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Polyurethanes / Elastomers A new compostable TPE By Kevin Ireland Communications Manager Green Dot Holdings LLC Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, USA Thermoplastic elastomers present a unique challenge for safety and sustainability. Consumers are increasingly concerned about the health risks and disposal issues surrounding these materials. Elastomeric plastics often contain phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA) and are difficult to be recycled in many communities. Several plastics producers have introduced bio-based plasticizers to avoid the disadvantages associated with traditional petroleum elastomers. Unfortunately, these materials only contain a small percentage of bio-based feedstocks and the materials still face the same end of life issues, most often ending up in a municipal landfill in many countries. The limited physical attributes of some of the new compostable bioplastics made them ill suited for durable goods. Now there’s a new solution for sustainable soft plastics that provides cradle to cradle integrity with no compromise in performance. Green Dot, a new bioscience social enterprise headquartered in Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, is introducing a new compostable elastomeric bioplastic GDH-B1 is a rubber-like material that’s soft, pliable and durable, It’s made from renewable plant based sources (starch). It’s been tested by NSF International to be free from phthalates, BPA, cadmium and lead. And GDH-B1 is the only soft plastic elastomer made in North America verified to meet U.S. (ASTM D6400) and E.U. (EN13432) standards for compostability. Green Dot’s elastomeric bioplastic offers a range of physical attributes comparable to petroleum based thermoplastic elastomers. The material is strong and pliable with an exquisite soft touch. The characteristics of the bioplastic provide excellent performance in fabrication and can be used with existing manufacturing equipment in the majority of plastic processing applications including, injection molding, profile extrusion, blow molding, blown film and lamination. It has a lower melt temperature compared to petroleum based elastomers, reducing energy cost and shortening production cycle times and it provides excellent compatibility with other thermoplastic elastomers. The starch based material also offers superior printing and scenting compared to silicone, PLA and Hytrel. GDH-B1 is ideal for durable soft plastic products that are designed to last. When the useful life of these products has ended the material can be returned to nature in a composting environment. The new elastomer does not require an industrial composting environment to biodegrade. The bioplastic will biodegrade in a matter of months in a home composting environment as well. The enhanced compostability is an 36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/12] Vol. 7

attribute that is particularly important to North American consumers, who often do not have access to industrial composting facilities. Under the leadership of Mark Remmert Green Dot’s CEO and a thirty year veteran of the plastic industry the company has adopted an innovative strategy to introduce its bioplastic. “We don’t just sell resin,” he explained. “We work with companies throughout the entire process of product development from design to mold building and manufacturing. Our team works with OEMs to guide them through this process. We feel that the most effective way demonstrate the physical and environmental attributes of this new to the world material is to place it directly in the hands of millions of consumers, and we’re doing just that, with stylish products that enable users to contribute while they consume.” Green Dot’s team includes an in house industrial designer and a creative consultant, internationally renowned fashion designer Elizabeth Rickard Shah. PURALACT ® Lactides for biobased PLA in demanding applications Foam | Film | Fiber | Molded parts The companies initial product success is the market’s first compostable soft plastic phone case. The BioCase is designed and manufactured by Green Dot and is distributed by Nite Ize. Nearly 100,000 units have been shipped since the product’s introduction in December 2011. Green Dot has also worked with Fort Collins, Colorado toy maker, BeginAgain Toys. BeginAgain is introducing Green Dot’s compostable, toxin-free bioplastic to parents and children with two products featuring GDH-B1, Scented Scoops’, an imaginative ice cream play set and the Green Ring teether. These toys have already received accolades for their creative design and sustainable materials. BeginAgain’s Chris Clemmer described GDH-B1 as “the most innovative eco-material we’ve ever had our hands on.” Green Dot serves both the plastics industry and styleconscious consumers who want to protect the Earth, not pollute it with enduring waste. Green Dot aspires to improve the environment in which we live, by building a more sustainable world with renewable bio-based resins and promoting their use through invention, creation and research so everyone can contribute to a more sustainable world. PLA homopolymers High heat resistance | High impact resistance Biobased | Recyclable | Biodegradable bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/12] Vol. 7 37

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