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02 | 2010

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  • Bioplastics
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Content Editorial 03

Content Editorial 03 News 05 Application News 32 Glossary 48 Suppliers Guide 50 Event Calendar 54 March/April 02|2010 Report Composting Experience of the 10 Mediterranean Agronomic Institute From Science & Research Bio-Plastics and Bio-Composites for Household Appliances 8 Michigan Biotechnology Institute 12 Rigid Packaging 200 Tonnes of Petro-Based 14 Rigid Packaging eliminated Biodegradable Hot Cup Lid 15 Basics Basics of Certification 42 Politics Biodegradable Packaging in Poland 46 Thermoforming High Heat Products 16 Infrared Heat for Corn Starch Packaging 17 Material Combinations Bioplastic Material Combinations 18 for Flexible Packaging Bio Goes Functional 20 Starch Blends with Enhanced Performance 22 Materials Biobased Flame Retardant Polymers 23 LCA for PLLA based on sugar cane 24 PHA Operation in China 28 New Business Formed To Buy Post-Consumer PLA 30 Imprint Publisher / Editorial Dr. Michael Thielen Samuel Brangenberg Layout/Production Mark Speckenbach Head Office Polymedia Publisher GmbH Dammer Str. 112 41066 Mönchengladbach, Germany phone: +49 (0)2161 664864 fax: +49 (0)2161 631045 info@bioplasticsmagazine.com www.bioplasticsmagazine.com Media Adviser Elke Hoffmann phone: +49(0)2351-67100-0 fax: +49(0)2351-67100-10 eh@bioplasticsmagazine.com Print Tölkes Druck + Medien GmbH 47807 Krefeld, Germany Total Print run: 4,000 copies bioplastics magazine ISSN 1862-5258 bioplastics magazine is published 6 times a year. This publication is sent to qualified subscribers (149 Euro for 6 issues). bioplastics MAGAZINE is printed on chlorine-free FSC certified paper. bioplastics MAGAZINE is read in 85 countries. Not to be reproduced in any form without permission from the publisher. The fact that product names may not be identified in our editorial as trade marks is not an indication that such names are not registered trade marks. bioplastics MAGAZINE tries to use British spelling. However, in articles based on information from the USA, American spelling may also be used. Editorial contributions are always welcome. Please contact the editorial office via mt@bioplasticsmagazine.com. Envelope A large number of copies of this issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE is wrapped in a compostable film manufactured and sponsored by Minima Technology Cover photo: Philipp Thielen bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/10] Vol. 5

News Oxo-degradables Not Environmentally Friendly Some plastics marked as ‘degradable’ might not be as environmentally-friendly as consumers think, according to new research funded by Defra, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The study, carried out by Loughborough University, examined the environmental effects of oxo-degradable plastics which are made from the most common types of plastic, but include small amounts of additives to make them degrade at an accelerated rate. The complete study is accessible through www.bioplasticsmagazine.de/201002 Oxo-degradable plastics are used in plastic bags and packaging and are often advertised as being degradable, biodegradable or environmentally-friendly. However, the independent study found that using additives to accelerate their degradation will not improve their environmental impact. The study highlighted the uncertainty about the impact of the plastics on the natural environment when they begin to breakdown into smaller pieces. It also raised concerns that these plastics are neither suitable for conventional recycling methods, due to the chemical additives, nor suitable for composting, due to the plastic not breaking down fast enough. Manufacturers, retailers, trade bodies and waste treatment companies were all consulted in the research, which was also put through a rigorous independent peer review by recognised academics. Defra’s Environment Minister, Dan Norris said: “The research published today clearly shows us that consumers risk being confused by some claims made about oxo-degradable plastics. As these plastics cannot be composted, the term ‘biodegradable’ can cause confusion. Incorrect disposal of oxo-degradable plastics has the potential to negatively affect both recycling and composting facilities. “We hope this research will discourage manufacturers and retailers from claiming that these materials are better for the environment than conventional plastics. I’ve been in touch with the companies affected and one retailer, the Co-operative, has already confirmed that it will not be using this type of plastic in its carrier bags in the future. This is a positive step and will make it easier for people to do the right thing by the environment.” Iain Ferguson, Environment Manager, The Co-operative Food said: “We have already decided to stop purchasing carrier bags with the oxo-biodegradable additive and with the support of our customers and staff, we have reduced carrier bag numbers by 60% in the last three years. We have also launched the UK’s first home-compostable carrier bag, certified by the Association for Organic Recycling (and to EN 13432), which is accepted for food waste collections by a number of local authorities.” Products made from compostable plastic are tested and able to completely bio-degrade within six months. To be totally sure a plastic product is compostable purchasers and consumers can look for certified products, identified by logos (see article on pp 42ff, the Editor). Defra is currently updating its guidance on Green Claims that will help businesses make accurate and robust claims about the environmental performance of their products and services and the guidance will be out for consultation during 2010. www.defra.gov.uk Metabolix begins PHA production at Clinton, Iowa Metabolix Inc., based in Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA recently announced that it has begun production at its new Mirel bioplastics plant in Clinton, Iowa. In early March Richard Eno, CEO of Metabolix, stated, “We are very pleased to report that the manufacturing of Mirel bioplastic has begun at the Clinton facility and that we anticipate initial commercial deliveries to customers within the next month. We continue to see significant demand for Mirel and are shifting our focus towards the ramp up of sales, the implementation of next generation Mirel technology, and the prospects for a plant expansion.” The Company noted that it continues to be in a very early stage of commercialization and therefore capacity utilization levels at Clinton are expected to remain relatively low for the next few quarters. Capacity utilization is expected to increase as production processes are optimized and as demand increases through acquisition of new customers. www.mirelplastics.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/10] Vol. 5

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