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Issue 01/2017

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

Brand Owner

Brand Owner Brand-Owner’s perspective on bioplastics and how to unleash its full potential “As the world’s leading supplier of carton packaging, we believe using renewable resources, when managed responsibly, is a more sustainable source of raw materials. A renewable resource is a resource that can replenish itself naturally over time and, therefore, be used again. Our ambition is to achieve fully renewable packaging using 100% renewable materials – helping us to ensure a supply of packaging material that both protects the food they contain, as well as the resources they were sourced from. By introducing biobased polymers made from sugar cane we are taking an important step towards sustainable sourcing in our packaging. Today the source is Brazilian sugar cane, the only commercially available, fully traceable source for renewable polyethylene (PE). It is important for us to source renewable materials for packaging by focusing on three key areas: traceability, certification and recyclability. We started from a strong foundation with a package that is made from over 70% paperboard, which is made from wood. Adding to that, we have introduced the first biobased caps in our sector, MARIO ABREU, VP ENVIRONMENT, TETRA PAK and now leading the way with the use of certified biobased plastic coatings and biobased adhesive layers which brings us closer to our long term ambition by taking the biobased content of a package to over 80%. And we will continue to innovate and look for ways to incorporate more renewable materials into our packages towards our ambition for fully renewable packaging.” www.tetrapak.com 38 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/17] Vol. 12

Report Bioplastics Survey By: Michael Thielen As you may have noticed, we have started a new series “Special focus on certain geographical areas”. ‘As part of this new series we will also focus on the attitudes towards and general perception of bioplastics across the world. With the help of a simple survey, we want to try to explore how well the concept of bioplastics is known and understood throughout the various countries. We have kicked off with a report on a visit to a shopping center in the Netherlands, where we conducted our survey among a (non-representative) sample of normal people. Of those we interviewed, 63 % were male and 37 % were female. About 23 % were aged between 20 and 40, while 77 % were between the ages of 40 and 60. This represents the average distribution of people browsing this particular shopping center on this Saturday morning. When asked whether they knew what bioplastics were, around one third responded with yes (and went on to back this up by correctly defining these as materials of biobased origin and/or with biodegradable features). The other 67 % all indicated that they were interested in learning about what bioplastics were. We briefly explained that conventional plastics were made from oil, a scarce and depletable resource … that burning petroleum-based products would affect climate … that biobased plastics can be made from renewable resources or waste streams, such as corn, sugar beet, sugar cane or e.g. waste starch from the potato industry … and that biodegradable/compostable plastics (whether biobased or otherwise) can offer significant benefits, depending on the application. After this brief explanation, almost all of those interviewed expressed the opinion that bioplastics were beneficial for the environment and for the climate, or at least “less bad”, as one young man was at pains to point out. Asked whether they would buy products made of bioplastics, if they should happen to see them on display at the store, 93% confirmed that they would. Yet “only” 73 % reported that they would be willing to pay more for such products, with most responding: “a little more, yes”, or “but not twice as much”… In sum, not many consumers know about or are aware of bioplastics and their potential. However, the results of this survey reveal that given the knowledge and the chance, consumers – at least those we interviewed- would opt for products using bioplastics and even be willing to pay a small premium. This indicates an obvious need for comprehensive end consumer education. Consumer behavior can make a significant impact on the ways products affect the environment. Educating consumers about bioplastics offers a huge opportunity to promote these materials and to effect positive changes in the shopping choices people make. Please note that this was not a representative survey. Our survey did not ask about factors such as educational background, family status, urban or rural residency, etc. but was merely conducted in order to gain a first, rough idea. bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/17] Vol. 12 39

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