stand-up paddleboards (SUP) created from biocomposites. The RWC (reclaimed wood composite) Keel is an environmentally friendly biocomposite-based fin that meets, and in some aspects exceeds, traditional performance demands. [more]


  • Biodegradable mulch films: where are we?

    Biodegradable mulch films have been commercially available since the beginning of the 2000s. Throughout the years, various projects (e.g. EU projects, such as Bioplastics 2001-2005 and Agrobiofilm 2011-2013) have focused on their development; they have also been the subject of many publications. Also, these films are now used by many growers (see INFO BOX 1) in order to improve the yield and quality of the crops. Biodegradable mulch films have gained a place and a role in the world of agricultural plastic (see INFO BOX 2), especially in the last decade; in fact, roughly 5 % of the mulch film sold in Europe today (80,000 tonnes/year) is biodegradable. [more]

  • PLA branches into agriculture

    New root trainers for rubber plants are biodegradable [more]

  • How to eliminate agricultural plastic waste using bioplastics

    Petroleum based plastics are largely used in agriculture as plastic films for crop protection and soil mulching, pipes, containers for seedlings transplanting and pots. After the cultivation period is complete, however, agricultural plastic waste is coated with soil, organic matter, and agrochemicals and must therefore undergo the correct collection, disposal, and recycling processes. One sustainable solution to the serious problem of the environmental pollution is the employment of biodegradable polymeric materials in agriculture; such materials are able to be integrated directly in the soil, at the end of their lifetime, where the bacterial flora transforms them in water, biomass, carbon dioxide or methane. Many of the possibly suitable biodegradable polymers, however, show unsuitable mechanical performance or processability and may be not cost effective if compared to petroleum based plastics. Due to increasing environmental awareness, researchers continue to seek new materials that can be used as ecologically friendly alternatives to agricultural materials based on synthetic petrochemical polymers. [more]


  • Update on relevant standards for the bioplastics industry in Europe

    Standardisation is an effort by industrial stakeholders to define generally accepted criteria and guidelines for the description of products, services, and processes. The aim is to ease competition and commercial growth by overcoming barriers that result from unclear or inconsistent specifications and communication, to introduce benchmarks for desirable quality requirements, and to prevent fraudulent market behaviour. [more]

  • Biodegradability and Compostability: Certification and Standards

    AA lot has changed in recent years. Nowadays, shoppers in countries, such as for example Germany, stow their groceries in backpacks; they use paper bags and reusable bags. Yet not all has changed. Fruit and meat are still packed in plastic. Packaging is an effective way of keeping products fresh and hygienic, and providing added value to the product it contains. In the light of this important role, it is therefore hardly surprising that in terms of the materials used, plastic packaging, too, continues to evolve. [more]

Brand Owners

  • Brand-Owner’s perspective on bioplastics and how to unleash its full potential

    “At Nestlé we are committed to continuously improving the environmental performance of our packaging. “Lead the development and use of materials from sustainably managed renewable resources” is one of five focus areas of our packaging environmental sustainability roadmap. We joined the WWF Bioplastics Feedstock Alliance to help build a more sustainable future for the bioplastics industry whilst addressing issues such as land use, food security and biodiversity. [more]


  • JinHui ZhaoLong is promoting biodegradable green packages in China

    As people’s consumption habits change, the popularity of online shopping is increasing rapidly, especially in China, with its population of 1.3 billion. This is directly promoting the explosive growth of China’s Express Industry. According to the “Report on the Current Situation and Trend of Green Packages in China’s Express Industry” released by the China Post Bureau in 2016, in 2015, courier waybills were issued for a total of about 20.7 billion pieces, 3.1 billion woven bags, 8.268 billion plastic bags, 3.105 billion envelopes and 9.922 billion packing boxes. The total length of the packing tape used was around 425 laps around the earth’s equator. In 2016, the total courier volume exceeded 30 billion pieces in China, which was a 53 % increase in comparison with the previous year. Currently, China ranks first in the world. The courier business volume is expected to reach 70 billion pieces in 2020. [more]

From Science & Research

  • Biopolymers from municipal waste water treatment plants

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA), which are biodegradable polyesters accumulated by more than 300 different microorganisms under nutrient limited conditions are a source for bioplastic production [1, 2, 3]. Bacteria mostly use PHAs as an intracellular storage compound for energy and carbon [4]. The general chemical structure of PHA can be seen in Figure 1. Depending on the length of the side chain (R), PHAs are classified as short chain length (SCL) or medium chain length (MCL) PHAs [5]. Most material characteristics of SCL resembles polypropylene (PP) [6]. Therefore, PHAs are most likely used as a substitute for PP [7]. [more]

  • Give waste a chance

    Shrink film and packaging nets for agricultural products from vegetable waste [more]

  • Thermochromic bio-pigments

    Chromogenic materials change colour or transparency depending on temperature, electrical voltage, pressure or exposure to light. In thermochromic materials, a pre-determined temperature change triggers this change in colour. For example, in the food industry, thermochromic packaging can reveal whether the refrigeration chain has been interrupted. The temperature-sensitive additives used in this application are currently only available on the market as oil-based pigments. [more]

