bioplastics MAGAZINE Issue 05/2017

Issue 05/17 (Sep/Oct) highlights Fibres & Textiles and the application field of Beauty & Healthcare. Also, a different perspective is given on the question of Land use / Land availability


  • Dear readers

    Summer is coming to an end and autumn time is award time, at least for us. And so, once again, I’m very happy to present the five finalists of the 12th Global Bioplastics Award on pages 12-13. The winner will, as always, be announced at the European Bioplastics Conference on November 28 in Berlin, Germany. [more]


  • DuPont and ADM win 5th Annual Innovation in Bioplastics Award

    The Bioplastics Division, a part of the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), recently announced DuPont Industrial Biosciences and Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) as the winners of the 2017 Innovation in Bioplastics Award. The two companies developed a method to produce furan dicarboxylic methyl ester (FDME), a biobased monomer, from fructose derived from corn starch. This is the fifth-annual Innovation in Bioplastics Award, an honor that goes to companies applying bioplastics to innovative, purposeful product design. [more]

  • Bio-additives for biodegradable plastic bottles

    Earlier this summer, the Citruspack project, a combination of circular economy and packaging, was launched at the Aitiip Technology Centre in Zaragoza, Spain. [more]

  • Bio-on creates five new business units

    Bio-on (Bologna, Italy) recently announced the creation of five new Business Units (BU) to speed up its response to the growing demand for PHAs. The new divisions will enable more effective and faster development of new materials from biopolymers and new applications. [more]

  • WUR and Vredestein develop tyre made of rubber from dandelions

    Vredestein showed a prototype of its Fortezza Flower Power at the Eurobike exhibition in Friedrichshafen in August. This innovative road tyre is made of rubber extracted from the roots of dandelions. The prototype is the result of a EU joint initiative in which Vredestein and Wageningen University & Research (WUR) take part, called DRIVE4EU. [more]

  • 2017 Biocomposites Innovation Awards finalists revealed

    The finalists for the 2017 Biocomposites Innovation Awards have been announced by Germany-based nova-Institute. Six entries were selected out of a field of thirteen candidates by the advisory board earlier this month. Three will emerge victorious at the Biocomposites Conference (Dec. 6 and 7 in Cologne, Germany). [more]

  • Braskem and A. Schulman partner on a sustainable solution for rotomolding processes

    Braskem, the largest petrochemical company in the Americas, has entered into a partnership with A. Schulman, Inc., a leading global producer of high-performance plastic compounds and resins, to produce and market a new sustainable solution for the rotomoulding process. [more]

  • Eastman licenses proprietary FDCA technology to Origin Materials

    Eastman Chemical Company and Origin Materials (formerly known as Micromidas) have entered into a non-exclusive license agreement for Eastman to license its proprietary 2,5-Furandicarboxylic Acid (“FDCA”) and FDCA derivatives production technology from renewable resources to Origin Materials. [more]

  • Picks & clicks

    Most frequently clicked news [more]

Application News

  • Grasping at bioplastic straw

    Switzerland’s Sukano, a leading producer of additive and colour masterbatches and compounds for polyester and specialty resins, and NatureWorks have collaborated on the development of an eco-friendly material suitable for making drinking straws from. [more]

  • First meal set

    Beatrice and Daniele Radaelli, founders of eKoala (Cavenago di Brianza, Italy), have decided to look at the world of plastic materials from a different point of view, driven by liability and environmental sustainability. “When both my brother and I became parents we soon understood the limits and the dark sides of traditional plastic and we started looking for new materials that could have the same glamour of those colourful plastic granules which stimulated our fantasy as kids, but at the same time, could be safe for our children and for the environment they would live in. After months of research we finally found what we were looking for…” [more]

  • Organic chair

    The new Kartell Organic Chair uses a revolutionary new organic plastic material to create a sustainable item of furniture that is high quality and highly creative. [more]

  • Pet food bags

    Midwestern Pet Foods is packaging its newly launched Earthborn Holistic Venture line in sustainable packaging produced by Peel Plastics Products Ltd., utilizing Braskem’s I’m GreenTM biobased polyethylene (PE). [more]

  • Bioplastic toys

    Plasto, a toy company in Finland has over 60 years of experience in manufacturing high quality plastic toys. Their focus is very strong on safety and durability. Furthermore, they are extremely focused on environmental values. For several decades they have been using recycled plastic from their own production in order not to waste any material and they keep on investing more to save the environment and be good to nature. In spring 2017, Plasto launched their own I’m Green™ toy range. All the toys in this range are over 90 % biobased. The raw material which is used derives from sugar cane. By doing this, Plasto will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its toys as well as the use of fossil resources. For every kg of I’m Green™ Polyethylene used in Plastos’ toys more than 5 kg of CO2 is saved. The toys are food contact safe and dishwasher safe. At the end of their life cycle they can be recycled and the raw material can be reused which is in accordance with Plasto’s philosophy. The I’m Green™ toys have been extremely well received. For Christmas Plasto will be expanding it’s range with new items. [more]

