Bioplastics Business Breakfast

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  • K 2019: Fraunhofer IWKS shows new bio-based polymer raw material


    At K 2019, the Fraunhofer Research Institution for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategies IWKS is showing applications for a new polymer raw material made from food residues, which is not only bio-based but also biodegradable

    sPlastics are versatile materials - hardly any consumer product can do without this durable material. When used for food packaging, plastic not only meets all hygiene requirements, it also enhances shelf life and offers the easy availability of products. However, many high-performance - multilayer - plastic packaging also generate waste and contribute to environmental pollution. Individual polymers cannot be economically recovered from multilayer packaging films for the production of new packaging films. Biodegradable bioplastics as a sustainable alternative have been on the market for several decades. However, their higher price and poorer properties have so far prevented a broad application.

    Fraunhofer IWKS has taken up this challenge and offers a new polymer raw material that increases the protective effect of plastic packaging without impairing its recycling or compost properties. It can be combined with both conventional and compostable packaging materials. Instead of using crude oil or biobased raw materials from corn or sugar cane, the researchers obtain their raw materials from large by-product streams in the food industry. In concrete terms, apple pomace is extracted into a hemicellulose product that is suitable for a wide variety of applications thanks to its branched polymer structures: from coatings that screen oxygen and water vapor, for films, trays and bottles made of plastics and natural waxes, to coating and paint systems as well as paper additives or cosmetic articles in which the polymer product can be used to increase tensile strength or adjust flowability and stabilize dispersions and emulsions. The advantage: The raw material is bio-based and biodegradable, does not compete with the food industry, is available in sufficient quantities and can be purchased as a by-product at low cost. The fact that the branched polymer structures can be chemically modified economically and in a variety of ways is fundamental for their application in various material systems.

    Project conclusion HyperBioCoat
    As part of the EU-funded HyperBioCoat project, the raw material was successfully tested on demonstrators for food and cosmetic packaging. To find out more about the project and the use of hemicellulose as a sustainable polymer raw material, and visit the press conference:
    "Functional Biopolymer Coatings from Food Residues. Presentation of the project HyperBioCoat - Advantages and applications of biopolymer coatings, e.g. for food and cosmetic packaging as well as medical devices". The conference will take place on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, at 03:30 pm, Conference Room 19b, Hall 1, K 2019, Messe Düsseldorf. Please register at:

    Not only replacing critical raw materials, but also recovering them
    At K 2019, Fraunhofer IWKS will not only be demonstrating possibilities for substituting raw materials and valuable resources with sustainable alternatives, but also for recovering them. One example is electronic scrap. To date, the plastic fractions have not been or only thermally been recycled as secondary material, as they are difficult to separate efficiently and with a single grade. At Fraunhofer IWKS, the scientists are using electrohydraulic fragmentation and sensor-based sorting, whereby both metal and plastic fractions can be separated from mobile phones for example. This way, high-quality plastics can be recycled.

  • Novamont recognised with Innovation Award by PIA Bioplastics Division


    This year, the Innovation in Bioplastics Award, the annual prize presented by the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) Bioplastics Division in recognition of a company who has performed outstandingly with regard to sustainability, innovation, and commercial impact went to the Italian bioplastics pioneer, Novamont.

    xThe company developed the Mater-Bi family of bioplastic polymers which is an innovative range of bioplastics created from plant-based feedstocks. Products made of Mater-Bi are used in many different sectors, providing unique and innovative solutions to specific environmental problems. Mater-Bi is suitable for processing by the most common conversion technologies: blowing, casting, extrusion/thermoforming and injection moulding machines for traditional plastics.

    "We are honoured to present the Innovation in Bioplastics Award to Novamont, recognizing their years of work in the development of sustainable polymers,” said Patrick Krieger, director, regulatory & technical affairs at PLASTICS. "Mater-Bi embodies the three categories by which entrants are evaluated: sustainability, innovation, and commercial impact. Products made from Mater-Bi have reduced carbon footprints and supported alternative, sustainable end of life options for products and packaging. Congratulations Novamont."