Material - News

  • New blends for home compostable films

    Bioplastics producer FKuR has introduced new Bio-Flex blends which meet the stringent requirements of the French Energy Transition Law for plastic bags. Home compostable and up to 40 % biobased, the new compounds fit the bill for a wide range of applications. [more]

  • Towards all-cellulosic packaging materials

    VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd has developed lightweight 100 % bio-based stand-up pouches with high technical performance. High performance in both oxygen, grease and mineral oil barrier properties has been reached by using different biobased coatings on paper substrate. The pouches exploit VTT’s patent pending high consistency enzymatic fibrillation of cellulose (HefCel) technology. [more]



  • Bioplastics Survey

    In our previous issue, we started a new series “special focus on certain geographical areas”. Our idea is to conduct simple surveys in various countries and regions around the world, in order to gain an idea about the general perception of bioplastics in these countries. [more]

Rigid Packaging

  • White, easy-to-peel bio-PET lidding film

    Toray Plastics (America), Inc., now offers a biobased version of its new LumiLid® XL7W, a white, easy-to-peel PET lidding film for use with refrigerated and frozen dairy and dairy-replacement foods that are packaged in polypropylene (PP) containers. Toray’s LumiLid portfolio of PET lidding films includes biobased and traditional films in clear, white, and metallized formats for dual-ovenable, refrigerated, fresh, wet, and dry food applications. [more]

  • A sticky situation

    Creating hot filled candy molds from bioplastics [more]

  • Trays from sugar cane waste

    Sugar cane by-product becomes raw material for biodegradable (fruit) trays [more]

  • Ultra-high barrier films for thermoforming

    Plantic Technologies Ltd (Altona, Victoria, Australia) has achieved a unique place in the world market for bioplastics through proprietary technology that delivers biodegradable and renewable sourced alternatives to conventional plastics based on corn and non-genetically modified cassava. [more]

  • Transparent dairy and dessert packaging

    Transparent packaging is one of the hottest trends in retail sales today. With the drive toward wholesome foods, showcasing appealing products through crystal clear packaging is a natural next step in marketing. To meet this trend, dairy and dessert companies who use highly efficient form, fill, and seal (FFS) packaging processes are looking for cost effective ways of going – transparent. [more]

Show Preview

  • Interpack Preview

    From May 04 to 10 the World’s biggest packaging trade fair will again invite visitors to Düsseldorf, Germany. interpack 2017 is recording the highest demand among exhibitors in its history of over 55 years. By the official closing date of this outstanding international event for the packaging industry and related processing industries, exhibitors had booked about 20 per cent more space than was available at the exhibition centre with its 262,400 square metres in 19 halls. Around 2,700 exhibitors can therefore be expected again from 4 to 10 May 2017, coming from about 60 different countries. And for the fifth time in a row (after 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2014) bioplastics will again play an important role at this unique trade fair. The very high interest of public and media during the last four interpacks give evidence of the importance of sustainable technologies for bio-based and compostable packaging. On the following pages bioplastics MAGAZINE gives a first glimpse on what visitors can expect in Düsseldorf in terms of ‘Bioplastics in Packaging’. Most of the companies offering bioplastics packaging are again located in hall 9. In addition to the short notes you will find a Show-Guide with floorplan of hall 9 on pages 30-31. [more]

  • CHINAPLAS Preview

    CHINAPLAS 2017, Asia’s No. 1 plastics and rubber trade fair, is an end-user-oriented trade fair focusing on “Intelligent Manufacturing, High-tech Materials and Green Solutions”. This certainly includes bioplastics. Since its debut in 1983, CHINAPLAS has been dedicated to satisfying the demands of customers in the key end markets, including automotive, building and construction, packaging, electrical and electronics, information technology, telecommunications and medical. The last edition of CHINAPLAS successfully welcomed 148,575 visitors, among which 39,454 were overseas visitors from over 160 countries and regions. As an influential event, CHINAPLAS always strives to present state-of-the-art technology and products that can be used to help companies in those industries to innovate and operate more efficiently, sustainably and competitively. Environmentally friendly packaging is a global hot topic when talking about sustainable development. The packaging industry tends to adopt lightweight, thin films, biobased and biodegradable materials, and package constructions that resist water, oxygen, air and ultraviolet rays. Exhibitors at the show will be displaying examples of all such materials for the packaging industry. In addition, packaging related machinery and automation equipment will be centre stage, to include injection moulding and extrusion technologies that deliver high-barrier end products, automatic detection equipment, and multilayer film technology. A specially dedicated Bioplastics Zone will be located in Hall 12.2. On the following pages bioplastics MAGAZINE presents some of the highlights including a floorplan that shall help visitors find the related bioplastics exhibitors quick and easy. CHINAPLAS 2017 will take place from 16-19 May 2017 at the China Import and Export Fair Complex, Pazhou, Guangzhou, PR China. [more]

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