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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0906

A CO 2 footprint makes

A CO 2 footprint makes environmental protection measurable at alesco In order to be able to measure the overall positive environmental effects of the innovative developments and modernisation in the production process, alesco commissioned the calculation of a corporate carbon footprint (CCF) for the entire company and a product carbon footprint (PCF) for all the packaging film products at the beginning of 2009. These footprints show how much carbon dioxide is emitted for each kilogramme of film produced. However, the environmental efforts of the film manufacturer cannot be gauged from the first CO 2 footprint as this is a reference from which to measure progress, so stopping at that would not fit in with the holistic approach of the company. “We will only be able to see what we have achieved when we commission the calculation of a new footprint next year and can compare the values to see by how much our CO 2 emissions per kilogramme of film produced have decreased,” adds Depiereux. Although this may sound very simple, it actually requires a lot of careful planning: as well as the entire energy consumption at alesco and relevant data from suppliers (raw material suppliers, paint suppliers, additive suppliers, suppliers of solvents and also suppliers of other consumables etc.), all commuting-related CO 2 emissions generated by the 210 members of staff at alesco were also determined – which involves taking into account the routes taken as well as the use of cars, bicycles, trains and buses. The PCF also included the entire supply chain, the processing stages (film production, film printing, film packaging) and the subsequent route to their place of utilisation. The footprints were calculated by an independent climate protection consultancy - ClimatePartner Deutschland GmbH. Only the process of packaging products using the film at the customer and the subsequent use and recycling by consumers could not be taken into account. “Unfortunately, we do not know if the consumers arrive at the point of sale on foot or by vehicle in order to acquire the packaged product,” explains Alexander Rossner, Managing Director of ClimatePartner Deutschland GmbH. Carbon neutral packaging The CO 2 footprint also provides another benefit: if it is known how much CO 2 is still produced as a result of the production process despite the implementation of a range of measures, the film can at least be produced in a carbon neutral way by means of acquiring the corresponding amount of climate protection certificates to enable carbon offsetting. alesco is one of the first packaging film manufacturers in the world to offer its customers this service. All alesco biofilms are already produced and supplied carbon neutrally at no extra cost. And, if customers wish to acquire other types of film carbon neutrally, then the only additional charge made is the actual cost of acquiring the necessary climate protection certificates. The number of certificates required is determined using a climate calculator, which provides alesco with exact emission figures for the production of each individual type of film. “In this way, we can offset the emissions in accordance with the provisions of the Kyoto protocol. For the neutralisation of the biofilm products, we have chosen an approved and certified biomass project in India,” comments Depiereux. alesco has also not forgotten the marketing opportunities that this approach can provide for customers, who now have the option with printed films of including information about the carbon neutrality of the packaging film. And this seems to be a popular choice: since the certification of the films was started, numerous orders have been produced carbon neutrally and a number of customers have chosen to have the film labelled as being carbon neutral. There is still a lot of scope for improvement in the future. With their holistic approach, the staff at alesco have by no means exhausted all the potential measures that can be implemented: hauliers must also consider using trucks with low fuel consumption figures, and raw material and additive suppliers can investigate environmentally friendly production methods. An environmental report is currently being produced in order to document all alesco’s environmental initiatives and projects. “The green strategies of conservation of resources, avoidance of emissions and reduction of emissions will continue to be pushed, even in tough economic times,” states Philipp Depiereux as a clear indication of the company’s steadfast commitment. Rest assured, the alesco staff will continue to do their utmost to protect the environment. www.alesco.net 16 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/09] Vol. 4

Films | Flexibles | Bags Fig. 1: PLA film laminated on paper bags PLA Films are a Team Sport As the supplier base has grown recently, a wide diversity of Ingeo films are being used in bags, wraps, lids, and labels. Among all the products in the bioplastic industry, films may best exemplify the supply chain’s team effort through close engineering cooperation to build innovation into the products delivered to consumers. For example, French manufacturer Polyfilms, which operates a state-of-the-art plant for coextruded, bioriented films near Paris, has developed Polybio — a range of Ingeo-based oriented films. Polybio film is laminated on paper bags for bread or salad (Fig. 1). It is also used for sealable film lidding and both white and transparent film labels. Once metalized (either with transparent or white film) the barrier properties are enhanced and the product has high opacity and brilliance. Article contributed by By Stefano Cavallo, European Marketing Manager, NatureWorks, LLC www.natureworksllc.com Polyfilms also sells Polybio to a family of converters that add to the film’s barrier properties to expand the number of potential applications for this product. Metalvuoto has developed a lacquer coated oxygen-barrier film under the brand name Oxaqua ® . One of these converters, Alcan Packaging, offers CERAMIS ® -PLA films which are transparent high barrier films with a silicon oxide coating. Goglio Cofibox SpA manufactures a printable laminated film, which Sant’Anna ® uses for the labels on its bottled water. Fres-co System USA has developed a hybrid solution for coffee packaging. This development incorporates Ingeo film into a multilayer structure made with traditional materials. The company says this is Kyoto protocol ready packaging. Polyfilms is not the only company producing PLA-based oriented films and working closely with converters. SKC offers its Skywel ® branded film, and Ingeo licensee Huhtamaki Films Global has developed a wide range of functional and tailor-made Ingeo film grades characterized by adjustable mechanical properties for a broad range of applications, e.g. improved impact resistance and high barrier properties. Sidaplax/Plastic Suppliers offers a range of clear and white films under the EarthFirst ® brand name(see page 18) This industry now goes beyond oriented or blown film developers and value added converters. Sleever International, for example, has developed an Ingeo heat shrink film under the Biosleeve ® brand. Sleever International provides its food and cosmetic packaging customers with colorfully vibrant heat shrink labels. Biosleeve can also be used for tamper evident bands (Fig. 2). As these examples show, the bioplastic supply chain has invested in innovation. From these supply chain efforts, brand owners and consumers can expect an expanding choice of performance Ingeo films that help to reduce the overall environmental impact of packaging as compared to petroleum-based films. Fig. 2: Biosleeve heat shrink film bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/09] Vol. 4 17

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