Bioplastics Business Breakfast

bioplastics daily news
  • Patrick Zimmermann joins management team FKuR Kunststoff


    Patrick Zimmermann has been appointed to the management team of FKuR Kunststoff GmbH, effective June 2019, the company has announced. Zimmermann will be responsible for sales, marketing and market development.

    aPrior to joining FKuR in 1999, Zimmermann studied mechanical engineering at the Aachen University of Applied Sciences and industrial engineering at the Fernhochschule in Hamburg.
    His contribution to FKuR’s development into a global market player has been considerable. He has grown and expanded the marketing and sales of the company’s compostable and biodegradable thermoplastics and built up FKuR’s distribution portfolio, which today includes Green PE and Bio-PET. As part of FKuR's global marketing strategy, he was also responsible for setting up the US subsidiary. In August 2015, Zimmermann was named managing director of FKuR Polymers GmbH, a manufacturer of customized polyolefin and TPE compounds.

    In addition, the company has announced two further appointments, both effective July 1, 2019. Niklas Voß, previously Technical Sales Manager, is now the Associate Sales Director of FKuR with his team responsible for the region Germany, Austria and Switzerland [DACH], as well as BeNeLux.x
    Denise Martha now leads the marketing team and is responsible for all marketing activities, trade fairs and the worldwide communication of the bioplastics specialist FKuR. 

    xThe FKuR group is a medium-sized, privately held group of companies focusing on the development, production and marketing of high-quality special compounds and the distribution of plastics specialties. The group currently includes FKuR Kunststoff GmbH, one of the leading suppliers of bioplastics compounds for flexible packaging solutions and engineering applications, and FKuR Polymers GmbH, specializing in the development and production of TPE and PP / PE compounds.

  • Rustark commences construction new bioplastics plant at SEZ Lipetsk


    Russia-based Rustark, located in the Special Economic Zone Lipetsk, has started construction of its new production plant, it said in a press release.

    bThe occasion was marked with an official time capsule laying ceremony attended by Russian Deputy Minister of Agriculture Oksana Lut, Lipetsk Region Acting Governor Igor Artamonov, and representatives of the Rustark company.

    Rustark will produce starch products and biopolymers at the new plant, using wheat as feedstock.
    The new facilities will be built in four stages over a period of 10-15 years, the company said. The first unit will have the capacity to process 500 tonnes of wheat per day and is expected to commence production in 2022. 

    The project represents an investment of over RUR 14 bln (EUR 200 million).
    Special economic zones have been possible since 2005, when a federal law was enacted that allowed their creation. Companies settling in Lipetsk SEZ benefit from various advantages, from a state-run engineering infrastructure to tax holidays. 

    Currently over 60 companies - from Italy, Germany, Belgium, Japan, the Netherlands, the USA, Russia, Switzerland, China, Israel, Ukraine, Poland and South Korea – have settled in the special economic zone.

    Out of this number, 15 companies are operational, 4 plants are under construction, and the remaining projects are in their run-up phase.

  • BASF says ecovio contributes to closing the nutrient cycle towards a Circular Economy


    In the face of climate change and a growing human population the concept of a Circular Economy is becoming more and more important for the food and nutrient cycle. With the certified compostable plastic ecovio, BASF has developed a material portfolio for a variety of applications which can be used throughout the entire food cycle.

    aNow numerous studies by independent research institutions confirm the advantages of ecovio for the production, packaging and transport as well as waste collection of food, based on the material’s certified biodegradability in industrial and home composting as well as in soil. The studies show: food waste is reduced, nutrients are returned to the soil by means of greater volumes of compost generated and the accumulation of plastics in soil is avoided.

    Soil-biodegradable mulch films for sustainable agriculture

    Thin polyethylene (PE) mulch films are used by farmers in many countries to increase crop yield. However, after harvesting it is often impossible for farmers to collect these films completely, especially when they are only a few micrometers thin. PE residues therefore find their way into the soil and accumulate there, since they do not break down. Now a study from ETH Zürich, Switzerland, has shown for the first time that soil microbes can use films made from the plastic polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) as food. The microorganisms use the carbon from the polymer both to generate energy and to form biomass. This means that PBAT biologically degrades in the soil and does not remain there as microplastic as PE does.

    Ecovio M 2351 from BASF is a certified (EN 17033) soil-biodegradable plastic for mulch films, consisting of the biodegradable copolyester ecoflex (PBAT) and other biodegradable polymers made from renewable raw materials. Films made from ecovio M 2351 can be left in the soil after harvesting, rather than being laboriously removed and recycled. Naturally occurring microorganisms in the soil, such as bacteria or fungi, recognize the structure of an ecovio M 2351 mulch film as food that they can metabolize. The remaining end products after biodegradation by microorganisms are CO2, water and biomass.

    Avoiding food waste through intelligent packaging of fruit and vegetables Because of the breathability, fruit and vegetable bags made of ecovio help food to stay fresh for a longer time. This is the result of a study by the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna, Austria which measured the shelf life of different types of fruit and vegetables stored in bags made of PE and of ecovio. Fruit and vegetable bags made of ecovio show better water vapor and oxygen transmission rates: This leads to an optimal humidity and oxygen concentration for different fruit and vegetables in a bag with the right volume. This in turn results in a longer shelf life: For example, tomatoes can be stored for up to four times longer in ecovio bags than in PE bags. In this way, intelligent packaging can reduce food waste. In addition, fruit and vegetable bags made from ecovio® are not just carrier and storage bags: reused as organic waste bags, they can improve the collection and recovery of food waste.

    Clean, safe and easy: collecting more organic waste with compostable dual- use bags

    The separate collection of organic waste is the prerequisite for the recovery of nutrients and hence a closed nutrient cycle. A number of pilot projects, e.g. in Berlin and in the district of Bad Dürkheim, Germany, but also in India and China, have shown that consumers collect significantly more organic waste with compostable plastic bags when they have easy access to the bags. Consumers then also collect food waste they would not ordinarily collect, such as oily, liquid food residues. In addition, the number of non-compostable bags thrown in the organic waste bin drops significantly.

    Compostable dual-use bags made from ecovio enable larger amounts of kitchen waste to be collected for organic recovery in a clean, safe and easy way – and without sodden bags and unpleasant odors, since ecovio is tear and wet resistant. Under the conditions of an industrial composting plant, ecovio is fully biodegraded by microorganisms and their enzymes within a few weeks (as defined by EN 13432). The valuable compost can subsequently be used to increase the nutrient density in the soil, thus closing the nutrient cycle.

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