bioplastics MAGAZINE Issue 06/2018

Issue 06/18 (July/August) highlights Bioplastics from waste streams, Films, flexibles, bags


  • dear readers

    As you read these lines, the 13th European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin is over or – for some of you – still going on. And as always, we are grateful to European Bioplastics for giving us the opportunity to present the Annual Global Bioplastics Award at this prestigious event. For those of you who missed it, turn to page 10, where we present this year’s winner. We had already reported about the project earlier this year, and it so happened that the development was anonymously proposed for the award – and won.  [more]


  • Novamont opened new Origo-Bi production site

    The official inauguration of Mater-Biopolymer, Novamont’s newly refurbished site for the production of its biodegradable biopolyester Origo-Bi, took place on 19 October, in Patrica, Italy. [more]

  • Braskem joins Europe’s Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC)

    Chemicals company Braskem announces it has joined European network Bio-based Industries Consortium (BIC) as a full member. [more]

  • Unilever and Bio-on work together

    Unilever (headquartered in Rotterdam, The Netherlands) and Bio-on (Bologna, Italy) recently announced the start of a strategic partnership to develop, produce and sell personal hygiene and care products that guarantee a smaller or no environmental impact. Using patented bio-technologies for natural, biodegradable microplastics (PHA) production, Unilever and Bio-on are taking an important step towards building a more sustainable economy and more responsible consumption in the personal care sector. [more]

  • Dupont completes expansion of Sorona production

    DuPont Industrial Biosciences has completed the expansion of their Kinston, NC manufacturing facility, which produces bio-based, high-performance DuPont Sorona® polymers. [more]

  • EU Parliament's single-use plastics ban - Bioplastics can provide an alternative, EUBP says

    The European Parliament recently approved its report on the draft Directive on Marine Pollution and Single-use Plastics. “European Bioplastics fully supports the transition from a linear to a circular economy. Bioplastics enable more sustainable solutions for a range of products“, says François de Bie, Chairman of European Bioplastics (EUBP).“We agree on the importance of reducing single-use plastic products where feasible, but hygiene and food safety cannot be compromised. With regard to some of the concerned single-use products – such as e.g. plates and cutlery –, biodegradable certified compostable plastics provide an organically recyclable alternative“.  [more]

  • thyssenkrupp commissions first commercial PLA plant for COFCO in China

    To reduce reliance on petroleum-based plastics, thyssenkrupp has developed a manufacturing process for the bioplastic PLA. The world’s first commercial plant based on the patented PLAneo® technology recently started production in Changchun, China. It is operated by the Jilin COFCO Biomaterial Corporation, a subsidiary of COFCO, China’s largest food and beverage group. The new plant with an initial capacity of 10,000 tonnes, produces all standard PLA types, among other things for the production of eco-friendly packaging, fibers, textiles and engineering plastics.  [more]

  • Neste and Clariant will collaborate

    Neste, the world’s leading provider of sustainable renewable diesel and an expert in delivering drop-in renewable chemical solutions, and Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, have signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of new sustainable material solutions targeted at a range of industries. [more]

  • Picks & clicks

    Most frequently clicked news [more]

  • Biome Bioplastics' educational channel

    Biome Bioplastics, Southampton, UK, has launched a digital educational channel, #ThinkBioplastic. The platform aims to help government, media and the public better understand the complexities of plastics and plastic pollution and learn more about available alternatives. [more]

Application News

  • Peeling milk with P3HB

    In October 2018, the Czech companies NAFIGATE Cosmetics and NAFIGATE Corporation launched a new product - Coconut shower peeling milk, in which microbeads are replaced with Hydal P3HB. The whole new cosmetics eco-design concept received the name Dedicated to You and Nature in order to express its biodegradability and biocompatibility. Hence, coconut shower peeling milk represents a circular revolution in the cosmetics industry. It is fully biodegradable, waste-free and harmless to nature. [more]

  • New bio shoe line

    Leading global barefoot footwear company VIVOBAREFOOT, headquartered in London, UK, recently announced the launch of its new Bio shoe range featuring Primus Lite Bio, plant-based performance sneakers. Designed with outdoor performance in mind, the Bio range is made from a combination of three innovative bio-based materials that reduce reliance on petrochemicals and ultimately create more efficient and sustainable products. Each shoe in Vivobarefoot’s new line is nearly 50 % plant-based, making it Vivobarefoot’s latest stride in their quest to use 90 % sustainable materials across its entire product range by 2020. [more]

  • Clipper tea bags renewably-sourced

    Public outcry about and subsequent resistance to tea bags made with polypropylene has compelled brand owners to take action. The latest to do so is Clipper Teas, the tea brand owned by natural and organic food company Wessanen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. [more]

  • Pastille bio-polyamide lamp

    Wästberg is a Swedish lighting company from Helsingborg, that aimed at bringing back light to human proximity.  [more]

  • Biodegradable crisps bags made from eucalyptus

    Two Farmers, Sean Mason and Mark Green, from Herefordshire, UK had the vision of making delicious hand-cooked potato crisps that celebrate the true flavours of Herefordshire, whilst protecting their beloved countryside with a 100% compostable bag. [more]



  • And the winner is ...

