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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1304

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bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1304

Bottle Applications

Bottle Applications Bioplastic bottles from plant starch PSM ® bioplastics by Wuhan Huali Environmental Technology, from Wuhan China is a new material made from plant starch which can be used for film blowing, blowmoulding, injection-moulding, thermoforming and foam blowing. Products made from PSM bioplastic show an excellent performance compared with those of traditional plastic products. Because of its environmental and economic value, more and more big companies choose PSM bioplastics for their products. Since 2007, the Ming Fai group (a Hong Kong based international hotel amenities supplier) has started to use PSM bioplastic as the raw material for shower gel bottles. With continuous trials and skilled know-how PSM bioplastic was confirmed as a replacement for the traditional plastic, and to be processed in the conventional machinery under stable production conditions. The bottle has a splendid appearance and a fine performance which could totally satisfy the customer’s requirements. Recently, Huali developed a new PSM bioplastic application. A multi-layer extrusion blow-moulded bottle further expands the range of PSM applications and upgrades the product quality. The main difference of the PSM multi-layer bottle compared with a single-layer product is that the inner and outer layers are still made from traditional plastics such as PE/PP, but the middle layer consists of PSM bioplastic material. Such bottles have the same appearance as the existing products and because the existing product has also passed the relevant tests the multilayer bottles will also be compatible with the contents. After a series of experiments and examinations, the PSM multi-layer extrusion blow-moulded bottles have exhibited a performance which fully satisfies the demand of different customers, and even surpasses the existing product in some essential areas. Since Huali uses natural renewable resources to produce the PSM bioplastic resin, the products show significant environmental advantages when compared with traditional plastic products. For example, 100 tonnes of PSM materials can reduce by 30-50 tonnes the use of traditional plastic and prevent 90-150 tonnes of CO 2 from being discharged into the atmosphere. At present Huali have carried out several cooperative developments with well-known international enterprises focusing on a range of daycare and healthcare products. The bottles, which comply with Vincotte’s one-star (20-40%) OK Biobased certification, pass various performance aspects as well as gaining customer recognition. Using PSM bioplastic in blow-moulding effectively saves the amount of petroleum based plastic used, making a good contribution to the environment. The external appearance and the operational function of the traditional plastic product are the same, the production costs are significantly lower than those of the traditional plastic product, and PSM has a broad range of potential applications. MT www.psm.com.cn 30 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/13] Vol. 8

Bottle Applications Coke‘s bio-PET is expanding Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle (a partly bio-based PET bottle), launched in 2009, is now available in 25 countries. With about 15 billion units it made up about 8% of Coke’s PET bottles in 2012. Just recently the PlantBottle was launched in China. And the development is going on. In a telephone interview with Plastics News (Crain Communications Inc.) Scott Vitters, general manager of the PlantBottle Sustainable Packaging Platform said that The Coca-Cola Company plans to make all of its PET bottles (partly) biobased by 2020, using first-generation PlantBottle material. These first-generation PlantBottles are made from 30% by wt from bio-based monoethylene glycol (MEG) based on bioethanol from e.g. sugar cane. The remaining 70% are purified terephthalic acid, or PTA, currently still derived from petroleum. Since the final PET is chemically identical to traditional PET, PlantBottles have always been fully recyclable. In the next steps Coca-Cola strives to make their secondgeneration PlantBottles entirely with plant-based material, as Vitters pointed out. Several technology partners cooperate with Coca-Cola to achieve that goal. Coke has for example invested millions with three R&D firms — Virent, Wisconsin, USA and Gevo, Colorado, USA to develop bio-based PTA. Another agreement with Avantium, Amsterdam, The Netherlands aims at PEF (Polyethylene Furanoate) a 100% biobased alternative to PET. In addition to the cooperations with raw material suppliers, Coca-Cola also seeks collaboration with other companies that need PET in order to expand the supply chain to support a broader industry change, Vitters said. “We had to rethink what winning meant to us in the sustainability space,” he said to Plastics News. Usually companies try to keep innovations to themselves, but Vitters explained: “What we’ve realized is that if we just kept it to ourselves, how would we be able to do what we believe in terms of transforming an industry?” “For us, true change is only realized when innovation can be touched and used by the consumer,” he said. All this development is not free of charge of course. Vitters however sees it not as an on-cost, but as an investment cost. So far the development of the PlantBottle required investing in bioplastics including the costs involved to build a reliable supply chain, as Vitters explained. One important aspect on the way to make bioplastics a cost-competitive material is building scale, Vitters said, “there may be extra costs upfront, but it will pay off in the long run”. Coca-Cola’s investments in plants to make bio-based MEG include a 500,000 tonnes-per-year plant in Brazil, that is scheduled to start production this year. The plant is part of a partnership with JBF Industries Ltd. of Mumbai, India. Even if today everybody is looking at a 100% biobased PET, Vitters emphasized that it is still very important to further develop the first part of the journey. Focusing on the first part, — building out the MEG supply chain — to make bottles with bio-based MEG, is essential in order to realize the second part. But just developing a biobased plastic solution is not all. Coca-Cola is paying much attention to do all this responsibly, said Vitters. Together with their partners, Coca-Cola is in intense conversations with third parties such as environmental groups or academic institutions. “We want to make sure the PlantBottle is delivering improved environmental and social performance”, as Vitters pointed out. “Just because it comes from a plant doesn’t mean it’s inherently better for the planet,” he said. MT This article is based on a article by By Jessica Holbrook, previously published in Plastics News www.coca-colacompany.com So in a first step Coke got H.J. Heinz on board. The company is now also using PlantBottle PET material for its ketchup bottles. The meaning of this work isn’t just “making positive change for our bottles, but creative positive change in your car, in the carpet you walk on, in the clothes you wear…, the polyester universe is huge,” he said. In this regard, Coca-Cola created The Plant PET Technology Collaborative together with other major brand owners, such as H.J. Heinz, Ford Motor, Nike and Procter & Gamble. The goal of this collaboration is to find a viable, bio-based alternative to PTA in order to enable and secure the supply of plant-based PET material and fibres for their different application needs. While the technology may exist to make bio-based PTA, the goal isn’t to develop a solution in a lab, it’s to make a commercially viable bottle that people can buy in the marketplace, Vitters said. bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/13] Vol. 8 31

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