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Issue 01/2017

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Biobased
  • Materials
  • Biodegradable
  • Packaging
  • Plastics
  • Products
  • Foam
  • Renewable
  • Sustainable
bioplasticsMAGAZINE_1701

Report up pouches, fruit

Report up pouches, fruit stickers and agricultural products used for tree and root protection. Legislation is another very important driver. In March 2016, France introduced national legislation requiring home compostability for all single use plastic bags (< 50µm). Food service ware has since been included in this legislation, and is required to be home compostable as of 2020. As a result, OWS has seen an exponential growth in home compostability testing requests, specifically for the French market. Also, at the European level, discussions are ongoing to incorporate specific requirements on soil biodegradation in the updated Soil Fertilizer Regulation. For instance, all major producers of controlled-release fertilizer coatings must therefore start investing in the development of soil biodegradable coatings. Today, OWS has already started working for some of the largest producers of controlledrelease coatings in the world, and is in contact with several other producers as well. “A compostable picnic” Anaerobic digestion plant Things are also changing in the US. Transparent certification schemes and by-laws have been in place in Europe for many years, but are unknown in the US. At the end of 2016, BPI established a Standards and Procedures Committee, with as first priority: the development of a certification scheme and set of by-laws. OWS is a member of this committee. Shift to “AD-able” plastics? Compostable products and their end-of-life characteristics perfectly match the European (bio)waste management scene. For many years, source-separated biowaste has been treated via industrial composting. EN 13432 compliant products can be processed by these systems and do not hinder the composting process. Furthermore, the separate collection of municipal biowaste is also expected to develop further. However, there is a clear shift in Europe from industrial composting to anaerobic digestion when it comes to the biological treatment of organic household waste. Anaerobic digestion is a form of organic recycling, just like industrial composting. Yet, with the production of biogas, which can be converted to electricity, it is also a form of energy recycling. As a result, more and more industrial composting plants are looking at the possibility of expanding their capacity with an anaerobic digestion plant, both in Europe and in the US, where they seem to switch directly from landfilling to anaerobic digestion. While industrial composting is a fairly simple and robust treatment, anaerobic digestion is complex and has several varying parameters which can influence the conditions (wet vs. dry, mesophilic vs. thermophilic temperature, one stage vs. two stages, etc.). For instance, OWS’s patented DRANCO technology is a dry, thermophilic one stage process. As a result, not all compostable plastics (bio)degrade under these conditions. This could be a problem. Therefore, as part of the European FP7 project Open-Bio (see link below), OWS codeveloped a test method and standard specification for so called “AD-able” plastics. A representative test method has been defined, and criteria have been set. Both documents have been transferred to CEN, and, once validated, could add an extra driver to this already rapidly growing industry. www.ows.be www.biobasedeconomy.eu/research/open-bio 24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/17] Vol. 12

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bioplastics MAGAZINE ePaper