    The 13th Global Bioplastics Award 2018 was given to Aakar Innovations for their biobased sanitary pads for girls and women in rural India  [more]

Bioplastics from Waste Streams

  • Waste Cooking Oil as a Source for PHA

    Low quality waste cooking oil (WCO) has traditionally been regarded as a low-value waste product, unfit for further use. Not by Czech company NAFIGATE Corporation, however, whose Hydal Biotechnology uses 100 % waste in the form of waste cooking oil to produce fully biodegradable PHA biopolymer. The company uses oil also as a source of energy, making biopolymer significantly more affordable than bioplastics manufactured from the so-called first-generation feedstock, such as corn or sugar cane. Hence, the technology is Zero Waste with 50 % less energy consumption than conventional polyethylene (PE). [more]

  • Is Algae a sustainable feedstock for bioplastics?

    As demand for bioplastics grows, the industry is starting to feel the challenge of finding sustainable biofeedstock. Algae appears to be a promising source [1]. Algae can be both grown commercially, or harvested from commercial and industrial processes, such as water treatment.  [more]

  • Valorizing side streams

    Rodenburg Biopolymers’ activities started in 1945, trading plant-derived products for various industries. Soon Arie Rodenburg added side stream activities, by buying defects from potato sorters. This was when the long-term relationship with potato side streams started. Who would have known that a forage business would turn into Bioplastics half a century later?  [more]

Brand Owners

  • Brand-Owner’s perspective on bioplastics and how to unleash its full potential

    “We believe the time is now to step up and accelerate, embrace our responsibility and work with others to engage a radical shift that will help free the world from packaging waste. We will be acting both at global and local level to ensure circularity of packaging becomes the new norm. (Today), we are announcing a series of investments and commitments that – I believe – will have a concrete impact. These will be amplified as we collaborate with industry-peers, governments, NGOs, start-ups and the finance sector; harness new technologies and invest in new solutions.” [more]

Films, Flexibles, Bags

  • What’s new in cellulose based films

    When Futamura acquired its cellulose films business in 2016, including the trademark brands Cellophane™ and NatureFlex™, the business was already braced for positive change, with early investment from owners Futamura, the cellulose films business based in Wigton (Cumbria, UK) and Tecumseh (Kansas, USA), strengthened its core production facilities and planned for strategic growth. Then who could have foreseen that the broadcast of one BBC nature documentary, Sir David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, would put the metaphorical cat amongst the pigeons (or catfish amongst the shrimp?) turning this plastic world as we know it upside down and placing a spotlight on bio-material alternatives to single-use conventional plastics. [more]

  • That’s not my bag – or is it?

    Certified compostable film applications with multiple benefits [more]

From Science & Research

  • PLA in the post-consumer- recycling stream

    The constant increase in global production capacities of biobased plastics [1] results in a variety of products made of biobased plastics that reach the established disposal streams as post-consumer wastes after being used. In Germany, one of these disposal streams is the collection and disposal of lightweight packaging waste by the yellow bin or the yellow bag system. KNOTEN WEIMAR and TU Chemnitz have investigated the behaviour of biobased plastic products in the sorting of lightweight packaging wastes at operating plants and pointed out possible options for material recycling. The research project was carried out on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) and funded by the project management organization Fachagentur für nachwachsende Rohstoffe (FNR) [2]. [more]

  • Improved biobased fibres for clothing applications

    Polylactic acid (PLA) is a material obtained from renewable resources, suitable for obtaining melt-processable fibres. It combines ecological advantages with a good performance in textiles. PLA successfully bridges the gap between synthetic and natural fibres and finds a wide range of uses, but despite their benefits, most commercial PLA grades do not yet fulfil all the mechanical and thermal requirements for some textile applications. [more]

  • New method for high yield FDCS production

    enables large-scale production of bio-based plastic bottles [more]

  • Compostable plastics’ behaviour in different environmental conditions

    Compostable polymers are increasingly found in applications such as packaging, disposable nonwovens and hygiene products, consumer goods and agricultural products. A wide variety of compostable polymers have been developed, derived both from petrochemical and renewable sources. But, what do we know about how these materials behave in other environments or conditions outside of industrial composting facilities? [more]

  • How to calculate land use accurately

    A sensitivity approach [more]


  • Modified Calcium Carbonate opens new opportunities for the use of PLA

    P olylactic Acid (PLA) is one of the fastest growing biobased polymers on the market. Processors have tried to use Calcium Carbonate to improve properties and the cost structure, as is common in conventional polymers. Omya gained experience showing that conventional Calcium Carbonate can lead to the degradation of PLA and PLA / PBAT blends used in products such as cups, trays, lids and bags. Omya followed market demand to develop a new type of Calcium Carbonate that does not cause PLA degradation. [more]


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