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Issue 01/2019

  • Text
  • Renewable
  • Sustainable
  • Packaging
  • Biodegradable
  • Materials
  • Products
  • Plastics
  • Biobased
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Automotive Foam Basics: Green public procurement Cover Story: PHB for food packaging

Materials By: Marilys

Materials By: Marilys Mazères Communications Officer Carbiolice Riom, France Enzymatic masterbatch to C arbiolice took the stage last December at the European Bioplastics Conference in Berlin to launch its innovative and unique enzymated Evanesto ® masterbatch – an additive that enables PLA to biodegrade under typical home composting conditions. Carbiolice is a French company created in 2016 that is specialized in the development and production of biodegradable and compostable bioplastics designed to redefine the life cycle of single-use plastics and to move towards zero waste. Carbiolice is firmly convinced that bioplastics can serve the interests of humanity while respecting the planet. “We rely on plastics for protecting food and medicines, preventing food waste and, by using biobased plastics, can reduce our dependency on crude oil. So, there is no need for an outright ban on plastics, as long as their end-of-life is efficiently managed” said Sophie Macedo, Business & Alliances Director of Carbiolice. The company has successfully created an innovative, unique and universal green solution for plastics based on PLA. Combining its expertise in compounding, formulation and process development with the enzyme technology developed by Carbios, its main shareholder, Carbiolice has shown that home composting can become a viable end-of-life option for PLA. Used as a masterbatch, Evanesto, the company’s powerful new enzymatic additive, will make PLA polymer compostable under domestic conditions. It will ensure a responsible end of life for single-use plastic based on PLA and PLA derivatives while helping to achieve the goal of zero waste. PLA: a valuable biopolymer As a fully biobased and biodegradable polymer produced from renewable raw materials (sugar or starch), PLA is one of the first renewable polymers able to compete with conventional polymers in terms of performance. It is also factor three less carbon intensive. According to nova-Institute (Hürth,Germany), driven by strong demand, PLA production will double by 2023; growth that will be fueled by the rising use of PLA in packaging applications. Even if PLA offers very good properties for rigid applications, its biodegradability is limited to industrial composting. That’s why Carbiolice has developed an enzymatic additive enabling PLA to biodegrade under home composting conditions, conditions, even for PLA contents of more than 30% in the relevant product. Successfull tests are still in progress for thicker films made with more than 90 % of PLA. Marketed under the brand name Evanesto, the new additive, will be the key enabler for designing PLA-based products with a responsible end-of-life solution that is built in. How does Evanesto work? Carbiolice has expanded on, optimized and industrialized the enzyme technology by Carbios, devising both the process to introduce the enzyme in an extruder and the formulation to protect its activity at high temperature. “The masterbatch, in a concentration of less than 5 %, is added to a compound with a high content of PLA during conventional converting processes like film extrusion, Thin blown Films: 15 µm TO – 30 % PLA + 5 % MB 182 days – 30 % PLA + 5 % MB Biodegradation (%) 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 15 30 45 60 75 90 105 120 135 Time (days) Cellulose = OWS ref Cellulose YCH002 184 YCH002 185 YCH002 186 18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/19] Vol. 14

Materials make PLA home compostable thermoforming, injection molding. It accelerates the natural PLA biodegradation process, making it suitable for home composting.” explained Clémentine Arnault R&D Manager at Carbiolice. A combination of conditions is necessary to activate the enzyme: an optimal pH, a temperature around 28 °C and enough humidity. This combination of parameters mimics the conditions of a domestic composter. Thanks to the enzyme, PLA becomes compostable at ambient temperature and will biodegrade in less than six months at home as required by the standards for home composting (e.g. French standard NF T51-800). Initial tests carried out by independent laboratory OWS on thin films containing 30 % of PLA and 5 % of Evanesto, and the rest being other and biodegradable biobased polyesters, such as biobased PBAT, TPS…) have shown that complete disintegration is achieved within a time frame of 182 days (6 months) under home composting conditions. Tests on thicker films obtained by calandering and thermoforming are still ongoing, but the initial results are very positive. Market adoption Carbiolice plans to work on the scale-up in 2019 and look for strong partnerships in 2020 for the commercial deployment of the product in food and non-food applications. “These successful results make us confident that we can address several markets and applications where plastics are of concerns such as foodservice, tableware, coffee capsules, trays, retail bags … and so more applications!” said Sophie Macedo. Carbiolice will continue to demonstrate the benefits of Evanesto in broader applications, and is looking for strong collaborations with partners to expand its use and to make the technology available. Plastic waste challenge There is no unique solution to address the major problem of plastic waste. Carbiolice is convinced that home compostable plastics are one of the solutions to facilitate the transition to a circular plastics economy. Starting from the principle that what has come from nature returns to nature, Carbiolice is opening the door for single-use plastics such as tableware, coffee caps, packaging… to be organically recycled together with food waste. Because 30 % of our global waste is biowaste, developing home composting will significantly reduce volumes of consumer waste. Initiatives are being put into place around collective composting systems in order to raise consumer awareness of the need to sort and reduce the quantity of waste we produce. Carbiolice promotes and fully supports these initiatives. Thanks to the increase in the use of PLA and the ease of treatment both industrial and home composting, the whole value chain would be able to structure itself. As PLA use expands and with the availability of responsible endof-life options such as industrial and home composting, a sustainable, biobased value chain can be structured in which Carbiolice aims to become a key actor. www.carbiolice.com 30,0 % % PLA Depolymerization at 28°C 25,0 % 20,0 % 15,0 % 10,0 % 5,0 % 0,0 % 0,0 5,0 10,0 15,0 20,0 Time (days) YCH002 184 YCH002 185 YCH002 186 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/19] Vol. 14 19

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