    The compostable applications made of Mater-Bi include grocery and produce carrier bags, cutlery, food packaging and more. According to the European standard EN 13432, ASTM D6400 and other international standards, Mater-Bi has characteristics very similar to those of traditional plastics.

    “The intrinsic biodegradability of Mater-Bi products is a factor that can mitigate ecological risk,” saidb Catia Bastioli, chief executive for Novamont. “Our approach seeks to prevent the pollution of waterways and the marine environment.”

    The Innovation in Bioplastics Award is announced annually during PLASTICS’ Bioplastics Division’s Bioplastics Week. Bioplastics Week is a social media-driven initiative created to increase the visibility of bioplastics and educate people about the many benefits of bioplastics. Follow the conversation using #BioplasticsWeek.

    “On behalf of Novamont North America, we are honoured to receive the prestigious Innovation Award from PLASTICS,” said Dan Martens, vice president, Novamont North America. “Research and development, teamed with environmental science, can positively impact commercial activities and everyday life. We at Novamont will continue to work in that direction for the betterment of our integrated global community.”

    Image: Catia Bastioli (credit: Novamont)

  • SECOS launches new certified home compostable resin


    The new bio-based resin formulation enables SECOS Biopolymer bags and film products to be composted by householders in their home-compost bin or via existing organic waste collection arrangements such as green bin waste.

    aHaving identified a range of food and consumer packaging applications as key strategic growth markets, SECOS’ new resin complements the Company’s existing compostable resin range and opens significant new opportunities to supply the food and packaging sectors domestically and internationally.
    The new grade was developed in response to demand from major retail brands plus film and bag producers, who increasingly require bags and film to be produced from home compostable resin, to meet their sustainability requirements and to reduce non-compostable, oil-based plastic waste, of which a high proportion ends up in land fill.
    “SECOS is seeing a significant increase in demand for certified Home Compostable resin, which when converted into food and consumer packaging, or bags, offer consumers multiple end-of-life options including Home Composting,” said SECOS Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ian Stacey.
    This latest home compostable Cardia (BF03-HC) resin grade is FDA (US Food and Drug Administration) compliant and safe for food contact applications.
    Cardia resins are certified compostable to AS4736, EN13432, ASTM D6400, in addition to which, the new home compostable grade is certified to Australian and French Home Compostable standards, AS 5810 and NF-T51-800.
    The new resin grade is suitable for use across a range of flexible applications. It allows SECOS to provide a product packaging and waste management solution that directs used packaging to either a home compost or an industrial compost end of life solution, which is consistent with Circular Economy Principles.

    “SECOS is working with converters in both domestic and several overseas markets, who are looking to utilize Home Compostable resin in a number of new applications such as Box Liners, Food Packaging Bags and Carry Bags,” Stacey continued.

    “The Company’s new Home Composting certification will mean that carry bags, food produce bags and other fresh food packaged in compostable bags can be picked up from the retailer, stored at home and finally disposed of with food waste either into existing organic waste streams (e.g., via green bin waste when it is diverted to organic waste treatment processing) or via domestic composting. SECOS Compostable Bags assist householders in diverting food waste from land-fill which ultimately reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

    SECOS Head of Research & Development, Mr. Markus Leufgens, said: “The new Home Compostable formulation is a result of SECOS’ targeted R&D activities, which for the last year have been focused on the development of new compostable formulations. The Home Compostable formulation is the first new product from this program, and importantly meets Australian and International standards for Home Compostability. SECOS expects to further broaden its product range with the release a number of new grades in coming months.”

    Australia-based SECOS Group Limited produces sustainable packaging and was formed through the merger of Cardia Bioplastics and Stellar Films Group in April 2015. The Home Compostable formulation will open significant new opportunities within the food and consumer packaging markets for SECOS. The Home Compostable formulation can be produced at our plants in both Malaysia and China.

    Picture: Home Compostable Grape Bag & Box Liner, using SECOS Home Compostable Resin

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