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Issue 01/2020

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Plastics
  • Biobased
  • Carbon
  • Renewable
  • Materials
  • Recycling
  • Packaging
  • Products
  • Sustainable
Highlights: Automotive Recycling Cover Story: Biobased Fur

Politics Consumer Demand

Politics Consumer Demand & Regulatory Initiatives The plastics industry has experienced major shifts in recent years mainly due to increasing awareness of the harmful effects that plastic has on the environment. As a result, there has been a rising demand among both consumers and manufacturers for sustainable alternatives in place of conventional plastic material [1]. Production of biobased plastics allows for a more sustainable option since such bioplastics are comprised of raw plant material as opposed to petroleum-based ingredients [2]. As the transition toward renewable plastics progresses, various regulations have been implemented around the world with efforts to limit or ban single-use plastic bags and other types of plastic products. Several of these regulations promote the manufacturing of bioplastic material and have designated requirements for biobased content minimums. As a regulatory practice to ensure bioplastics are meeting biobased content thresholds, manufacturers opt to submit product samples to a carbon-14 testing laboratory for biobased content testing. Consumer demand Concerns regarding petroleum-derived plastics act as a driving force behind the dynamic growth of the bioplastics market. The global bioplastics market was valued at USD 6.04 billion in 2018. The market is expected to exhibit a compound annual growth rate of over 16 %, reaching a value of USD 19.93 billion by 2026 [1]. Within the bioplastics industry, the packaging segment dominates the market with high demand for various applications such as beverage bottles, cosmetic packaging, food packaging, and carrier bags. In 2018 for example, approximately 2.11 million tonnes of bioplastics were produced, with 65 % of the global volume manufactured for the packaging market [3]. Growing consumer awareness coupled with environmental-related regulations and governmental initiatives contributes to this booming market. Regulatory initiatives require carbon-14 As a major hub for bioplastic production, European governments have established limits and bans on single-use plastic, resulting in a strong push for bioplastic alternatives [4]. For example, in 2011, Italy placed a nationwide ban on plastic shopping bags, excluding produce bags. Following that initiative, Italy adopted the EU Directive 2015/720, which required that all disposable produce bags in Italy be compostable and contain a certain percentage of biobased carbon content, which progressively increases over time. In 2018, the biobased content required was 40 %, which increased to a minimum of 50 % in 2020. In 2021, the requirements will adjust again with the minimum biobased carbon content at 60 % [5,6]. According to this directive, bioplastic bag manufacturers must verify the biobased content according to CEN/TS 16640, a standard test method developed for the determination of biobased carbon content using the radiocarbon (carbon-14) method [7]. Likewise, the French Decree 2016-379 was published in March 2016 with the goal of reducing the use of disposable plastic bags. This decree requires that all carrier bags supplied in France contain a percentage of biobased carbon and are biodegradable. In 2018, the minimum biobased content required was 40 %, which increased to 50 % in 2020 and will increase to 60 % in 2025 [8]. Under this regulation, carbon-14 testing according to ISO 16620-2 or CEN/TS 16640 standards is required for verifying the biobased carbon content, applicable to plastic products, polymers, and additives [9]. Aside from Europe, there is a growing list of other regions on board to transition away from petroleum-based plastics by enforcing bans on single-use plastics. These include China, Canada, and states within the United States. China is taking steps to reduce single-use plastic throughout the country through its plan to ban plastic bags in all cities and towns by the end of 2022 in addition to banning single-use straws in the restaurant industry by the end of 2020 [10]. Canada also has initiatives in place to ban harmful single-use plastics as early as 2021 in line with the country’s efforts to reduce ocean waste [11]. Additionally, within the United States, several states are pushing their own restrictions on single-use plastic bags - California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Oregon, and Vermont have all passed statewide bans [12]. These efforts coincide with goals to mitigate the negative impacts of petroleum-based plastic material on water bodies and the environment as a whole. Conclusion Consumer concern about the impact plastic has on the environment is fueling the plastic evolution. With the large demand for plastics on a global level, especially for packaging purposes, more and more countries are making an effort to reduce or ban the use of and production of single-use plastics. As a result, there is a greater need for more sustainable alternatives such as bioplastics. Several governments, such as in Italy and France, have deemed it necessary to enforce bans on single-use plastics plus require the manufacturing of biobased plastics. Regulations specify carbon-14 testing as a reliable method to verify the portion of biobased carbon content that comprises bioplastic material. 34 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/20] Vol. 15