  • PHA for eyeglass frames

    Bio-on, (Bologny, Italy) recently announced a partnership with Kering Eyewear to develop new materials based on Minerv PHAs. “This is the first time in the world that a company in the eyewear industry has decided to carry out research with our biopolymers,” explains Marco Astorri, Chairman and CEO of Bio-on. [more]

  • Your city - your cup

    Coffee to take away or beer in the stadium - we like to drink on the go. Usually such a drink comes in plastic or paper cups. Reusable cups can be reused very often (up to 500 times - or more) and are therefore more environmentally friendly (says DUH, Deutsche Umwelthilfe). Even the environmental impact of its production is comparatively low over the entire product life cycle.  [more]



  • Land use

    Just how much land is required to produce bioplastics? [more]

  • Biodegradation

    The efficient management of plastic waste plays a key role within the circular economy. Good waste management requires the implementation of the waste hierarchy, as set out by EU legislation in the form of Directive 2008/98/CE [1], which aims to encourage solutions providing a better environmental result. The waste hierarchy sets out the following hierarchy of steps for prioritising waste management practices: (1) prevention; (2) preparation for reutilisation; (3) recycling; (4) other kind of recovery, such as energy recovery; and (5) disposal, such as in the case of landfilling. Moreover, the package of circular economy measures adopted by the European Union requires that waste be transformed into resources again, so they can be returned cyclically to the productive system, until reaching the very ambitious target of “zero waste” to landfill (European Commission, 2014). Thus, the end of life of plastics continues to be a controversial point, since landfilling is still a common practice. In the year 2014, 31 % of the post-consumer plastic waste generated in Europe went to landfill. The situation in Spain is even more unfavourable: here, just over 50% of all post-consumer plastic waste ends up in a landfill [2]  [more]

Beauty & Healthcare

  • The power of packaging – sharpen your USP

    In comparison to previous years, the ecological and environmental awareness of consumers has increased which makes them think even more carefully before they decide to buy a product. Ingredients, sustainability, waste reduction and separation are considered more often. Consumers are looking at the composition and prefer e.g. shampoos without silicone or skin care products without mineral oils or micro plastics. Natural cosmetics are a life style statement and express the customer´s personality and individuality. Packaging made from renewable resources not only help to implement a holistic sustainable approach, which distinguishes respective brands from cosmetics wrapped in traditional plastics, but also increase the perception of value [more]

  • PolyBioSkin

    The future of biopolymers for skin-contact healthcare, sanitary, and personal care products [more]

  • Stronger superabsorbent biopolymers for baby care

    Ecovia Renewables, Inc. and their research and development team in Ann Arbor, Michigan are working to develop a suite of polyglutamic acid (PGA) biopolymers from their patented EcoSynth™ fermentation process. Their objective: to produce biodegradable, non-toxic, and high-performing superabsorbent polymers (SAPs) at competitive costs. Ecovia’s PGA SAPs can be used as thickeners for cosmetics, soil amendments for agriculture, and absorbent cores for hygiene products, to name a few applications. [more]

  • Bioplastic microbeads for cosmetics

    Few are aware that many cosmetics pollute the rivers and seas due to the presence of microscopic particles of oil-based and non-biodegradable plastic (polyethylene, polypropylene and other types of polymers). To solve this problem and make every beauty product environmentally friendly, Bio-on developed and patented a revolutionary, innovative solution in 2016 based on the bioplastic Minerv PHAs, which is made from renewable and biodegradable plant sources. The new formulation, called Minerv Bio Cosmetics (type C1), is designed to make microbeads suitable for the cosmetics industry. [more]

Brand Owners


Fibers & Textiles

  • Yarns from biobased polymers

    Sustainable options for technical textiles [more]

  • Comfort beyond words

    SOLOTEX®, a partly biobased polyester-fibre (polytrimethylene terephthalate – PTT) by Teijin Frontier Co. Ltd., Tokyo, Japan, provides a soft, stretchy texture with gentle cushioning and offers vivid colors. These advantages could never be achieved with conventional polyester, polyurethane, or nylon alone. The many superb characteristics of Solotex derive from its spring-like, helical molecular structure. The material is also easy to combine with other fibers, bringing out the characteristics of the other fiber while adding a new texture and new functionality. Solotex is a fiber with unlimited potential to make textile products more comfortable to wear or use. [more]

