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Issue 02/2019

  • Text
  • Bioplastics
  • Packaging
  • Biobased
  • Plastics
  • Products
  • Materials
  • Biodegradable
  • Sustainable
  • Renewable
  • Compostable
Highlights: Thermoforming Building & Construction Basics: Biobased Packaging

Application News

Application News Automotive Reusable, biobased and biodegradable nets Wood-based fibre specialist Lenzing Group (Lenzing, Austria) has joined forces with Billa, an Austrian supermarkert chain with more than 1,088 stores in Austria, to offer consumers reusable, biobased nets as alternative to conventional plastic packaging. The newly launched nets for fruit and vegetables, made from Lenzing Modal fibers, have proven to be a hit, with over 150,000 already having been sold by Billa, Merkur And Adeg since the introduction of the nets in November 2018. Due to high demand, the environmentally friendly packaging has been available in all Billa stores throughout Austria since the beginning of February 2019. The reusable nets are produced from Modal fibres (regenerated cellulose based on the viscose process) and offer a significant ecological advantage over conventional plastic bags for fruit and vegetables: not only are they of natural origin, they are biodegradable and compostable when disposed of in waste. Microparticles ending up in the waste water when washing the nets, quickly become part of the natural cycle, leaving no harmful residues in rivers or seas (certified by TÜV Austria). “Sustainability is comprehensively anchored in Billa’s corporate strategy. Hence we are pleased to be able to offer an alternative to plastic with this innovative packaging solution and to actively work with our customers on protecting the environment “, says Robert Nagele, Chairman of the board at Billa. “Consumers can buy the reusable nets for vegetables and fruit made from fibres produced by the Lenzing Group with a clear conscience. They are not only practical, but also contribute significantly to the protection of the environment. They are an expression of Lenzing’s leading role in sustainability in the entire fiber industry”, says Stefan Doboczky, CEO of Lenzing. The reusable nets are ideally suited for food because, as confirmed by the manufacturer VPZ Verpackungszentrum GmbH (Graz, Austria), the breathable and moisture-regulating properties keep fruit and vegetables fresh for up to three days longer than conventional packaging. The sustainable nets have already been awarded the State Prize for Smart Packaging by the Austrian Ministry of Digital and Economic Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism. MT www.lenzing.com | www.billa.at Samsung to switch to sustainable packaging Samsung Electronics announced earlier this year that the packaging used currently for their products and accessories – ranging from mobile phones and tablets to home appliances – will be substituted with environmentally sustainable materials like recycled/biobased plastics. For mobile phone, tablet and wearable products, Samsung will replace the plastic used for holder trays with pulp molds, and bags wrapping accessories with eco-friendly materials. Samsung will also alter the phone charger design, swapping the glossy exterior with a matte finish and eliminating plastic protection films, reducing the use of plastics. The plastic bags used to protect the surface of home appliances such as TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners and washing machines as well as other kitchen appliances will also be replaced with bags containing recycled materials and bioplastics, which are respectively made from plastic wastes and non-fossil fuel materials like starch or sugar cane. “Samsung Electronics is stepping up in addressing society’s environmental issues such as resource depletion and plastic wastes,” said Gyeong-bin Jeon, head of Samsung’s Global Customer Satisfaction Center. “We are committed to recycling resources and minimizing pollution coming from our products. We will adopt more environmentally sustainable materials even if it means an increase in cost.” Under the company’s circular economy policy, Samsung Electronics has set a mid-term implementation plan to only use paper packaging materials certified by forestry initiatives by next year. By 2030, Samsung aims to use 500 thousand tonnes of recycled plastics and collect 7.5 million tonnes of discarded products (both cumulative from 2009). MT www.samsung.com 36 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/19] Vol. 14

Application News PHA water bottle coming soon It may sound like California Dreamin’ but the new bottle, launched under the brand name Cove, is the first water bottle of water made of PHA. The material the bottle is made of is PHA polyhydroxyalkanoate, an FDA-approved, naturally occurring biopolymer. It’s biodegradable, compostable, produces zero toxic waste, and breaks down into CO 2 , water, and organic waste. This will happen in compost or a landfill, and even in the ocean, says Alex Totterman, Cove’s CEO. Cove PBC (Venice, California, USA) is not yet producing at scale. However, according to the company, all manufacturing, filling, and packing for the California launch will take place in Los Angeles (USA) to minimize the environmental impact of the bottle’s production. “As Cove expands, we will set up multiple manufacturing and packing facilities across the US. This will allow us to localize production and minimize transportation. Cove is not interested in shipping bottled water across oceans and continents,” said the company. Cove is launching in California in 2019. MT www.drinkcove.com Biodegradable Mardi Gras Beads When Cologne (Germany) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) celebrate their carnival, New Orleans (Louisiana, USA) has its Mardi Gras. And beads are an important part of it. However, after the parades ten thousands of kilograms (46 tonnes in 2017 according to Reuters) of Mardi Gras beads and doubloons enter the environment each year. Professor Naohiro Kato, a biologist at Louisiana State Univ. is now developing an innovative way to solve this problem by creating biodegradable Mardi Gras beads. One of his students accidentally discovered the basic ingredients Kato has refined to produce biodegradable Mardi Gras beads: microalgae. Kato got down to work growing a large quantity of microscopic algae. Louisiana’s warm climate, sunshine, water and nutrients, such as fertilizer, make it an ideal environment to naturally mass-produce microalgae. He grows a species of microalgae that is easy to grow, strong and profitable, especially for the nutraceutical industry, which produces vitamins and supplements. Nutra-ceutical companies can use microalgae to market their products vegetarian or vegan. MT www.lsu.edu Biodegradable Mardi Gras beads and doubloons (Paige Jarreau, LSU) bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/19] Vol. 14 37

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