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Bottle Applications Photo Erema Engineering Recycling Maschinen und Anlagen Ges.m.b.H NAPCOR Bans Degradable Additives The (US) National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR) recently urged restraint in the use of degradable additives in PET packaging. NAPCOR, the trade organization for the PET packaging industry, is concerned that no data has been made publicly available to substantiate or document: 1) the claims of degradability of PET resin products containing degradable additives; 2) the effect of degradable additives on the quality of the PET recycling stream; 3) the impacts of degradable additives on the products made from recycled PET; and 4) the true impact on the service life of these products. “We urge manufacturers of PET resin and packaging to refrain from introductions of degradable additive−containing products until data is made available for review and verification so we can better understand these products and their potential ramifications,” said Tom Busard, NAPCOR’s Chairman. In 2007, 1.4 billion pounds of PET post consumer containers were recycled in the United States. The post consumer recycled PET infrastructure depends on the quality of the recyclate and its suitability for a variety of next−life product applications. The value of recycled materials, such as PET, is an important economic driver for curbside recycling programs throughout the country. “Without the testing and data necessary to understand the potential impacts of degradable additives in PET, it’s not an overstatement to say that they could potentially put the whole PET recycling system at risk,” said NAPCOR Executive Director Dennis Sabourin. “We don’t yet understand the impacts that these additives could have on the quality of the PET recycling stream, let alone the impacts on the safety and functionality over time of next−use PET products like recycled−content PET packaging, carpeting, or strapping.” NAPCOR calls for restraint: proper testing and verification must be conducted before degradable additives are introduced into the consumer product stream. Moreover, NAPCOR calls on brand owners and decision makers to fully consider the impacts behind the use of degradable additives in light of the larger issues of sustainability, climate change and resource conservation. Founded in 1987, NAPCOR is the trade association for the PET plastic industry in the United States and Canada. NAPCOR is committed to being the credible voice and champion of the PET industry; to facilitate solutions to PET recycling; and to provide education on the benefits of PET packaging. 28 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/09] Vol. 4

Materials Stereocomplex PLA Offers High Durability Comparable to PET Teijin Limited from Osaka, Japan, announced that it has upgraded its BIOFRONT bioplastic with substantially improved resistance to hydrolytic degradation in hot and humid conditions, creating new opportunities for the plant-based material’s use in high-heat and high-humidity applications, such as automotive and electronics. The new Biofront is at least 10 times more hydrolytic resistant than conventional commercial bioplastic, meaning that Teijin’s plant-derived bioplastic now offers virtually the same level of durability as polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Biofront, which was first developed in 2006 and launched in the following year, is the world’s first mass-produced stereocomplex PLA, made with plant-based Poly-L-lacticacid polymer (conventional polylacticacid polymer) and their enantiomer poly-D-lacticacid polymer. This highly stable stereocomplex structure, based on Teijin’s polymer technology, has made possible the melting point that is over 40°C higher than that of poly-Llacticacid polymer, putting Biofront’s heat resistance on a par with oil-based polybutylene terephthalate (PBT). As with other bioplastics, however, its polymers were susceptible to hydrolytic degradation in hot or humid conditions, meaning that Biofront had limited applications in certain conditions compared to regular PET. In response, Teijin developed new technology to control reactions against high heat and humidity at the molecular level of polymers. The result is the nearly complete elimination of such reactions without any impact on Biofront’s intrinsic heat-resistance properties. By proving levels of hydrolytic and hygrothermal resistance similar to engineering plastics such as PBT and PET, the new Biofront is now suitable for a much wider range of applications. In addition to offering increased durability in its existing capacity as a car seat fabric, the new Biofront can be used in components and materials exposed to harsh conditions in high-temperature or high-humidity environments Pillar cover and front panel made of Biofront This new technology will be one of the core technologies used in the production of Biofront at the medium-volume pilot production plant scheduled to be launched in early August at Teijin’s Matsuyama plant in Ehime Prefecture. Production is expected to be expanded thereafter, with the aim of positioning Biofront at the core of the Teijin Group’s ‘Green Chemistry’ business. Teijin Limited recently announced that it had transferred its 50% ownership in NatureWorks LLC back to Cargill and terminated the joint-venture contract with Cargill regarding NatureWorks as of June 30. bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/09] Vol. 4 29

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