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06 | 2010

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News Improved Eco

News Improved Eco Credentials for PLA The manufacture of NatureWorks’ Ingeo PLA emits fewer greenhouse gasses (GHGs) than the comparable manufacture of every other common petrochemical-based plastic, according to a peer-reviewed article published in the August 2010 edition of Industrial Biotechnology. The article, “The eco-profile for current Ingeo polylactide production,” was peer reviewed and approved for publication in Industrial Biotechnology by an independent panel of experts. The article documents the energy and GHG inputs and outputs of Ingeo production, including planting, harvesting, fermenting plant sugars, and resin production. The complete article can be downloaded from www.bioplasticsmagazine.com/201006. Plants absorb CO 2 as they grow and that offsets and lowers the overall GHG emissions from NatureWorks’ PLA production by 61%. The green bar in the “Gross GHG Emissions” chart shows the amount of CO 2 absorbed by plants. The blue bars indicate the total CO 2 emitted during various stages of plant growth through polymer production. The green bar represents the 61 % overall offset. The CO 2 absorbed by the growing plant not only reduces GHG emissions, but also directly replaces the fossil resources that are required as the building block for today’s petro-based polymers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Biopreferred Program and the European Union’s Lead Market Initiative are both designed to promote biobased products. The data on lowering carbon footprint presented in the article shows why these programs are important in terms of stimulating the use of biobased material over non-renewable material. “Using renewable performance materials in lowering carbon footprints is why brand owners and retailers are becoming increasingly interested in using materials such as Ingeo biopolymer,” said Marc Verbruggen, president and chief executive officer, NatureWorks. “It is one of the principal reasons Ingeo sales are climbing at a double-digit rate, and Gross GHG emissions [CO 2 eq/kg Ingeo] 2.00 1.50 1.00 0.50 0.00 -0.50 -1.00 -1.50 -2.00 why NatureWorks is planning on building a second production facility to meet the growing demand for Ingeo.” Ingeo is the NatureWorks brand name and the company emphasizes that: “The data provided in this report is only valid for Ingeo (polylactides produced by NatureWorks in Blair, Nebraska, USA) and not for polylactide production in general. The life cycle inventory data for polylactides that might be produced elsewhere will be different due to different raw materials (sugar or starch source) and raw material production practices, different technologies for processing these raw materials, different fermentation and polymerization technology, and different background data for electricity/fuel mixes used.” Since the NatureWorks Ingeo facility in Nebraska began production in 2002, technology improvements there have further lowered energy consumption and GHG emissions. The following charts compare the energy consumption and the GHG emissions of Ingeo and common petrochemical plastics on an equal-weight basis in the cradle-to-factory stage of their life cycle. MT www.natureworksllc.com Corn Dextrose Lactic acid Polymer GWP (100 year) : gross emissions 0.37 0.36 1.53 0.92 GWP (100 year) : net harnassed -1.94 0.00 0.00 0.00 Polystyrene 3.4 87 PET (amorphous) 3.2 80 Polypropylene 1.9 73 Ingeo 2009 current technology 1.3 42 0 1 2 3 Greenhouse gas emissions (Kg CO 2 eq./kg polymer] 0 20 40 60 80 100 Non Renewable Energy Use (MJ/kg polymer] bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/10] Vol. 5

Award The 5 th Bioplastics Award, now jointly presented by bioplastics MAGAZINE and European Plastics News was awarded to the winner of the year 2010 during the 5 th European Bioplastics Conference in Düsseldorf, Germany on December 1 st , 2010. After having received in excess of 20 submissions for the Bioplastics Award 2010 the judging panel had filtered out the five most promising proposals. bioplastics MAGAZINE and European Plastics News published details about these five shortlisted proposals. And the winner is … Econcore – PLA Honeycomb Sandwich Structure EconCore NV from Leuven, Belgium optimized the production technology to produce PLA based hexagonal honeycomb cores using a continuous production process. Only moments after the core is produced skin layers are added in a second step of the continuous production process. These skins can be made from unfilled PLA material to make a mono material panel or, in case a higher performance is required, could be replaced with consolidated flax in a PLA matrix. Key advantages: • Made from renewable, biobased polymers • Increased performance at reduced weight • Reduced production cost versus traditional panels and materials • Excellent strength and stiffness • Good impact resistance The PLA honeycomb sandwich structure is 100% renewable, minimizes the use of PLA and is hence also price competitive with (much heavier) products made from traditional plastics. bioplastics MAGAZINE and European Plastics News express their most cordial congratulations. “And the The trophy was created by Rolf Bender Winner is …” www.econcore.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/10] Vol. 5

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