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Application News

Application News Compostable film for organic tea Lebensbaum Ulrich Walter GmbH, Diepholz, Germany, a pioneer in the production of organic tea, coffee and herbs recently decided to pack its range of organic teas with Innovia Films’ compostable cellulose-based material, NatureFlex NVR. Lebensbaum’s success has been built on a combination of pure tasting ingredients, ecological foresight and social responsibility. Introducing packaging materials based on renewable resources is part of Lebensbaum’s sustainability strategy as Dr Achim Mayr, Managing Director, explained: “NatureFlex combines the packaging quality and functionality we are looking for with our ambitioned environmental consciousness, which fits with our mission.” “We are delighted to offer new innovative packaging solutions based on NatureFlex especially for the tea and coffee industry,” explains Joachim Janz, Sales Account Manager, Innovia Films. “Our customers can tick various boxes easily relating to product safety and the objective to use a sustainable packaging material. NatureFlex films offer both suitable aroma barrier and a functional barrier to mineral oil migration which has been scientifically confirmed to last for five years. Mineral oil barrier is especially welcome in the tea industry, where recent German publications highlight that various tea products have weaknesses concerning mineral oil protection. The use of renewable cellulose derived from certified managed plantations and the fact it is certified home compostable rounds off this new packaging solution!” NatureFlex NVR is a two-side coated, heat sealable renewable and certified compostable film with an intermediate moisture barrier, ideally suited to box overwrap and individual flow wrap applications such as this one. The Lebensbaum box and individual teabags have been wrapped with NatureFlex NVR film. Sustainable soles Gucci, headquartered in Florence, Italy announced the launch of Sustainable Soles, a special edition of eco-friendly women’s and men’s shoes designed by Creative Director Frida Giannini and part of the Prefall 2012 Collection. This new project conveys the House’s mission to interpret in a responsible way the modern consumer’s desire for sustainable fashion products, all the while maintaining the balance between the timeless values of style and utmost quality with an ever-growing green vision. The Sustainable Soles include the Marola Green ballerinas for her and the California Green sneakers for him, both realized in ‘bio-plastic’ – an biodegradable (elastomer) material in compost used as an alternative to petrochemical plastic. Successfully tested in laboratories and certified by the main European international standard: EN 13432 and ISO 17088, this material is completely biodegradable without leaving any waste or environmental impact. More details about the type of bioplastics however, were not disclosed by Gucci before going to press. The Marola Green flat ballerina - entirely made of this material - is characterized by cut out details and the GG logo motif, and is available in the polished tones of blush, taupe, black and black with an interlocking G in white. The men’s California Green sneakers – in a low or high top version - combine the bio-rubber soles with the upper part in genuine vegetable tanned black calfskin, biologically certified strings and rhodium-plated metal details. Additionally, the green Gucci logo has been designed on a recycled polyester label. This innovative project symbolizes an important challenge and commitment for Gucci, as recently confirmed by the brand’s participation at the latest edition of the Copenhagen Fashion Summit: the world’s most important conference on sustainability and fashion, dedicated to the future of green style. 36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/12] Vol. 7

Basics Proteineous meals for bioplastics By: Murali M. Reddy Amar K. Mohanty Manjusri Misra all: Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre University of Guelph, Canada Bioplastics provide a sustainable application platform for proteineous meals, such as soy meal, and canola meal etc. that are available in large quantities due to rapid expansion of biodiesel industries [1]. It is estimated that production of proteineous meals will grow by 21.7% in the US and 105.9% in Europe due to the new mandates on biodiesel production [2] in the period between 2006 and 2015. This is equal to an increment of 22.5 million tonnes in 2006 to 43.6 million tonnes in 2015 in EU alone [2]. These proteineous meals can be suitable candidates for the development of new bioplastics due to their inherent biodegradability and renewable carbon content. Although many studies have been carried out in designing bioplastics from proteins using solvent casting and compression molding, the commercial viability of these bioplastics is hinging on adopting industry prevalent processing techniques such as extrusion, cast film and blown film processing and injection molding [3-5]. The research team at the Bioproducts Discovery and Development Centre (University of Guelph, Canada) has been exploring the possibility of the direct utilization of proteineous meals for bioplastic applications. The work focuses on the utilization of soy meal, canola meal and jatropha meal (Fig.1) for the development of biodegradable composites and thermoplastic blends. An analysis shows that the costs of these meals are significantly less than traditional raw materials such as starch. The process of converting proteineous meal into a thermoplastic material is not straight forward since proteins are heat sensitive and display a very narrow processing window due to the presence of a large amount of different functional groups. Although both wet processing and dry processing can be used for processing proteineous meals, dry processing like melt extrusion provides an opportunity for industrial scale manufacturing. Protein based Canola Meal (Canola Oil Industry) Jatropha Meal (Jatropha Oil Industry) Soy Meal (Soybean Oil Industry) Figure 1: Proteineous Meals from Different Oil Seed Crops bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/12] Vol. 7 37

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