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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_0906

News Design and

News Design and Technology Award Biograde ® is a transparent, injection mouldable bioplastic based on cellulose. This co-developed product from German FKuR and Fraunhofer UMSICHT combines renewable and biodegradable cellulose acetate with special additives and couplers by means of an adapted biocompounding process from FKuR. Biograde is transparent (depending on grade), dyeable, scratch and heat resistant. The cellulose acetate used is gained from European soft wood. The Design+Technology Award 2009 has been granted within the framework of the international fair ‘Materialica‘ in Munich, Germany on October 13, 2009. An independent panel of seven experts has determined in a non-public meeting a total of 20 awardees in different categories out of approximately 100 international submitted nominations. www.fkur.com Biomaterials Services from Finland Based on the long experience in biomaterials Hycail Finland has evolved from a R&D department into an independent company offering development and analytical services within the biomaterials field. Following a management buyout of Hycail Finland the company has changed the focus from developing own products to help its customers utilizing the technology it once developed. “We offer years of experience and expertise in biomaterials development, we already made all the mistakes and are now able to make biomaterials easy for our customers” says Svante Wahlbeck, Managing Director. The service lab includes polymerization and compounding equipment as well as characterization and testing equipment. In addition to development services Hycail Finland offers complete quality control programs for production processes or end products. One of Hycail Finland’s unique capabilities is using different PLA-stereo complex based materials to modify material properties. “Of course, PLA is a focus area but we also work with blends and testing of plastics materials in general. Presently our customers range from big multinational packaging companies to highly specialized biomedical companies.” says Heikki Siistonen, Sales Manager. www.hycail.fi Field Trial of Bioplastic-Producing Tobacco Crop Successful Metabolix, Inc., a bioscience company from Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, focused on developing sustainable solutions for plastics, chemicals and energy, recently announced that it has completed a field trial of tobacco, genetically engineered to express polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biobased polymers. Metabolix obtained the necessary permits from the U.S. Department of Agrculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to perform an open air field trial in March of 2009 and field trial experiments were completed in early October. The trial was performed on 3,237 m² (0.8 acres) of land and provided valuable data and information relating to polymer production, with the best plants producing 3-5% PHA. This furthers development of Metabolix crop technologies for the coproduction of biobased plastics in non-food bioenergy crops. Dr. Oliver Peoples, Chief Scientific Officer of Metabolix, commented, “The experience and knowledge we have gained during our tobacco field trial is laying the groundwork for planning and permitting activities for field trials in bioengineered, non-food oilseed and biomass crops producing PHA. We believe that our crop programs offer a number of commercialization options and hold significant potential. We are excited to continue to push this technology forward and believe it will ultimately support a diverse array of bioengineered, environmentally conscious and economically viable alternatives to petroleum-based products.“ www.metabolix.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/09] Vol. 4

Another World-First The highly innovative technical team at Ultimate Packaging believes it has produced a world first environmentally-friendly product as part of a joint venture with Innovia Films and Sun Chemical. Staff at the North East Lincolnshirebased company believe that Ultigreen is the first ever truly biodegradable and home compostable printed laminate for the food industry. Using hybrid biodegradable inks, Ultimate Packaging has reverse-printed Natureflex and laminated the material using a unique biodegradable adhesive to metallised Natureflex. The company has already established itself as one of the UK‘s flexographic print suppliers to the food industry, but the experienced team continue to focus on finding innovative new solutions for its customers. Ultimate Packaging Technical Manager, Derek Gibson, explains “Until now, only a small coverage of standard inks could be used to enable products to pass the EN13432 standard and to be rated as biodegradable. The new Sun Chemical hybrid inks allow total print coverage on food packs and the biodegradable adhesive applied to bond these two Innovia materials means that this product can be classed as being made from totally biodegradable components. “We selected a promotional tea design to prove that the newly developed biodegradable inks and adhesive were compatible and then printed the Ultigreen product on our recently commissioned Soma Imperia 10 colour press.“ The new product development team at Ultimate Packaging is now working on further products using the new ink and adhesive technology to bring additional completely biodegradable and home compostable flexible films to their food industry customers. “This really is an exciting development for us and we believe that it has enormous potential,“ says Chris Tonge, Ultimate Packaging Sales and Marketing Director. “It is only the first of several new products that will set our family-run business apart from our competitors.“ www.ultimate-packaging.co.uk New Eco-Label: OK biobased Halfway through the 1990s, Vinçotte developed the OK compost conformity marks for products meeting the European EN 13432 standard, thereby playing a pioneering role during that period of time. Thanks to the new OK biobased certification system manufacturers can officially demonstrate the use of renewable raw materials via the independent OK biobased conformity marks. This is the first time an official certification body has launched a similar conformity mark based on exact measurements. Demand rose in particular from the packaging industry, as it is constantly on the look-out for renewable materials, owing to growing pressure on raw material prices and the way environmental regulations are being changed all over the world. The buying public‘s growing awareness of environmental concerns is also ensuring an expanding market for these products. What is more, consumers are anxious to have a rock-solid guarantee about the claims found on packaging. Thanks to the new OK biobased eco-label, Vinçotte can offer a completely independent guarantee about the origin of products. In this case, ‘biobased‘ refers to products of a biologically renewable rather than a fossil origin. Petroplastics versus bioplastics The keen interest in bioplastics can be summed up in one concept: carbon footprint. Biobased products help limit our carbon footprint, while making us less dependent on fossil fuels. For several years now a whole host of companies have been marketing bio-resources partly or entirely on the basis of biologically renewable carbon. OK biobased certification: clear and straightforward Apart from fuels, products (partly) made from bioplastics and/ or materials of natural origin are eligible for the OK biobased certification mark. The basic material is assessed in the light of exact analyses for determining the renewable organic carbon content. The same analysis method (C14) is used for dating bones. A straightforward calculation can be used to convert the analysis findings into an exact ‘biobased’ percentage. As a result of promoting correct and documented claims, Vinçotte is making a contribution to the harmonized development of alternative and sustainable technologies. One to four stars News The communication strategy is based on a logo with one to four stars. The principle is quite straightforward: the more stars there are, the higher the biobased carbon content: one star means between 20% and 40% biobased material, two stars between 40% and 60%, three stars between 60% and 80% and four stars over 80%. www.okbiobased.be bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/09] Vol. 4 9

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