bioplastics MAGAZINE Issue 06/2017

Issue 06/17 (Nov/Dec) highlights Polyurethanes/Elastomers and related building blocks


  • Dear Readers

    Films, Flexibles, Bags is traditionally the first highlight topic of every December issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE. While it is one that, in the past, has always proven to be among the most popular, this year apparently there was surprisingly little news to report. Fortunately, this was more than made up for by the unexpected outpour of contributions we received on the topic Polyurethanes/Elastomers and related building blocks, which will bring our readers up to date on the latest developments in this area.  [more]


  • Ellen MacArthur Foundation issues call to ban oxo-degradable plastic packaging

    A new statement from the Ellen MacArthur foundation that proposes banning oxo-degradable plastic packaging worldwide was endorsed by over 150 organisations around the globe. Signatories include leading businesses, industry associations, NGOs, scientists, and elected officials. [more]

  • Bio-on completes construction of the world's largest PHA fermenters

    Bio-on (Bologna, Italy), one of the main players in the new eco-sustainable chemical industry, recently announced the completion of the fermenters that are at the heart of the production technology for 100% biodegradable and natural bioplastic at the Bio-on plant set to open next year. This big technological challenge has enabled the world's largest fermenters to be built with a capacity of over 100 thousand litres and a height of over 13 metres. These large silos will house the fermentation process in which bacteria produce PHA bioplastics. [more]

  • European Parliament supports use of biodegradable mulch films

    On October 24, 2017, the Plenary of the European Parliament voted in favour of supporting biodegradable mulch films in the revision of the EU Fertilizers Regulation. European Bioplastics (EUBP), the association for the bioplastics industry in Europe, welcomes the outcome. “The inclusion of biodegradable mulches in the EU Fertilizers Regulation will help to harmonise regulations across the EU Member States and to create a single market for bio-based and biodegradable materials used in agriculture”, says François de Bie, Chairman of EUBP. [more]

  • BPI taps DIN CERTCO for third-party compostability verification

    The Biodegradable Products Institute (BPI)’s Board of Directors recently announced that DIN CERTCO has been hired for the administration of technical reviews under the BPI certification program, effective December 1, 2017. [more]

  • Braskem and Haldor Topsoe partner to develop biobased MEG

    Braskem (São Paulo, Brazil) and Haldor Topsoe (Lyngby, Denmark) have signed a technological cooperation agreement to develop a pioneering route to produce monoethylene glycol (MEG) from sugar. The agreement calls for the construction of a demonstration plant in Denmark, with operation slated to begin in 2019. [more]

  • Sustainable eyeware solutions

    API (Mussolente, Italy) an Italian company that specializes in the production of thermoplastic elastomeric compounds and bioplastics that was acquired by global materials company Trinseo (headquartered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania, USA) in July 2017, has announced a green partnership with EMS-GRIVORY (Domat/Ems, Switzerland), a leading Swiss manufacturer of high performance polymers and supplier of structural materials in the eyewear industry. The partnership aims at developing a series of sustainable eyewear solutions with a lower environmental impact, providing customers with cutting-edge materials. [more]

  • Erratum

    In our last issue we published an article about Cathay Biotech: "Advances in textile applications for biobased polyamide". However we made a mistake in the title of Fig 3. [more]

  • New PHA plant

    Hydal Corporation (headquartered in Singapore) will start the production of a PHA biopolymer (PHB) in Slovakia on the site of its Slovak partner. It is the first industrial plant for production of this biopolymer. Hydal biotechnology enables the production from used cooking oil. [more]

  • Picks & clicks Most frequently clicked news

    Here’s a look at our most popular online content of the past two months. The story that got the most clicks from the visitors to was:  [more]

  • Online toolbox for easier biobased procurement

    The European project InnProBio has launched an online toolbox for biobased procurement in the public sector. [more]

Application News

  • Electric scooter from biobased materials

    Sustainable mobility has been given a shot in the arm with the introduction of the Be.e. The Be.e is the first electric scooter that was designed, developed and manufactured, with structural parts made from biocomposites. [more]

  • Brazilian sugar now packaged in sugar-based Bio-PE

    Braskem’s Green Plastic will be used for the first time in packages of refined sugar in Brazil. Pioneering this use is Caravelas Sugar, one of the country’s most important companies in this segment. [more]

  • Hot beverage cups

    Synbra Technology, Etten-Leur, The Netherlands, recently introduced a high heat biobased and biodegradable alternative for hot beverage cups and hot food packaging. In Asia for example hot noodle dishes are often served in foamed plastic bowls, even from vending machines. [more]

  • Barrier lidding

    Italian flexible packaging converter, Corapack (Brenna, Italy), has used Futamura’s renewable and compostable NatureFlex™ cellulose films for compostable lidding for trays. The lidding material is a proven compostable structure that is an ideal alternative to conventional plastics that often end up in landfill. [more]

  • Men’s skincare in Green PE tubes

    RPC M&H Plastics and Bulldog Skincare for Men have joined forces once again for Bulldog’s new line of skincare packaging, with a sustainable twist. [more]

