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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

Basics The future of W

Basics The future of W orldwide, more and more packaging is being used. Seeking to reduce this, various European member states are looking into options for Plastic Pacts: agreements between governments and the packaging industry to rethink the way we make, use, and reuse plastics and packaging. What does this mean for the future of biobased packaging? The focus of these agreements in the coming period will be mainly on the re-usability of packaging. An example is the new circular online platform Loop, developed by TerraCycle. The platform aims to reduce packaging waste by adopting reusable packaging and a special delivery and return bag. A pilot will be launched this year in collaboration with Unilever, Nestle, Procter and Gamble and various other partners. In addition, considerable effort is being put into measures such as reducing the amount of packaging material used, stimulating the development of mono material solutions and the redesign of packaging. But the primary focus in these agreements is that packaging must be recyclable. Increasingly, attention is being given to the end-of-life phase of packaging products, with a view to keeping valuable resources in circulation, reducing our dependence on fossil resources and achieving a smaller CO2 footprint. Recyclable packaging Under the current agreements, the plastic chain will have to become simpler, with as ultimate goal to close the plastics packaging chain – a goal that can be achieved, among others, by requiring that that all packaging be recyclable. Packaging design also plays an important role. This could be improved through, for example, the development of mono material solutions, i.e., ensuring caps and labels are made of the same material or of materials that are easy to separate in order to avoid as far as possible contamination of the recycling stream. The requirement that packaging be recyclable can refer to recycling via a mechanical, chemical or thermal process. Chemical recycling involves breaking down or dissolving the Recyclable biobased milk can Farm Dairy, nominated for the NL Packaging Award 2019 polymers into their original building blocks. Following depolymerization, the monomers can be reused to make new , virgin-quality materials. PLA, for example, is currently neither sorted nor recycled, although this has been shown to be technically feasible. For this reason, PLA is considered to be recyclable. Compostable packaging The present agreements do not favour the use of compostable plastics for retail packaging. The reasoning is that these materials do not contribute to the circularity of the plastic materials chain, nor do they contribute to the quality of the compost. However, packaging made from a material like PLA, that is ‘recyclable’ in design, will in the future be regarded as recyclable packaging that is not intended to end up in composting facilities at the end of life. Recyclable and compostable PLA meat tray (Bio4Pack) If better sorting and thermal recycling are possible, there will also be additional opportunities for biodegradable packaging. This route is certainly interesting for difficult laminates that are not mechanically recyclable but are litter-sensitive, such as single-portion potato chip packs. Biobased plastics In view of the potential environmental benefits, the primary focus will be on the use of recycled materials and on minimizing the use of virgin fossil-based materials. Biobased plastics can offer a solution in cases where recycled material cannot be used, such as for food packaging, where food contact regulations prohibit the use of recycled plastics. In addition, recyclable, biobased food packaging offering good barrier properties offer promising possibilities, now or in the future. Recyclate versus biobased content By 2025, packing manufacturers aim to produce packaging containing 35 % recycled or biobased 46 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/19] Vol. 14

Basics biobased packaging By: Caroli Buitenhuis Green Serendipity and co-organizer bio!PAC 2019 Amsterdam, The Netherlands materials. If proven to be more sustainable, priority should be given to the use of biobased plastics over petroleum-based virgin or recycled plastics. Biobased raw materials should also be considered if degradation has affected the quality of the recycled material or certain specifications are no longer able to be met. Conclusion There are certainly opportunities for biobased retail packaging in Europe. The questions about responsible land use, energy and water consumption, confusing communication about waste management and the current limited possibilities to recycle (biobased) packaging will undoubtedly provide food for discussion in the coming years, although one thing is certain: biobased packaging will be part of the circular future. Join the discussion at the upcoming bio!PAC conference, where these and other issues will be highlighted and further explored, The bio!PAC conference will take place in Düsseldorf, Germany on 28th-29th of May. www.greenserendipity.eu | www.bio-pac.info | tinyurl.com/terracycle-2019 | tinyurl.com/farmdairy | tinyurl.com/bio4pack Caroli Buitenhuis is co-organizer of the bio!PAC 2019 conference and driving force behind Green Serendipity: a consultancy for renewable materials, biobased packaging and circular concepts with the focus on sustainable chain innovation. Caroli is chain innovator and consultant and also educated as packaging expert. She has brought divers biobased packaging innovations effectively into implementation (including several award winning innovations together with brand owners). HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WORLDWIDE BIOECONOMY Sponsor Innovation Award: VOTE FOR the Innovation Award “Bio-based Material of the Year 2019”! • Vision & Policy • Bio-based Building Blocks • Bio-based Polymers • Biodegradable Solutions • Industrial Biotechnology • Biorefineries • NEW Bio-based Fine Chemicals (Food Ingredients, Flavours, Body Care, Cosmetics, Pharmaceuticals) • Innovation Award „Bio-based Material of the Year 2019“ • Five Additional Workshops Organiser: Institute for Ecology and Innovation www.nova-institute.eu Contact Dominik Vogt Conference Manager +49 (0)2233 4814-49 dominik.vogt@nova-institut.de Find more information at: www.bio-based-conference.com bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/19] Vol. 14 47

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