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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0704

Opinion reach their

Opinion reach their limits due to e.g. insufficient heat stability, brittleness and relatively low gas barriers for other applications. Alternatively, there are companies like Dow and Braskem planning to make polyethylene from sugar cane. The advantages of this approach are that PE is already fully established in the market and the properties for processing and applications are well known. Even the waste streams do already exist and there will be no issue of contamination, since the bio-based polymer is chemically identical with its oil-based analog. At least short- to mid-term, the bio-based PE could be a viable alternative to PLA and starch-based biopolymers and it remains to be seen which solution will win recognition long-term. Role of raw material suppliers Ciba continuously strives for superior performance and is committed to contribute to long-term sustainable development. Regarding biopolymers simply as a new type of polymer on the market, Ciba is committed to learn more about these new materials. The company is capitalizing on its expertise in polymers, colorants and additives to support the development of biopolymers by improving their technical performance through additives, focusing on testing compatibility with polymers and recycling rather than biodegradability. Beyond the interests in the embryonic biopolymer market, Ciba offers a wide range of sustainable solutions for plastics and paper/paperboard packaging. Consequently Ciba‘s contribution to sustainable packaging will not only concentrate on additives and colorants for biopolymers, but also include strength solutions which allow significant light-weighing of packaging as well as improvement of recycled resin performance. There will be no standard solution eliminating all present and future concerns. Rather, the point is to find individual ways to change general attitudes and develop technologies to balance environmental, economic and social aspects of sustainability in order to ensure the same quality of life also for future generations. www.ciba.com 34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2

Mailbox ! ! Dear Editor, It is always with great interest that we read bioplastics MAGAZINE as it brings together a vital collection of news and views in bioplastics, an industry that we at NatureWorks LLC are deeply committed to. In a recent editorial in the 03/2007 issue it was suggested that availability in general of NatureWorks ® biopolymer is causing signs of hesitation in the market. This is an inaccurate statement and we feel this is an appropriate the time to bring greater clarity on our current manufacturing position. Due to the strong and unexpected market growth throughout 2006, NatureWorks channeled available biopolymer in a secure and strategic way to our existing partners by carefully mapping supply chains and material flows. At the same time we reported that NatureWorks LLC continued to increase production volume by de-bottlenecking production in our Blair, NE, facility and as a result we are able to secure all existing end user demands. Today we are also in a position to support and develop new opportunities, confirming the continued and robust market growth for NatureWorks biopolymer applications. In all of what we do, NatureWorks seeks to include our core values around sustainability and responsibility meaning that we are actively seeking and having dialogue with key stakeholders to make sure everyone’s effort follows the same approach. I think most people close to this industry are aware of our peer reviewed eco-profiles that have been updated and published recently to reflect key progress made in this field, as well as position papers laying out our response to issues such as feedstock sourcing, waste management and our overall environmental footprint. Our colleague, Erwin Vink, will elaborate on this in a paper that will be included in the next issue. As people around the globe are working to make us less dependent on fossil raw materials, the use of bioplastics contributes to this in a meaningful way and bio-packaging solutions are a valuable way to demonstrate this important evolution. We are more than happy to provide more details around any of these topics and we welcome innovative companies to bring their own responsible products to market and join the growing assortment of applications based on NatureWorks biopolymer and marketed as Ingeo innovations. These include not only a complete range of biopackaging solutions but also high value durable goods such as cosmetics and electronics, as well as a full range of Ingeo fiber applications. Please do not hesitate to contact us should you require further details. Regards, Mark Vergauwen – Commercial Director Europe, NatureWorks LLC bioplastics MAGAZINE [07/04] Vol. 2 35

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