  • Bioplastic housing for grain mill

    Until recently, the housings of the high-quality corundum-ceramic stone grinders of Wolfgang Mock (Darmstadt, Germany) were made of wood. Mock grinders make up about 70 % of all household mills sold and place the company prominently among European market leaders. [more]

  • Horticultural pots

    Using biopolymers for horticultural applications is something that makes eminent sense. At least, Growfun thinks so. [more]

  • Soybean oil enhances tire performance

    The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (Acron, Ohio, USA) is harvesting some unique seeds of innovation as it introduces a new tire technology with support from the United Soybean Board (USB). [more]

  • Compostable meat tray for organic meat

    In collaboration with Promessa (Deventer, The Netherlands) several members of the supermarket chain SuperUnie (including Coop and Poiesz) as well as EkoPlaza will switch to completely compostable and renewable meat trays by Bio4Pack to package organic meat. The tray, transparent film, label and absorption pad will all be biobased and compostable according to EN 134342, as well as indistinguishable from traditional meat packaging. [more]

  • Organic soil conditioner bags

    The Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has taken another step to protect the environment in Montgomery County (Maryland, USA) . DEP will partner with Braskem’s I’m Green polyethylene (PE) and ProAmpac’s Trinity Packaging Division to provide packaging for Leafgro®, which is the County’s composted soil enrichment product. The new wrapping is a sustainable resource made from sugarcane. [more]

  • New TAPP water filter to be made from biodegradable PLA

    Complaints about the taste of tap water have fuelled the trend for consuming bottled water instead, leading in turn to the massive accumulation of waste plastic bottles. Now, a Barcelona company is combatting the problem at the source: the water tap at home. [more]

  • New milestone in biodegradability of coffee capsules

    Italy-based API, specialized in the production of thermoplastic elastomeric compounds and bioplastics and acquired by global materials company Trinseo in July 2017, has announced it has broadened its portfolio of Apinat bioplastic materials for single-serve coffee capsules. [more]

  • Introducing Sprig farm trucks

    Lightweight yet durable these chunky outdoor trucks are ready to roll for miles of adventures. These rugged preschool trucks are perfect for the backyard, beach, or living room and are made from plants instead of oil based plastic. The toys feature a new bio-plastic derived from sugar cane and upcycled corn cobs. [more]


  • Hot compost bin

    The hot compost bin was originally pioneered by DS Smith in the UK. It is made of EPP, a sturdy and insulating material that works much better than the poorly insulating PE used for conventional, rotomoulded bins. [more]

  • Race Tesla with bio-composites

    Electric GT and Bcomp reveal lightweight renewable natural fibre composite body panels and tease “secret weapon” LED display [more]


  • And the winner is ...

    The 12th Global Bioplastics Award 2017 goes to MAIP Srl for a newly developed PHBH-Compound for ABB Light switch covers  [more]


  • Blown Film Extrusion

    Blown Film Extrusion is an established process which is used to manufacture a wide range of thin commodity and specialized plastic films mainly for the packaging industry, but also for other sectors, such as for example mulch films for agricultural applications. Also known as Film Blowing Process, this extrusion process generally comprises the extrusion of a molten thermoplastic tube and its constant inflation to several times its initial diameter. This forms a thin, tubular product which may be used directly, or indirectly by slitting it to create a flat film. [more]

Brand Owners

  • Brand owner’s perspectives

    On this page our readers usually find a statement from a brand owner. This issue, however, we give ourselves a break. Not because we are lazy, but simply because our friends at Sustainability Consult did such a good job with their survey on #WhatBrandsWant. In this issue we publish an excerpt from their report. [more]

Films, Flexibles, Bags

From Science & Research

  • PEF: an alternative with a future

    Within the European project EnzOx2 (New enzymatic oxidation/oxyfunctionalization technologies for added value bio-based products. BBI JU, European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme), research is being conducted on the development of new biochemical technologies based on the use of oxidative enzymes with the aim of providing innovative solutions in the production of some high added-value compounds from biomass compounds. This project has a huge interest, since the use of this kind of enzymes is practically unexplored at industrial level. The obtaining of these products entails different oxidation and oxyfunctionalization reactions catalysed by different types of fungal oxidoreductases (such as oxidases and peroxygenases). In this context, EnzOx2 plans to develop a 100 % enzymatic conversion of 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) or 5-methoxymethylfurfural (MMF) into diformylfuran and 2,5-furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), a plastic building-block to be used in substitution of terephthalic acid. Moreover, another research line of this project will focus on optimizing the selective hydroxylation of plant lipids (such as fatty acids, terpenes and steroids) with the aim of producing flavour and fragrance ingredients, as well as active pharmaceutical ingredients (API). [more]

Material - News

  • New water soluble film

    As a result of its customer focused research and development, Mondi’s technical films business has created and introduced a water soluble film for the smart and convenient packing and dosing of powders, tabs and granulates. Dissolving completely in water, the film is ideal for single doses of dry materials, such as dishwasher and laundry tabs or bath salts. The water soluble film is an example how customers benefit from Mondi’s synergized research and development strategies having its core competencies in areas such as plastic films, packaging, paper and coating brought together under one roof. [more]


