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Issue 02/2015

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News daily upated news

News daily upated news at Australasian Bioplastics Association and DIN CERTCO cooperate in certification The Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) has entered into a Cooperation Agreement with certification body DIN CERTCO of Germany for the certification of conformance to the Australian Standard AS 4736-2006 under the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) verification programme. This Australian Standard covers Biodegradable Plastics suitable for industrial composting. The Agreement was signed by Robert Zorn, Managing Director of DIN CERTCO, and Rowan Williams, President of the Australasian Bioplastics Association Inc. On January 28 th 2015 in the presence of the European Bioplastics. It will also cover assessment of products and materials destined for home composting in compliance with Australian Standard AS 5810-2010 and also in the future the certification of products or materials claiming biobased content. With this agreement DIN CERTCO ensures the future assessment of applications according to the conformity mark, “Seedling Australasia” or commonly known as the “looped seedling logo”, issued by the ABA. - - Milan court finds for Novamont, OPA “ridicules ruling“ The Court of Milan has ruled in favour of Italian biotech firm Novamont in its case against masterbatch producer Kromabatch Srl, over the latter‘s claim that traditional plastics with added d2w could be considered biodegradable or oxo-biodegradable according to the European standard UNI EN 13432. Kromabatch is a distributor of the oxo-biodegradable plastics additive d2w in Italy, which is marketed by its manufacturer as the brand for controlled-life plastic technology. Novamont, who produces the biopolymer Mater-Bi, took the company to court on the basis that the information constituted unfair competition and mis-information to the consumer. In its decision, the court ruled that merely because an additive was added that caused a plastic material to degrade more than traditional plastic did not justify the claim that it was „suitable for making biodegradable products in accordance with (...) UNI EN 13432“, as in that case, the material itself must comply with the standard, and pass the biodegradability tests prescribed therein. Kromabatch, said the court, had moreover misrepresented the nature of the product in question, advertising this as suitable for achieving a biodegradability level in conformity with the requirements set down in UNI EN 13432. The court further found that it was the duty of every entrepreneur in the industry to „scrupulously check the accuracy of the commercial information conveyed “on the market. It therefore forbade Kromabatch from making any claim that the additive d2w could „confer biodegradability“ upon traditional plastics in accordance with standard EN 13432, ordered the company to pay damages, and to insert a notice of the decision of the court in the Corriere della Sera and in the Italian trade publication Polimerica. Kromabatch was also required to publish a notice of the decision on the homepage of its website for two months. “It is an important decision because it supports all companies operating in the innovative field of biodegradable plastics who respect the rules governing the communication to the consumer,“ said the Commercial Director of Novamont Alessandro Ferlito. “Next to aiding purchasing decisions that contribute to improving both environmental conditions and the lives of consumers, observing these rules also serves as a significant driver of innovation in our industry,“ added Ferlito. Predictably, the Oxo-biodegradable Plastics Association erupted in response to the ruling, ridiculing the decision and accusing Novamont of using legal actions to try to put their competitors out of business. The OPA also suggested that “perhaps Novamont has too much influence in Italy. The Italian government have been persuaded to pass a national law to prefer Novamont’s products, which is contrary to EU law. The OPA has made a formal complaint to the EU Commission about it.” The OPA also issued a press release that is best described as a spectacular mix of half-truths and sheer nonsense (example: “When something is described as compostable an ordinary consumer would think that it can be converted into compost, but EN13432 requires it to convert into CO 2 gas within 180 days. You cannot therefore make compost from it – only CO 2 gas”) intermixed with an actual, incidental fact (“methane is an even more powerful greenhouse gas than CO 2 ”). KL 6 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/15] Vol. 10

News Clear standards for biobased products Commissioned by the EU, Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research (Wageningen, the Netherlands) is performing prenormative research into standards for biobased products. Using laboratory research and its knowledge and experience with biobased products, Food & Biobased Research and project coordinator NEN are looking into the demand for specific labelling for and consumer information on biobased products. The project includes a total of 14 European research institutes and companies. Food & Biobased Research is performing specific research into quality requirements for biobased products based on laboratory tests into specific functional characteristics such as strength, flexibility, permeability, recyclability and organic degradability. Complete package of standards The research is a follow-up to the KBBPPS project, in which Food & Biobased Research also made a major contribution. In this new project the analytical methods developed in KBBPPS to determine the biobased content are being supplemented with indirect methods; for instance specific measurements serve to check the administrative proof of the biobased origin of products. In addition, test methods for determining the degradability of bio-lubricants in soil and water are supplemented with other biodegradability tests. The standard test methods that will be developed focus, among other characteristics, on the degree in which a product degrades in the ocean, its compostability and the possibilities for conversion into biogas (anaerobic digestion). This allows biobased products to be compared to other products with regard to sustainability and also enables policy development. Communication guidelines Communication on the characteristics and applications of biobased products is another key goal of the project. Open-Bio looks into communication with businesses, authorities and consumers. The aim is to develop guidelines for labelling biobased products and the product information provided with these products. Research is being performed in eight European member states into the acceptance of biobased products and demands for communication involving biobased products. The results should lead to standards and policy regulations at a European level. Global standards The project involves various knowledge and research institutes, such as the ECN, FBR and LEI in the Netherlands, the French CNRS, the German nova-Institut, and the universities of Athens, Berlin and York. Additionally, the project consortium comprises various companies from Europe and further afield. With this wide range of partners, Open-Bio aims to realise a global alignment of test methods and standards. To support this goal, various stakeholder workshops will be organised in the coming years. MT Re-Invention of Plastics via Renewable Chemicals Innoplast’s 5 th conference on BioPlastics, held in Miami (Florida, USA) end of January was attended by over 100 participants representing 14 countries. An interesting pre-conference course taught by Dr. Yash Khanna (Innoplast) and Ron Cascone (Nexant) set the stage for absorbing the advances in bioplastics technology and business over the next two days. There were sessions dedicated to (1) U.S. Government Vision (2) Corporate Vision (3) Sustainability (4) Brand-Owners: Toyota & Henkel (5) Compounded Formulations and (6) Renewable Chemicals. Partly and fully biobased polymides was a key theme of the conference with DuPont, DSM and Arkema speaking on Nylons and Elevance Renewables, Cathay Industrial & Verdezyne speaking on new intermediates for nylons. For the next edition of this conference, Innoplast’s 6 th conference on BioPlastics, which is scheduled for June 2016 in the New York City area, a call for papers will be issued soon. MT bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/15] Vol. 10 7

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