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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1101

News ‘Make Your

News ‘Make Your Mark’ Competition Bioplastics manufacturer Cereplast, Inc., from El Segundo, California, USA recently started a design competition, ‘Make Your Mark,’ for a symbol that represents ‘bioplastics’. Initially starting to be a symbol for Cereplast products only, this (yet another) new symbol shall indicate that a product is made from ‘green’, bio-based material, not petroleum-based material. “Cereplast‘s competition represents our commitment to educating and helping consumers make smarter purchasing decisions that help preserve and protect our environment,“ said Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast. “We want to build a bridge between consumers and companies committed to a cleaner planet, and give consumers the option to choose more sustainable products. We hope that this will create a strong element of consumer pull which will accelerate the pace of bioplastic development globally. We strongly encourage forward-looking companies to join us in this effort. And we would be happy to invite others to work along with us. Companies are increasingly looking at bio-based plastics made from renewable resources like corn, wheat, and algae as an alternative to petroleum-sourced plastics. The bioplastics symbol will enable consumers to easily identify products made from bioplastics, similar to the globally recognized recycling symbol.“ The ‘Make Your Mark’ bioplastics symbol contest is only open to legal residents of the United States. “Simply for practical reasons,” as Nicole Cardi, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Cereplast explained to bioplastics MAGAZINE, “to make this an international contest, we would have to hire law firms in every country. This would have made it very complicated. It’s not that we wouldn’t value the potential designs that people from other countries would have submitted …”. The voting, however, is open to anyone around the globe. Visit www.iizuu.com/cereplast, and use the ‘Contest’ tab to vote for a design. Entrants are required to submit a symbol design that, when stamped on a product, will clearly serve as an indication that the product is made from bio(based)plastics. This new symbol will serve in a similar fashion to how the recycling symbol is used to identify products that are made from recycled materials and/or are recyclable. The symbol must be created to include three variations to symbolize the end of life options for the product: a general bioplastics symbol; a version identifying compostability; and a version indicating recyclability. The deadline for ‘Make Your Mark’ design entries is March 4, 2011. The judges will select the top three designs (from the publicly selected top 50) and the winner will be announced on Earth Day Eve, April 21, 2011 in Los Angeles. The designer of the winning bioplastics symbol will receive ,000. “We could have hired a design firm to create a symbol for us, but we decided on the competition,” said Nicole, “because this creates a much higher awareness of the whole subject of bioplastics.” After the first announcement Cereplast received a lot of press inquiries from traditional media focused on the general public – not only from the trade press. “The interest is tremendous and it really creates awareness on the end consumer side,” she says. And Nicole added that Cereplast is indeed planning to underline the whole initiative with end consumer communication, to educate the public about alternatives to oil based plastics and how to identify them. “And a number of top designs schools made this contest part of their curriculum, this makes the students think about sustainability etc. Something they will take to their jobs after their exams.” Being asked whether there are any plans to connect the symbol to any certification scheme, such as the ASTM 6866 (biobased carbon content) and – within this context to any threshold below which the symbol shall not be applied, Nicole explained: “Well, initially the symbol is just for us, for Cereplast, our partners and our products. But eventually we shall think about the question of making it available to others too, we haven’t decided yet. Then we will of course think about certification, but not yet”. www.iizuu.com/cereplast At the website mentioned above, visitors can also see all previously submitted proposals as well their ranking. We show just a few (without any rating or preference from our side). It’s a pity that the contest is open for designers aged 18 and older only. Seven year old Jacob insisted that his father uploaded his design proposal, see yourself… MT 10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/11] Vol. 6

USDA Launches Biobased Product Label On January 19, 2011, the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s (USDA) ‘BioPreferred’ program announced that a final rule to initiate a voluntary product certification and labeling program for qualifying biobased products to be published in the Federal Register [1] the day after. This new label will clearly identify biobased products (including biobased plastic products) made from renewable resources, and will promote the increased sale and use of these products in the commercial market and for consumers. “Today‘s consumers are increasingly interested in making educated purchasing choices for their families,“ said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “This label will make those decisions easier by identifying products as biobased. These products have enormous potential to create green jobs in rural communities, add value to agricultural commodities, decrease environmental impacts, and reduce our dependence on imported oil.“ Biobased products are those composed wholly or significantly of biological ingredients – renewable plant, animal, marine or forestry materials. The new label indicates that the product has been certified to meet USDA standards for a prescribed amount of biobased content. This can be as low as 7% for carpets or as high as 95% for mulch and compost materials [2]. For finished biobased products that are not within the designated product categories (…), USDA has lowered the applicable minimum biobased content (…) to 25% percent [1]. With the launch of the USDA biobased product label, the BioPreferred program is now comprised of two parts: a biobased product procurement preference program for Federal agencies, and a voluntary labeling initiative for the broad-scale marketing of biobased products. Through implementation of the BioPreferred program, USDA has already designated approximately 5,100 biobased products for preferred purchasing by Federal agencies. The new label will make identification of these products easier for Federal buyers, and will increase awareness of these high-value products to consumers in other markets. USDA estimates that there are 20,000 biobased products currently being manufactured in the United States and that the growing industry as a whole is responsible for over 100,000 jobs. Biobased products include biobased plastic products, but also other products such as detergents, cleaners, lubricants, stationery (e.g. wooden pencils) and much more. MT [1] www.biopreferred.gov/files/BP_Label_Final_Rule_01_20_11.pdf [2] www.biopreferred.gov/files/BioPreferred_product_categories_ October_2010_FINAL.pdf bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/11] Vol. 6 11

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