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Politics Bioplastics in

Politics Bioplastics in Israel By Inbar Avner JOLYBAR Montefiore Natanya, Israel Plastics and Industry Israeli firms are committed to universally accepted quality standards and excel at meeting niche market needs. Israel is unique in having free trade agreements with the European Union, the United States and Canada, EFTA countries, as well as Mexico and Turkey. Most other countries have granted Israel MFN status (Most Favoured Nation). Israel’s vigorous R&D programs, its expertise in advanced technologies, and its strengths in computer-aided design and manufacture have been adopted by the plastic products industry. The result is a vibrant exportoriented enterprise offering innovative, high quality products. Products The Israeli plastics market manufactures agricultural products (23% of industry sales), infrastructure and construction related products, household and consumer items, engineering and high-tech components, medical consumables and packaging products (16% of industry sales). The latter is of particular interest to the biopolymer market. Reflecting global trends that increasingly embrace plastics, but that also address environmental concerns, Israel’s packaging industry works aggressively to develop solutions that meet consumer interests and regulatory demands while fulfilling customers’ requirements for quality, reliability and cost. Legislation A few major steps have recently taken place in Israeli legislation: • Israeli Standard IS 6018 – A non-obligatory standard which follows EN 13432 and ISO 17088 is being implemented. • Packaging Law - Submitted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection, this law imposes direct responsibility on manufacturers and importers in Israel to collect and recycle the packaging waste from their products. The immediate outcome of the above has been extensive development and proactive steps by major market chain retailers, food and pharmaceutical producers and packaging converters. This means not only R&D activity, but also includes some pilot tests, adopting bio-based and biodegradable replacements for existing items. Waste management in Israel – Figures: • Waste in Israel has been growing at an average annual rate of 3%-5%. • Some 5.4 million tons of municipal solid waste are generated in Israel each year. • Every resident in Israel generates an average of 1.6 kilos of waste daily. • The weight of packaging waste in Israel is estimated at a million tons per year. • Recycling targets: By 2014 manufacturers and importers will be required to recycle 60% of the total weight of the packaging of the products they sell or import each year. Producers will have to comply with annual recycling targets according to type of material: glass, water and cardboard 70%, metal 65% and plastic 40%. 54 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/11] Vol. 6

Waste collection, sorting systems and ‘end of life’ solutions: In Israel, today, there are only a handful of private companies able to handle massive shipments of wet waste, as the new regulation will soon dictate. The government has created incentives and funds to support and encourage new investments in such facilities, with the aim of having the appropriate infrastructure in place once new waste management regulations are implemented. The above companies, and some newcomers that have spotted the opportunity, are currently examining new investments in the areas of receiving and processing the expected growth in wet waste collection, through energy recovery systems (incineration), anaerobic digestion systems for producing gas, and coerced composting. The Israel Recycling Organization‘s main bottle recycling factory Aviv, is able to add an NIR stream that can sort PLA and bio-based containers. EU recyclers would be more than willing to purchase the bottles for resale to the industry after processing, however, there will be no investment before local production switches to more significant quantities (more than 1.5% of the total collected containers and bottles). Major players in the Israeli biopolymer market In order to maximize market potential, special cooperation between Kafrit Industries (1993) Ltd. and Jolybar Ltd. has been created. The Kafrit Group, a worldwide leader in masterbatch manufacture and compounding, has broad experience in the development and marketing of unique solutions; together with Jolybar, a leader in the biopolymer market with extensive access to potential customers and a strong marketing position, have jointly developed the first multipurpose bio-based compound – Ecomp ® . The Ecomp grades that comply with EN13432 and ASTM D6400 standards are mainly based on NatureWorks Ingeo TM and Limagrain Biolice ® as well as other biopolymers and additives. Ecomp grades have already been tested and commercially used in blown film, injection moulding and blow moulding applications, and furthermore provide perfect technical performance, high efficiency and positive cost-effective figures. Well-known Israeli manufacturers such as LOG - Plastic Products Company (1993) Ltd, A.M.G. Manufacturing & Marketing of Plastic Sheets L.T.D and Plastnir Ltd., have already applied Ingeo and Ecomp in their commercial production and others are in the final stages of trials and approvals. Possible applications are films for packaging (including multi-layer and high barrier pouches), mineral water bottles, cosmetics and pharmaceutical containers, cosmetics and hygiene tubes, injection moulded components and compostable and durable products. The biopolymers activity in the Israeli market is growing rapidly, providing a fertile market for activity by other companies, such as FKUR, Novamont, Biotech and Telles. bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/11] Vol. 6 55

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