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Issue 02/2016

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  • Bioplastics
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  • Polymers
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Thermoforming / Rigid

Thermoforming / Rigid Packaging Thermoforming and easy peel films By: Warwick Armstrong General Manager Business Development and Marketing Plantic Technologies Altona, Victoria, Australia The growing trend of consumer awareness towards the impact of their actions on the environment has seen Plantic Technologies Ltd (Altona, Victora, Australia), a part of the Kuraray group, successful in supplying some of the world’s largest retailers and produces high barrier rigid bioplastic materials. Plantic’s thermoformable rigid bottom webs are providing a new class in ultra-high barrier films made from renewable and recyclable materials. Plantic Technologies has achieved a unique place in the world market for bioplastics through proprietary technology that delivers biodegradable and renewable sourced alternatives to conventional plastics based on corn and cassava, which is not genetically modified. Unlike other bioplastics companies who utilise organic materials but whose polymers are still developed in refineries, Plantic’s polymer as well as its raw material, are grown in a field. This means that the resins are derived from the natural occurring polymers in starch and converted in a proprietary process into materials that can be used as a packaging material. Starch is a naturally occurring polysaccharide consisting of the polymers amylose and amylopectin and used as an energy store in green plants. Larger amounts of starch are particularly found in cereal crops (such as corn, wheat and rice) and also tubers (such as potato and cassava). The entire process integrates the science of organic innovation with commercial and industrial productivity in a new way. The result is both a broad range of immediate performance and cost advantages, and long-term environmental and sustainability benefits. PLANTIC E, PLANTIC R, PLANTIC RE, PLANTIC ES AND PLANTIC EF represent the company’s flagship products for rigid and flexible packaging. These products are a direct replacement for conventional polymers and when compared with oil based products an independent assessment (carried out by Quantis – Environmental Life Cycle Assessment Consultants) found that Plantic’s products use up to 40 % less energy and provide a reduction in greenhouse gases by up to 70 %. Plantic HP, a fully biodegradable high barrier structure forms the core of all Plantic products and depending on the customer needs the outer skins can be made to seal onto conventional PE and PET sealing layers. Proving popular amongst retailers is one of the latest released products from Plantic: An easy peel skin pack range with the ability to seal to PET and PE top webs that is available in a wide range of colours and textures. Plantic R, a fully recyclable high barrier product is being used extensively for red meat applications. Plantic R seals to most traditional PET based top webs. This rigid product runs on all traditional thermoforming lines and gives the producer the opportunity to down gauge whilst achieving a higher barrier performance and stronger pack presentation. Plantic Technologies is supplying major supermarket customers in Australia, Europe and America in applications such as fresh case ready beef, pork, lamb and veal, smoked and processed meats, chicken, fresh pasta and cheese applications. Plantic’s products have proven to have exceptional gas barrier properties which dramatically extend the shelf life of the packaged product (for more details see bM 05/2015, pp. 40). Plantic Technologies is expanding rapidly and refining its technology to meet the ever growing global needs for more environmentally and performance efficient packaging materials. Plantic Technologies has released a new range of flexible materials with the same environmental and performance characteristics as their rigid based structures. These flexible options are proving already to be a preferred choice for many consumers, retailers and processors. “Plantic materials are not just about being a sustainable material, it has an ultra-high barrier that can improve the shelf life of a product, and reduce food waste. With Plantic materials you can have an enormous impact on value change and reduce the effects of climate change, both by reducing food waste and using more sustainable materials.” Brendan Morris Plantic Technologies Limited CEO and Managing Director said. 12 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/16] Vol. 11

World’s first, Plant-based High Refractive Index Material for Eyeglass Lenses, Do Green MR Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (MCI) has set out to contribute to society by providing innovative, high quality products and services to customers while maintaining harmony with the environment on a global scale. MCI has over 30 years of experience in the development and production of innovative optical lens materials for the global market, particularly with its thin & lightweight eyeglass lenses made from the “MR series” of high refractive index materials. with the SWANS program of Yamamoto Kogaku Co., Ltd., which has a history of designing sports products that offer comfort and performance, and Itoh Optical Industrial Co., Ltd., which has expertise in high-performance eyeglass lens manufacturing. The sunglasses were provided not only to participating athletes but also to referees at the triathlon and staff in the Executive Office. By sponsoring the event, MCI not only provided plant-based sunglasses, but also appealed to the social/ethical activities of the Do Green initiative. MCI’s support was widely praised by the people involved in the triathlon. MR-60 plant-based lenses in standard eyeglasses MCI has developed MR-60 , a plant-based high refractive index lens material for standard eyeglasses, by using a biomass-derived industrial isocyanate and a biomass-derived polythiol as well as a non-metallic catalyst for polymerization. In 2014, MR-60 was certified by the the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a plant-derived product with a biomass of 57%. It was also certified by the Japan Organics Recycling Association (JORA) as a plant-derived product with a biomass of 30-40%. The ultra-high refractive index glass lens material MR-174 , which was previously available on the market, also acquired certification as a plant-derived product with a biomass of 82% from the USDA and as a plant-derived product with a biomass of 30-40% from the JORA in 2014. (The degree of biomass from JORA is the ratio between fossil fuel-derived carbon and biomass-derived ingredients; the biomass degree from the USDA is the ratio between fossil fuel-derived carbon and biomass-derived carbon as tested according to ASTM-D6866-12.) MR-60 biomass certifications from USDA and JORA MR-60 plant-based lenses in sunglasses MCI launched the first activity of the Do Green initiative during October 27-29 th , 2015, with 153 farmers and residents of Gujarat, India. The Do Green initiative strives to solve vision related issues faced by farmers who produce the raw material of MCI’s plant-derived product. The Do Green initiative relies on cooperation with a local Indian optometrist and an eye care professional from the Japanese lens specialty store Lensya. ICA Japan, a registered NGO, and Holistic Child Development India, a local NGO in India, assisted with coordination. The Do Green initiative began as a way to contribute to society. MCI aims to connect manufacturers, retailers, and consumers with the message of the Do Green initiative through Do Green products. MCI’s Do Green products include the world’s only plant-derived poly-isocyanate STABiO ; Econykol , a polyol derived from castor oil from seeds that are grown in Gujarat,India; as well as the plant-based lens materials MR-60 and MR-174 . MCI is continuing to develop new Do Green plant-based materials. MCI was a sponsor of the “2015 World Triathlon Series Yokohama” held in Yokohama, Japan, an event which aimed to “contribute to society through sports” . The event utilized the sustainability management system standard ISO 20121. MCI made the decision to carry out joint development with Yokohama City on sunglasses made with MR-60 . The sunglasses were produced through collaboration Eye care professional conducting an eye exam with a machine Optometrist conducting an eye exam (Do Green initiative in India) MITSUI CHEMICALS EUROPE GmbH, Functional Chemicals Division Oststr. 34, 40211 Dusseldorf, GERMANY, E-mail:, TEL: +49-211-1733277, FAX: +49-211-1719970 Read more about MCI’s Do Green MR in “MR View No.7 & No.8” at the following URL.

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