bioplastics daily news
  • NatureWorks’ feedstock 100% third-party certified sustainable by 2020


    A new initiative at NatureWorks will ensure that by 2020 100% of the agricultural feedstock for Ingeo biopolymers and Vercet performance chemicals will be certified by the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification System (ISCC) to the ISCC PLUS standard of best practices in agricultural production.


    mNatureWorks was the first biopolymers manufacturer to become certified to the new ISCC PLUS standard in 2012 and currently has more than 40 percent of its agricultural feedstock certified. At full capacity, more than 90 farms will be involved in the program by 2020. The ISCC PLUS certified crops are grown within 50 miles of the NatureWorks’ Blair, Nebraska, production facility, which has an annual production capacity of 150,000 metric tons of Ingeo biopolymer. Every farm entering the program receives training in adhering to the ISCC PLUS certification’s principles, which are the following:

    • Protect highly biodiverse and high carbon stock areas.
    • Implement best agricultural practices for the use of fertilizers and pesticides, irrigation, tillage, soil management, and the protection of the surrounding environment.
    • Promote safe working conditions.
    • Comply with human, labour, and land rights.
    • Comply with laws and international treaties.
    • Implement good management practices and continuous improvement.

    “New materials innovation is being driven by the tenants of the circular bioeconomy, and as we seek to decouple plastics from fossil feedstocks, we remain committed to feedstock diversification and to critically assessing the sustainability of each and every feedstock we use,” said Rich Altice, CEO and President of NatureWorks.

    ISCC PLUS is an independent third-party sustainability certification system developed in a multi-stakeholder initiative. The comprehensive program certifies the sustainability of agricultural feedstocks used for biobased products, including both the environmental and social aspects of agricultural production. Site specific audits and certificates ensure full traceability and chain of custody along the supply chain, ensuring that the total volume of Ingeo received by the final user of the product can be traced back (and documented through a mass balance system) to the equivalent amount of certified, sustainable crop produced. ISCC certification has been adopted by global brands and is supported by non-governmental organizations.

    “We are very happy about NatureWorks’ commitment to sourcing sustainable agricultural feedstock,” said Gernot Klepper, Chairman of the ISCC Association. “Agricultural producers have both a responsibility and a tremendous chance to contribute to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. Certification with ISCC PLUS enables farmers to move toward more sustainable agricultural practices, thus supporting ecologic and social, as well as economic sustainability in agriculture and rural areas.”

    As part of NatureWorks’ commitment to renewable, sustainable feedstocks and materials, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation recently announced that NatureWorks, along with other global brandowners and manufacturers, have signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. As a signatory, NatureWorks has committed to ensuring 60% of the company’s feedstock is certified as sustainably and responsibly managed via ISCC PLUS by 2019, and 100% by 2020. By 2025, 100 percent of new feedstocks for additional manufacturing capacity will be certified as sustainably and responsibly managed via an independent third-party administered program.

  • Unlocking the potential of biomass


    Bio4Products is an EU-funded project that aims to demonstrate how demonstrate how four bio-resources - straw, bark, forest residue and sunflower husks - can be used to create renewable and natural alternatives to fossil-based processing streams such as bitumen, phenols and creosote.

    bBio4Products will demonstrate the integration of these sustainable resources into four end products: roofing material, phenolic resins, sand moulding resins, and engineered wood and natural fibre reinforced products. At least 30 per cent of the original fossil-based stream in these products will be replaced by sustainable resources, to deliver a 75 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
    The selected bio-resources are unsuitable for food production; they do not stimulate indirect land use change and there is no commercially viable technology for industry to exploit these resources. Bio4Products aims to target their long-term sustainability by carrying out in-depth assessments of each resource.
    Treatment by a state-of-the-art technique called fast pyrolysis will first convert the solid biomass into a bio-oil, while largely preserving the original functionalities. In the next step, the functional groups present in the bio-oil are then separated out by fractionation, yielding a sugar stream and a lignin stream.
    The project will carry out an environmental impact assessment and conduct a detailed economic and market study to develop a strong business case for the four products.
    BIO4PRODUCTS is currently a member of the platform, BioWatch – the one-stop-shop for the latest research breakthroughs, news and upcoming events in the bioeconony sector. As a member of BioWatch, BIO4PRODUCTS can communicate directly with the research projects they are interested in and receive alerts in response, they are also part of BioWatch’s growing community of stakeholders (policy makers, industry experts, media) within this sector and have open opportunities for future collaborations.

    This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 723070.

  • Circa Group’s commercial demonstration plant produces first batch of 99% pure Cyrene


    Biotechnology company Circa Group has announced that its FC5 commercial demonstration plant is now online, paving the way to a regular supply of Circa’s bio-based solvent Cyrene.

    mA joint venture between Circa and Norwegian pulp and paper company Norske Skog, the FC5 plant is located in Tasmania, Australia. Now successfully commissioned and operated end-to-end, FC5 is starting to produce a steady stream of 99% pure Cyrene, a non-toxic solvent made from certified and renewable cellulose waste.

    Cyrene is an alternative to traditional dipolar aprotic solvents, which are used in large volumes – over one million tonnes per year – and are under intense regulatory pressure due to their toxicity. In the EU, Circa is a partner on BBI project ReSolve, which specifically aims to replace NMP – a fossil-derived solvent which has been categorised as a substance of very high concern (SVHC) under European REACH regulation. Safer solvents are urgently required and Cyrene is a bio-based solution with a unique property set, including viscosity, surface tension and polarities. Cyrene is sold worldwide through Circa’s distributors Merck/Sigma Aldrich and Will&Co.

    Tony Duncan, CEO and co-founder of Circa Group, said, “Scaling up new technologies is always a challenge. After years of hard work, we’re delighted that FC5 is now online as this allows us to provide Cyrene reliably and in larger quantities for product testing worldwide, particularly in Europe. Circa is now focused on supporting the development of FC6 – a larger, commercial-scale plant.”

    Established in 2006, Circa Group converts waste biomass into advanced bio-based chemicals with its proprietary Furacell process. By creating renewable chemicals from cellulose, Circa is extracting value from non-food, waste biomass and addressing a gap in the market by providing bio-based, non-toxic alternatives.

bioplastics MAGAZINE

bioplastics MAGAZINE
Polymedia Publisher GmbH

Dammer Str. 112
D-41066 Mönchengladbach

Dr. Michael Thielen
Handelsregister: Amtsgericht Mönchengladbach, HR B 11601
UST-IdNr.(VAT-No) DE 248015976

Tel. +49 2161-6884469

© 2015 bioplastics MAGAZINE