  • Biobased adhesives: Requirements and perspective

    Biobased adhesives literally constitute an ancient material class. Already 200.000 years ago Neanderthals identified birch pitch as valuable adhesive material, which can be obtained from the bark via pyrolysis under the absence of oxygen – a non-obvious and quite sophisticated technological process [1]. Being liquid at higher temperatures it solidifies under ambient conditions and was eventually used throughout the ages (stone and metal ages) as hotmelt glue to fasten arrowheads or metal tools onto wooden shafts (Figure 1). [more]

News from Science and Research

  • Aconitic acid as a building block

    Scientists at the Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) from Graz, Austria, succeeded in using the mold Aspergillus niger to produce aconitic acid – a new raw material and important building block (with three carboxylic acid groups) for the production of non-toxic bioplastics. Thereby, acib sets a further, important step in the manufacturing process of chemical compounds from renewable resources to end our dependence on fossil resources for the well-being of our planet. [more]

  • Flexible barrier film

    Biodegradable flexible multilayer structures for medium-barrier food packaging [more]

  • From municipal waste to bioplastics

    The recently launched European URBIOFIN BBI-project will focus on converting the organic fraction of municipal solid waste on a semi-industrial scale. The project, that looks into the techno-economic and environmental feasibility will create chemical building blocks, biopolymers and/or additives using the biorefinery concept urban biorefinery. Ultimately, URBIOFIN offers a new feasible and more sustainable scenario alternative to the current treatment of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research focuses on two specific topics in this project: the production of medium-chain length fatty acids and derived PHAs via microbial fermentation, and the scale-up, efficient extraction and novel commercial applications of these bioplastics. [more]


  • Position Paper: Plastic bags

    Background What do lettuce from the weekly market, a pack of headache pills, a DVD, a teddy bear and jeans have in common? At first glance, you would think: nothing. But a second look reveals: often when you buy them, all these items are put in a disposable polymer bag, better known as plastic bag.  [more]

Polyurethanes & Elastomers

  • Biobased EP(D)M

    Focus on sustainability [more]

  • Renwable polyols

    Perstorp launches world’s first portfolio of renewable polyols [more]

  • Congratulations!

    Ford Motor Company celebrates 10-year anniversary of soybean-based foam [more]

  • Biobased thermoplastic elastomer compounds

    In response to increasing demands for sustainable alternatives to fossil based flexible polymer compounds, international compounding group, HEXPOL® TPE, launched the Dryflex® Green family of biobased Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) in 2015. Since then they have continued to develop the range, adding new possibilities to the biobased thermoplastic market by covering a wider range of hardnesses while incorporating high levels of renewable content. [more]

  • Bio-succinic acid:

    A frontrunner for high-performance biobased polyurethanes and beyond [more]

  • New biobased lactide polyester polyols

    NatureWorks Introduces new Vercet biobased lactide polyester polyols as reactive intermediates for urethane adhesives and coatings [more]

  • Injection molders who have made bioplastics work

    Summary Bioplastics have a problematic reputation among injection molders because running them in the past has been - in some cases - both cumbersome and expensive. However, many modern bioplastics do not exhibit the troubling qualities of their predecessors and can now run through the injection molding process similarly to traditional petroleum-based plastics. The author spoke with four injection molders in North America who have successfully worked with bioplastics to gauge their thoughts on the material’s performance. [more]

  • Sugar for extra grip

    Kuraray unveils biobased elastomer Septon Bio [more]


  • Optimize processability of bioplastics

    Working closely with sustainability partner, Dynisco, (Franklin, Massachusetts, USA,) Glycon Corp. (Tecumseh, Michigan, USA,) has incorporated Dynisco’s breakthrough technology in analytical instrumentation known as the Dynisco ViscoIndicator Online Rheometer into their screw design protocol. The ViscoIndicator provides continuous measurements of melt flow rates, apparent viscosity or intrinsic viscosity directly on the Glycon lab extruder. Dynisco aims to provide a window into the process for processors of all sizes in order to simplify rheology and improve quality and profitability. Glycon is maximizing this information by utilizing it in their screw design protocol to determine the best type of screw to run any bioplastic, composite, or blend of materials, as well as to determine the specific geometry and flight configuration of the feedscrew. [more]


  • Product communication for bioplastics

    Uncharted territory and an adventure for the companies involved. Results of a study [more]

  • Situation in France

    Two years ago, France’s Energy Transition for Green Growth bill was voted into law by the National Assembly. This wide-reaching Act aims to provide effective tools to boost green growth, to reduce environmental impacts and is strongly committed to a circular economy transition. A key aspect of the law is to tackle unemployment through green growth by relocating industrial plants in territories.  [more]

  • Bioplastics Survey

    In this edition of our “Special focus on certain geographical areas” series, we take a closer look at France and Italy. To that end, we once again conducted the short, non-representative survey we used in previous editions to attempt to gain an idea of people’s notions and perception of bioplastics in these countries. [more]

10 Years ago

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