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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1103

Cover Story Cereplast

Cover Story Cereplast Launches New Symbol to Represent Bioplastics Cereplast, Inc., from El Segundo, California, USA, a leading manufacturer of proprietary biobased, compostable and sustainable plastics, announced on April 21 st a new symbol to represent ‘bioplastics’. The designer of the new symbol is Laura Howard, a graphic design student at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, USA, who is the winner of Cereplast’s ‘Make Your Mark’ competition. Only US-based designers were allowed to enter proposals, however the global Internet community was invited to vote. Michael Thielen, publisher of this magazine acted as one of the judges who helped decide the final winner from a shortlist. The goal of the ‘Make Your Mark’ contest was to discover a new symbol that will help consumers to identify products and packaging made from bioplastics. Bioplastics in terms of the ‘Make Your Mark’ contest are plastics made from renewable resources including potatoes, corn, tapioca, sugar and algae – and plastics that are biodegradable and compostable. Laura Howard, a design student from the University of Louisville, created the winning bioplastics symbol. The 29 year-old student was awarded ,000 for her design that will be used as a new icon for bioplastics. The simple design of the new symbol enables it to be easily identifiable on products when printed, and/or when embossed on a clear plastic bottle, for example, as it was created to be both single color or colorless. left to right: Laura Howard (winner) Ryan Ford (2 nd runner-up), Nicole Cardi, and Silas Pandori (1 st runner-up) all photos: Cereplast bioplastics MAGAZINE asked Laura how she came to this particular design. She said that she wanted to create a comparably simple symbol that shows both parts of the message: This is a plastic material (symbolized by the hexagon) and this is ‘bio….’ (symbolized by the two leaves of a plant). The ‘Make Your Mark’ design competition, which was modeled after the 1970 contest that produced the globally recognized recycling symbol we see on recycled and recyclable products today, received over 1500 design entries and 4.5 million public votes which determined the top 200 designs. The renowned panel of judges narrowed the top 200 down to three contenders and, after a multi-tiered judging process, selected the winning symbol. The judges included Dr. Gary Anderson, creator of 10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/11] Vol. 6

Cover Story the recycling symbol and Karim Rashid, worldclass industrial designer, among others. “We are excited to congratulate Laura Howard for designing a symbol that has the potential to become a revolutionary logo representing the next generation of plastics – plastics that protect and preserve our environment and are made from renewable resources. The new bioplastic symbol will be used in a similar fashion to the recycling symbol as it will be stamped on products, and it will serve as an identifying mark of bioplastic materials and products made thereof,” said Frederic Scheer, Chairman and CEO of Cereplast. “The excess of Petroleum-based plastics can have a devastating impact on our environment. Approximately 300 million tons of plastic are produced globally each year. At these quantities, we could wrap the entire planet several times over. Bioplastics offer a more respectful option for our environment, and we believe that this new symbol will help provide consumers with the tools they need to make more environmentally intelligent purchasing decisions.” “Cereplast’s bioplastic symbol could likely gain traction much faster than the recycling symbol I designed, as communication in today’s digital landscape runs at lightning speed compared to forty years ago,” said Dr. Gary Anderson, creator of the recycling symbol and member of the judging panel. “I am honored to be a part of this historic competition that has produced a symbol that will represent the environmental benefits of bioplastics.” Cereplast intends to announce the ‘rules of use’ for the Symbol no later than October 2011. The winning symbol was unveiled on Earth Day Eve, April 21, 2011, at a gala event held in Los Angeles, California. The event was attended by local politicians, dignitaries, key figures from the ‘green’ movement and members of the bioplastic industry. www.cereplast.com Shortly after the introduction of the new symbol, questions arose from different sources within the bioplastics industry as to whether the new symbol would be Cereplast’s new company logo. The initial communication about ‘Make your Mark’ had led to the assumption the symbol was meant to live in the public domain like the recycling symbol. To shed light to a potential misunderstanding bioplastics MAGAZINE spoke with Nicole Cardi, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Cereplast about the purpose of the new symbol. In terms of usage of the symbol, Nicole said, Cereplast is still working out the details. The way the symbol is used at this time is mainly to promote it, its existence and its meaning. As a matter of fact, the symbol is its own trademark – independent of the company logo which is currently the standalone wordmark, ‘Cereplast ® ’. To clarify further, although Cereplast does not intend to necessarily use the standalone wordmark permanently, the old ‘corn-icon’ logo will not be used moving forward. “Together with our designers, our team is currently working on usage guidelines for the symbol,” Nicole explained, “for us and ultimately for the bioplastics industry.” The manner in which Cereplast is using the new bioplastics symbol now is just a first ‘click’ on getting it out and spreading the word, “to have people see it and look at it and learn what it represents,” and, as Nicole put it, “it is definitely not the final way it will be.” The new symbol is intended to promote bioplastics and help consumers easily identify products made from bioplastic material. Cereplast is committed to educating consumers, and this new icon is a vehicle to help achieve that goal. The symbol will be available to manufacturers of bioplastics, as well as to companies working with bioplastic materials. “We are in the process of developing proposed usage guidelines, and creating a 90-day public forum for people and companies to comment on the symbol, its implementation, and its use”, said Nicole, “afterwards, we will determine the final usage and start rolling out the symbol to the industry.” A key difference between the new bioplastic icon and the recycling symbol is that the new icon will not be a part of the public domain. Nicole: ”We feel it is important to regulate its use, ensuring that use of the symbol serves as an identifying mark of bioplastic materials and products truly made from bioplastics.” Regulation of the symbol will be key to ongoing consumer confidence. Allowing anyone to use the symbol through the public domain would be a detriment to the bioplastics industry. - MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/11] Vol. 6 11

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