  • Advances in textile applications for biobased polyamide

    Cathay Industrial Biotech (CIB), Shanghai, China, developed proprietary technology to commercially produce biobased pentamethylenediamine (DN5), in order to address the growing demand for innovative new materials. DN5 is a unique five-carbon platform chemical and an alternative to hexamethylenediamine (HMDA), a six-carbon platform chemical used in the production of polymers, such as polyamide 66 and hexamethylene diisocyanate (HDI). Although DN5 and HMDA only differ by one carbon length, this difference creates significant potential for the development of new polymers with innovative properties. [more]

  • Stable ring spinning process for PLA staple fibre yarns

    This article presents the current state of the project SPEY which aims to establish poly lactic acid (PLA) staple fibre yarns in home textiles or in technical applications using a methodological approach and process analysis. The goal of the performed process analysis is the avoidance of degradation phenomena during the ring spinning process. At the current state of the project, Ring spinning yarn of 100 % PLA was successfully produced. A production speed of vpr = 23 m/min combined with a twist factor of αm = 100 T/m lead to a stable process without yarn breakage. The resulting yarn count is Tt = 25 tex. This article provides an overview of the results from the ring spinning trials with experimental PLA filaments and presents optimised production parameters for the stable production of 100 % PLA ring spinning yarn. [more]

  • The FIBFAB project

    New biodegradable fibres from renewable sources for fabrics with advanced properties [more]


News from Science and Research

  • Turning industrial waste into PHA bioplastics

    Dr. Damian Laird and Dr. Leonie Hughes, researchers from the School of Engineering and Information Technology (Murdoch University, Perth, Australia) have been investigating an environmentally friendly solution for the use of oxalate, one of the major waste products of the alumina industry. [more]

  • Turning brewery waste into PHA bioplastics

    Brewers’ spent grain (BSG in industrial terms) is a waste stream that every brewery generates in abundance. Approx. 85  % of an average microbrewery’s solid waste is BSG. In many cases it is simply dumped into landfills. The correct way, as to the Brewers Association’s guidance for environmentally friendly modes of disposal would be to feed BSG to cows, to turn it into biofuel, compost it or mill it into baking flour. However, for cost and other reasons this is seldom done. Christopher M. Thomas, a post-doctoral researcher at the State University of New York pondered about using this BSG to make bioplastic, namely PHA. In Sierra, the national magazine of the Sierra Club, Thomas said: “You’re diverting waste from landfills, and you’re creating a biodegradable packaging. And it’s degradable in all environments, no matter where it goes—freshwater, saltwater, or sewage.” [more]


  • Biodegradable plastics needed to increase recycling efficiency

    In the light of the current debates and consultations on the upcoming EU Strategy on Plastics and the revision of the EU waste legislation, European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association for the bioplastics industry in Europe, echoes the call for greater investments in the implementation of separate recycling streams, made by the association of Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) earlier this week. In a press release, PRE calls for the development of separate recycling streams for biodegradable plastics to improve waste management efficiency throughout Europe. EUBP supports these efforts to ensure a high quality of recycled plastics. In order to implement a circular economy throughout Europe and to achieve higher recycling rates, stronger investments in the modernisation of the waste management infrastructure, including separate mechanical and organic recycling streams, are needed. [more]


  • Biodegradable plastics in the Circular Economy in Europe

    At the beginning of this year, the European Commission published its EU Roadmap for a Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy. In the Roadmap, the Commission has given priority to assess how to decarbonize the plastics economy and to increase efficiency of waste management with a strong focus on recycling of plastic in order to help the transition from a linear to a circular economy model. European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association representing the interest of the bioplastics industry in Europe, welcomes this clear focus in the roadmap, and hopes that this will remain a main pillar of the upcoming Strategy on Plastics in order to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time, namely climate change and resource efficiency. [more]


  • Reducing PLA production cost

    Earlier this year at a bioplastics conference in Bangkok, “Jem’s Law” about the growth of the PLA market was presented. Jem’s Law basically says that PLA volumes doubled every 3 to 4 years in the past and therefore will continue to do so in the future. With some knowledge of the actual production capacities one can calculate that the PLA market will be around 600,000 t/a in 2022 / 2023. All in all, this would mean that there is a need for 5 additional PLA plants with a capacity of 75,000 t/a until 2022. This is a promising perspective, not only for an engineering company like Uhde Inventa-Fischer, a subsidiary of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions. Even though all forecasts have to be treated with the necessary caution, Jem’s Law can be considered fairly realistic compared with earlier ones about the markets for bioplastics.  [more]


  • Bioplastics Survey

    In this edition of our series ”special focus on certain geographical areas” we have a closer look to North America. This time, however, we did not conduct our little non-representative survey ourselves. We are grateful to the Plastics Industry Assiciaton (PLASTICS), to grant permission to publish some results of a survey they did in May 2016. In this national poll of 1,107 adults throughout the USA were asked. The results show a margin of error of +/- 3.07 % at the 95 % confidence interval. Below we publish an excerpt of the survey that is related to bioplastics. [more]

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