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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0906

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News Bioplastic from Algae California (USA) based Cereplast Inc. recently announced that it has been developing a breakthrough technology to transform algae into bioplastics and intends to launch a new family of algae-based resins that will complement the company’s existing line of Compostables ® & Hybrid ® resins. Cereplast algae-based resins could replace 50% or more of the petroleum content used in traditional plastic resins. Currently, Cereplast is using renewable material such as starches from corn, tapioca, wheat and potatoes and Ingeo TM PLA. “Our algae research has shown promising results and we believe that in the months to come we should be able to launch this new family of algae-based resins,” stated Frederic Scheer, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast. “Algae-based resins represent an outstanding opportunity for companies across the plastic supply chain to become more environmentally sustainable and reduce the industry‘s reliance on oil. We are still in the development phase, but we believe that this breakthrough technology could result in a significant new line of business in the years to come.” “Based on our own efforts, as well as recent commitments by major players in the algae field, we believe that algae has the potential to become one of the most important ‘green‘ feedstocks for biofuels, as well as bioplastics,” continued Mr Scheer. “Clearly, our focus will be on bioplastics. However, for our algaebased resins to be successful, we require the production of substantial quantities of algae feedstock. We are very encouraged when we see big players entering the algae production business, including Exxon’s 0 million investment in Synthetic Genomics and BP’s million investment in Martek Biosciences.” Cereplast has initiated contact with several companies that plan to use algae to minimize the CO 2 and NO X gases from polluting smoke-stack environments. Algae from a typical photo-bioreactor is harvested daily and may be treated as biomass, which can be used as biofuel or as a raw material source for biopolymer feed stock. The company is also in direct communication with potential chemical conversion companies that could convert the algae biomass into viable monomers for further conversion into potential biopolymers. “Algae as biomass makes sense in that it helps close the loop on polluting gases and can be a significant renewable resource,” added Mr. Scheer. Multilayer Films Breakthrough for Food Contact Market Global sustainable resins supplier Cardia Bioplastics, headquartered in Mulgrave,VIC, Australia, has announced a new range of Cardia Biohybrid based films that comply with the European Commission standard 2002/72 EC for food contact. Cardia Bioplastics has lodged new provisional patents to protect this innovative technology, which expands its extensive patent portfolio. Cardia Bioplastics Managing Director Dr Frank Glatz said the multilayer film technology provides the food industry with excellent clarity, and mechanical and processing properties. “This development enables customers to move confidently into more sustainable packaging solutions and opens significant new market opportunities for Cardia Bioplastics, which extend from commodity packaging into the food packaging industry. The sustainability benefit of Cardia Biohybrid multilayer film also offers food marketers packaging solutions with a competitive edge for their products,“ said Frank Glatz. Interest from international brands in Cardia Compostable and Cardia Biohybrid resins has resulted in the company‘s decision to expand its manufacturing facility in Nanjing, China. The relocation to a larger site will effectively double the company‘s manufacturing capacity. In addition, Cardia Bioplastics has opened a new Global Application Development Centre at the company‘s Melbourne, Australia headquarters. This facility focuses on the application of Cardia Compostable and Cardia Biohybrid resins to customers‘ specific products. Frank Glatz said interest in sustainable resins is growing consistently as international marketers seek a streamlined path to technologies that meet more demanding environmental solutions for their packaging and plastics products. - MT www.cereplast.com www.cardiabioplastics.com 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/09] Vol. 4

News New Joint Venture in India A new bioplastics joint venture will be the first of its kind in India, where Earthsoul India Private Limited, through its promoters the Bilimoria family, will hold 60% and the balance of 40% will be held by the state-owned J&K Agro Industries Development Corporation Ltd, led by Dr. G. N. Qasba, managing director. Earthsoul India have been the pioneers in India since 2002 for 100% compostable and biodegradable packaging materials made from renewable raw materials such as waste stream starch. Market leaders in the field of biopolymer products, they have been associated with Novamont (Italy) for the past 8 years. J&K Agro Industries Development Corporation Ltd has been involved in the manufacture of food products, cattle feed, etc in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The corporation is also proactively engaged in the agricultural and irrigation sectors, as distributors and facilitators in the supply of machinery and equipment, fertilizers, mulching films for greenhouses etc. The two organisations are convinced that they have the necessary synergies to group together in order to foster and grow the bioplastics industry in India and South East Asia. Currently the bioplastics industry worldwide has been enjoying a growth rate of approximately 20% per year. The joint venture has earmarked an existing manufacturing facility, owned by J&K, at Sidco Industrial Area, Bari Brahmna, which is classified as an industrially backward area. The head office of the joint venture company will be situated at Srinagar. Equipped with state-of-the-art plant and machinery, both domestic and imported, the facility will have a capacity of approximately 50 tonnes per month and will be J&K’s first carbon neutral manufacturing facility. The designated executive chairman of the new joint venture, Perses M. Bilimoria, is a well-known bioplastics personality in India. He was the first significant introducer of biopolymer products into India and has been on various committees of the Ministry of Enviroment and Forests, New Delhi, for plastics in waste management and on the BIS committee, New Delhi, for adopting international standards on compostable and biodegradable raw materials, made from renewable resources. The company will be managed by a team of professionals chosen by the board of directors from a wide spectrum of the manufacturing industry. The product range of the new company comprises 100% compostable and biodegradable bags, mulching films for agriculture, nursery pots and sapling bags for the horticulture and floriculture markets. The facility is due to commence trial production in 12/09 and to enter the commercial market before 03/10. MT www.jkagro.com, www.earthsoulindia.com Plastics in the North Pacific Gyre Commenting on Project Kaisei‘s findings on plastics in the North Pacific Gyre, the British Plastics Federation (BPF) believes that plastics litter is far too common in the marine environment, it should not be there and more effort is needed by all concerned to ensure good waste management on shore and on vessels, and to provide education on littering. Furthermore, the Federation wishes to draw attention to a major initiative it has recently launched to stop any loss of plastics raw material into the environment. The United Nations Environmental programme‘s report last year pointed to the difficulties in obtaining accurate information but to tackle the problem of all waste in the oceans they called for: integrated waste management to tackle litter; raise public awareness and education; improved port waste collection facilities; and stronger economic incentives, fines, and enforcement. The BPF supports all these objectives and recently launched an initiative in the UK called ‘Operation Clean Sweep - Plastic Pellet Loss Prevention’, to ensure that raw material does not escape into the environment. The BPF hopes to get the commitment of every company, from top management to shop floor employees to use the Operation Clean Sweep manual on prevention, containment and clean up of plastic materials to ensure no escape into the environment. Peter Davis, BPF Director-General says: “The Plastics industry does not put plastic into the seas. This is caused by littering, illegal dumping, poor waste management. We want the plastic back to be recycled or provide much needed energy through energy from waste combustion. International cooperation is needed to make this work, it is a global problem.” Concerning so-called ‘oxo-biodegradable’ plastics the BPF believes that littering is a behavioural issue and not one related or confined to the use of specific materials. MT www.bpf.co.uk bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/09] Vol. 4 7

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