Haley Gershon Marketing Manager Beta Analytic Miami, Florida, USA References: [1] PR Newswire. Bioplastics Market Size to Reach USD 19.93 Billion by 2026; Rigid Packaging Segment to Dominate Market with Increasing Demand from Shipping Companies, Predicts Fortune Business Insights. [Internet]. (2020 January) [2] European Bioplastics. Relevant EU policies. [Internet]. (date unknown) [3] European Bioplastics. Bioplastics packaging - combining performance with sustainability - Materials and market development in the packaging segment. [Internet]. (2019 January) [4] European Bioplastics. Bioplastics market data. [Internet]. (2019) [5] European Parliament and the Council of the European Union. Directive (EU) 2015/720 of 29 April 2015 amending Directive 94/62/EC as Regards Reducing the Consumption of Lightweight Plastic Carrier Bags. Official Journal of the European Union. (2015 April) [6] Eleonora Foschi & Alessandra Bonoli. “The Commitment of Packaging Industry in the Framework of the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy,” Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(1), pages 1-13. (2019 February) [7] European Committee for Standardization. CEN - EN 16640 Bio-based products - Bio-based carbon content - Determination of the bio-based carbon content using the radiocarbon method. [Internet]. (2017 February) [8] Legifrance. Decree n ° 2016-379 of 30 March 2016 on the procedures for implementing the limitation of single-use plastic bags. [Internet]. (2016 March) [9] International Organization for Standardization. ISO 16620-2:2019 Plastics — Biobased content — Part 2: Determination of biobased carbon content. [Internet]. (2019 October) [10] BBC News. Single-use plastic: China to ban bags and other items. [Internet]. (2020 January) [11] BBC News. Canada to ban single-use plastics as early as 2021. [Internet]. (2019 June) [12] National Conference of State Legislatures. State Plastic and Paper Bag Legislation. [Internet]. (2019 November) Accelerator Mass Spectrometer wheel used in radio carbon-14 analysis (Photo: Beta Analytic) ‘Basics‘ book on bioplastics 110 pages full color, paperback ISBN 978-3- 9814981-1-0: Bioplastics ISBN 978-3- 9814981-2-7: Biokunststoffe 2. überarbeitete Auflage This book, created and published by Polymedia Publisher, maker of bioplastics MAGAZINE is available in English and German language (German now in the second, revised edition). The book is intended to offer a rapid and uncomplicated introduction into the subject of bioplastics, and is aimed at all interested readers, in particular those who have not yet had the opportunity to dig deeply into the subject, such as students or those just joining this industry, and lay readers. It gives an introduction to plastics and bioplastics, explains which renewable resources can be used to produce bioplastics, what types of bioplastic exist, and which ones are already on the market. Further aspects, such as market development, the agricultural land required, and waste disposal, are also examined. An extensive index allows the reader to find specific aspects quickly, and is complemented by a comprehensive literature list and a guide to sources of additional information on the Internet. The author Michael Thielen is editor and publisher bioplastics MAGAZINE. He is a qualified machinery design engineer with a degree in plastics technology from the RWTH University in Aachen. He has written several books on the subject of blow-moulding technology and disseminated his knowledge of plastics in numerous presentations, seminars, guest lectures and teaching assignments. Discounted price for this edition (as long as supply lasts) € 10.00 New edition scheduled for spring 2020 Order now for € 10.00 (discounted price) (+ VAT where applicable, plus shipping and handling, ask for details) order at, by phone +49 2161 6884463 or by e-mail Or subscribe and get it as a free gift (see page 53 for details bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/20] Vol. 15 35

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