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Application News World

Application News World first for skin care industry International sustainable resins supplier, Cardia Bioplastics Limited from Mulgrave, Victoria, Australia and emerging organic skincare company, Ecocare Natural Pty Ltd (Sydney, Australia), have partnered to produce a world first in the skin care industry – ECOCARE eco-friendly facial wipes enclosed in eco-friendly packaging. The biodegradable facial wipes are made from 100% natural certified organic cotton. The packaging incorporates Cardia’s renewable and recyclable Biohybrid resin which is derived from renewable resources. The resulting ‘green’ combination has a significantly lower carbon footprint than its competitors. “There is a growing trend for companies to look at ways to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment,” said Dr Frank Glatz, Managing Director of Cardia Bioplastics. “Product packaging is a good place to start. “Our thermoplastic starch resins have a high renewable content – when they are incorporated into standard packaging or plastic products, the carbon footprint is reduced by up to 50%,” said Dr Glatz. “Ecocare has built its business on environmentfriendly products and we are proud to partner with them to develop packaging solutions that align with this philosophy.” Callan Taylor, Marketing Director of Ecocare, said: “Environmental sustainability is engrained in the Ecocare business model, and our range of skin care wipes have been built around this philosophy. “We are looking forward to working with Cardia to access environmentally-friendly and renewable packaging that complements our products and our principles,” Mr Taylor said. MT Coffee packs The Farmer First pack from Pistol & Burnes is a laminate construction of compostable NatureFlex film to paper, converted by Genpak McCullagh Coffee, a US coffee roasting company (Buffalo, New York), has introduced a compostable pack, for its Rainforest Alliance Certified Ecoverde Coffee brand, using NatureFlex from Innovia Films. The cellulose-based films are certified to meet ASTM D6400, EN13432 and Australian AS4736 standards for compostable packaging. Their renewable biobased carbon content is typically 95% (ASTM D6866) The pack is constructed using transparent, heat-sealable NatureFlex NE, which is surface printed using a videojet machine. “We were delighted to assist McCullagh Coffee in realizing their sustainability goals. In applications such as this, where fast product turnover requires much shorter shelf life, a single mono web structure is one option. However, we would recommend coffee producers requiring very long shelf life to use high barrier tri-laminate type structures.” said Christopher Tom, Innovia Films Americas. Natureflex was also recenty introduced for a fully compostable pack, for the Farmer First brand by Pistol & Burnes, a leading Canadian coffee roasting company. The Fair Trade, organic coffee is packed in a paper bag laminated to transparent NatureFlex film. According to Roy M Hardy, President, Pistol & Burnes, “Most roasted coffee sold in the world is packaged in either foil bags (coated in plastic) or paper bags (with a plastic liner). These usually end up going straight to landfill as they can prove difficult to recycle. However our enviro–friendly coffee bag can be organically recycled (composted), which means it breaks down in a home compost bin.” The bags were developed by Genpak, a Canadian-based converter. Bill Reilly, Technical Manager, explained, “We recommended NatureFlex to Pistol & Burnes for several reasons. First and foremost, the film performs well technically, having high barrier properties and good seal integrity that enhance shelf life, keeping oxygen out and aroma in – very important for packaging coffee. Secondly, NatureFlex is perfectly aligned with the ethos of their Fair Trade, organic Farmer First brand.” MT 34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/12] Vol. 7

Electronics Electronic housings made from cellulosic bioplastic A new design of ‘Bio-enclosure’ has been announced by OKW for housing electronic controls. Used in diagnosis, therapy, measuring and control engineering, peripheral, interface equipment, and in the house, the list of enclosure or housing applications in the field of electronics for using all kinds of bioplastics could be continued endlessly. For many years, OKW Gehäusesysteme from Buchen/ Germany has been pursuing the strategy of developing functional enclosures which are made from bioplastic. This new SOFT-CASE series of enclosures is a ‘wide format’ pocket-box. Using this design of enclosure the display elements can be accommodated in a small user-friendly space, while still being possible to use the enclosure in an upright position if required. Following comprehensive tests using various different biomaterials, OKW has decided in favour of using different types of BIOGRADE ® which is produced by FKuR. Biograde offers a very good surface finish, has properties similar to those of ABS and can be processed using the normal injection moulding process. In addition, this bio-material is ideally suited for long-term indoor use. Furthermore Biograde’s heat distortion temperature (HDT-ISO 75/B) can be as high as 100°C (for selected grades). The path to designing the standard ‘Soft-Case’ enclosure in biomaterial began with the publication of the European ecodesign directive 2005/32/EC in 2005. In this directive, the environmental impact of products and services has to be continuously improved throughout their entire life cycles, from the mining of the raw materials through production, distribution and utilisation to recycling. The ecological balance of the final electronic unit can fluctuate widely depending on its use, the electronics installed and the electricity supply. In order to carry out an ecological contribution analysis, OKW had to define several marginal conditions. As a result they finally decided in favour of a Soft-Case enclosure operated as a mobile remote control. In the search for alternatives to standard ABS, suitable materials were required to have similar electrical, mechanical, physical and chemical properties. Materials that could be produced on existing moulds and with standard injection moulding machines were also important criteria. Experiments with enclosure parts made from natural fibre filled PP and PE showed a marbled, non-reproducible surface finish. PLA was somewhat difficult to process, as problems occurred at the drying and preheating stages leading to the agglomeration of the granules. However, even if the injection moulding of PLA had worked well, then sample parts did not exhibit sufficient heat stability. After consultation with FKuR one of their products, Biograde which demonstrates sufficient heat resistance, was chosen in off-white colour . For future bright coloured products OKW will use Biograde C 6509 CL along with a suitable colour masterbatch. Biograde is a polymer compound based on cellulose acetate (CA). The cellulose used in Biograde is derived from the renewable resources of wood or cotton linters. MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [06/12] Vol. 7 35

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