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News Bioplastics - A Crucial Pillar of the Bio-Economy How can the bioplastics industry contribute to the European Union’s ‘2020 goals’? This and other key questions were debated at the product exhibition and conference ‘Plastics and the Bio- Economy – The Evolution of Plastics’ (Brussels, 21 to 22 September 2011) organised by European Bioplastics under the patronage of Mr. Lambert van Nistelrooij, MEP. Already today, bioplastics play a significant role within Europe’s bio-economy. They are manifold and efficient materials ready for the market and they accelerate the development on the plastics market towards a society based on more sustainability. In his opening address of the conference van Nistelrooij argued in favour of a stronger support of bioplastics by European policy makers. “Bioplastics offer great opportunities for smart and sustainable growth in the EU. There are already numerous proposals for supportive measures with regard to bioplastics. It is vital that EU policy focuses on implementing them in the short and mid-term.” in his speech Marc Verbruggen, (CEO NatureWorks) emphasized the fact that Europe is potentially a very interesting market for all kinds of bioplastic applications. However, the EU should be careful not to be shaken off by international competition when it comes to production locations but must take action in time. More than 100 participants in the fully-packed conference hall followed the presentations with great interest. They included, amongst others, contributions by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation of the Netherlands, and by Maive Rute, Director of the General Directorate Research and Innovation of the European Commission. Andy Sweetman, Chairman of European Bioplastics, was delighted at the popularity of the event: “The fully booked event clearly proves that bioplastics are an important topic at EU level. We are happy to have successfully encourage greater awareness for our industry, its products and their benefits.” Successful Pilot Project with Compostable Bags Effective immediately, the district of Bad Dürkheim, Germany has approved the permanent use of organic waste bags made of BASF’s compostable plastic Ecovio ® FS. Residents and local waste management companies tested the bags over a period of three months. As shown by a survey, the residents of Bad Dürkheim are very satisfied with the new waste bags. And the organic composting plant Grünstadt rated the results of the pilot project very positively. The bags made of Ecovio FS degrade completely within three weeks and do not impair the quality of the compost. “The decisive factor for us was the high quality of the compost and the fact that the bags make it easier for residents to separate, collect and dispose of organic waste. This is why we have now approved the Ecovio bags for permanent use,” said Erhard Freunscht, first district councilor for the district of Bad Dürkheim. Thanks to the Ecovio bags, the disposal of biodegradable garbage is cleaner, more hygienic and less complicated than with paper bags or old newspapers. The bags not only prevent noxious odors and keep out insects, but also mean that it is no longer necessary to wash and clean the container in which the organic waste is collected. At the beginning of the project in early April, the approximately 65,000 households in the district each received 10 bags made of the compostable plastic Ecovio FS. The residents were encouraged to collect their organic garbage in the bags and to dispose of them via the organic waste bin. An independent consulting company monitored the pilot project and analyzed the compost. Unchanged compost quality The analysis shows that the biodegradable organic waste bags did not affect the composition of the compost: the density, content of water and salt, pH value, nutrients, percentage of organic matter and other components in the compost all remained unchanged. The appearance of the compost did not change either. These are important critieria because the humus is being sold to customers such as winegrowers, fruit farmers and asparagus growers who use it to improve the soil. Satisfied residents The survey revealed that almost 90 % of the residents were satisfied with the bags. More than half of the respondents said that the bags are very helpful for collecting organic garbage. Residents were particularly appreciative of the fact that it was easier to collect organic waste without soggy bags or foul odors.MT 10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/11] Vol. 6

News Ombudsman for new Bioplastics Symbol Cereplast Inc. has appointed Michael Thielen as ombudsman for the new bioplastics symbol, effective October 1, 2011. Michael not only is the publisher and editor of bioplastics MAGAZINE, but he has also been founder of Polymediaconsult and as such acted as an independent consultant since 2003. As ombudsman, Michael Thielen will strive to gain wide spread industry support of a single logo to represent bioplastics and will oversee all matters related to the usage and licensing requirements surrounding the symbol. In addition, he will be responsible for maintaining the integrity of the symbol and will serve as liaison to industry participants and to consumers, and will handle all public input regarding how the symbol is used. Michael will also promote public understanding of the symbol and of bioplastics in general. Michael Thielen’s role is independent of Cereplast’s staff and management and he’ll serve in this role as a third party, independent. “Providing consumers with a single identifying mark that is stamped on a product is a critical next step in helping consumers distinguish which products are made from bioplastics, as opposed to traditional plastics,” said Michael Thielen, in his role as President of Polymediaconsult. “Having one centralized logo that is supported by the industry will streamline and simplify the message that product manufacturers want to convey to the public—that the product is made from environmentally conscious, bioplastic materials.” “The bioplastic symbol ombudsman will play an important role in bringing the industry together to support a single logo in an effort to simplify the way in which consumer products are identified as made from bioplastics. Thielen will act as liaison to the public to ensure that this symbol is used properly and in a way that provides maximum benefits to both industry participants and consumers,” said Frederic Scheer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cereplast, Inc. The bioplastics symbol was born on April 21, 2011 as a result of a nationwide design competition hosted by Cereplast. Thielen and six other renowned judges selected the winning symbol. Call for Papers: The conference will comprise high class presentations on • Latest developments • Market overview • High temperature behaviour • Barrier issues • Additives / Colorants • Applications • Reinforcements • End of life options Please send your proposal, including speaker details and a 300 word abstract to: Save the Date: 15 + 16 May 2012 2 nd PLA World C o n g r e s s 15 + 16 MAY 2012 * Munich * Germany Tel.: +49 (2161) 6884469 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/11] Vol. 6 11

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