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Issue 01/2019

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

Foam By: Jan

Foam By: Jan Noordegraaf, BewiSynbra RAW Peter de Bruijn Synprodo Wijchen, The Netherlands Anjo van der Wende, Unisport Helsinki, Finland New infill material for artificial turf World-class sport on playing fields with BioFill — a biobased solution for sustainable artificial grass Increased demands for high-quality playing fields for sport and soccer, and more intense competition for playing space, have resulted in a new generation of synthetic grass fields: with the same impression and feel of lush vegetation as natural grass. The first synthetic grass fields, launched in the 1990s, consisted of a mix of sand and plastic that supported natural grass fibre, provided stability, formed an extra protective layer for players and dramatically improved performance and safety. The extensive use of plastics in society, however, has become increasingly controversial for environmental reasons, and many operators in the sports world are looking for alternatives to synthetic solutions. BEWiSynbra Group (headquartered in Solna, Sweden) and Unisport (Helsinki, Finland) have launched the world’s first sustainable artificial grass technology: BioFill, a filler made of a biodegradable biopolymer that meets the strict requirements from FIFA PRO regarding the properties of soccer fields. After the end of its useful life, BioFill can either be recycled into new artificial grass infill or composted, an alternative that is not possible for other types of artificial infill, which are usually made of SBR, TPE or the like. BioFill is based on BioFoam ® , a sustainable material originally developed by BewiSynbra Group. The purpose of the discovery and the development efforts is an artificial grass system consisting of a substrate added to artificial grass fibre and biodegradable biopolymers for playing fields. FIFA approval methodology Lab approval: A system is tested by a FIFA certified lab (artificial grass, infill, shock pad, etc.) When the system meets the specification, a report is made. Part of the report is that the components of the system are described. For the artificial grass a number of values are recorded, such as pile height, density, weight. This also applies to the infill. Field approval: After a field is installed, the field is tested. On site it is checked whether the system meets FIFA’s sports-related requirements, and samples are taken from the components. These samples are then compared with the values measured in the lab report. There is a tolerance on the values, in the appendix an example is shown. System approvals: The system Saltex legacy meets the FIFA Quality & Quality Pro (FIFA2015) Biofill is entirely made of PLA by BewiSynbra. The company has carried out long term tests and can predict how the biodegradable PLA based product will degrade by composting, but also when accidentally spilled in the environment and even when accidentaly spilled in water. 140000 140000 Breakdown of BioFill starting at 125kDA breakdown % per year, fully immersed in water Mn value in Da 120000 120000 100000 100000 Mn value in Da 80000 80000 60000 60000 40000 40000 20000 20000 0 0 2012 20122013 20132014 20142015 20152016 20162017 20172018 20182019 2019 year of year test of test freezer freezer in soilin soil water water field field Linear Linear (field) (field) 100,0% 90,0% 80,0% 70,0% 60,0% 50,0% 40,0% 30,0% 20,0% 10,0% this study y = 0,0515e 0,0645x R² = 0,9172 Derioné see water Deroiné fresh water Deroiné see water Deroiné fresh water 0,0% -20 -10 0 10 20 30 40 50 34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/19] Vol. 14

Foam Artificial turf Saltex Legacy TM Infill granulate Saltex BioFill TM Backing PU PowerBacking Shock pad Saltex PowerPlay Being the only European PLA producer to make this the biopolymer themselves, the expected life time of the biopolymer can be pre-set by BewiSynbra. The Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu Ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport (RIVM) in the Netherlands uses the following definition of microplastics, where all three factors must be met: • Small solid plastic particles (less than 5 mm) • Poorly soluble in water • Non-degradable As Biofill is biodegradable it does not fall under the three-point definition stipulated by RIVM. Since 2013 BewiSynbra has performed long term stability testing and indeed the concept of controlled biodegradation can be used. It is important to define how long a material should be stable. By choosing another starting point, the life time can be set with a predictable life time, allowing both for a good performance in the soccer field as well as allowing for various end of life options. BewiSynbra believes that their product does not qualify as a microplastic, but should be seen a biodegradable and sustainable biopolymer. BioFoam is a fully biobased particle foam made from renewable resources. This unique technology was discovered, developed and patented by BEWiSynbra Group, a leading European supplier of EPS foam. It was the first foam to be awarded the Cradle to Cradle CM certificate. It has also received a material health certificate from EPEA-Hamburg certifying that BioFoam is free from any CMR substance. BioFoam is the world’s first particle foam to receive a Carbon Neutrality verification in compliance with the PAS 2060 standard. Unisport has a long-standing history of creating innovative and environmentally friendly solutions and focuses on responsibly developing sustainable sports facilities. As the artificial turf industry keeps evolving, Unisport with its partners develop artificial turf solutions that are of highest quality, more durable, more ecological and provide the best playing conditions for athletes at all levels. Unisport’s vision is to build a healthier society by making people move. “We want to provide the best conditions for exercising and sports and, together with our customers, create a healthier society through increased movement. The environment and people’s health are of utmost importance in our daily operations and part of all our business areas. We are constantly developing products and manufacturing methods that will ensure a greener environment,” says Petteri Laaksomo, CEO of Unisport. | | bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/19] Vol. 14 35

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