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Issue 02/2020

  • Text
  • Use
  • Horticulture
  • Agriculture
  • Thermoforming
  • Packaging
  • Films
  • Biobased
  • Biodegradable
  • Products
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Packaging
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Agri-/Horticulture Thermoforming Rigid Packaging Basics Land use (update)

Market The Brazilian

Market The Brazilian case Brazil on the way to circular economy with the ban of disposable plastics Contextualization Combating plastic pollution is today a sum of actions based on the circular economy. Several strategies have been developed for the management of plastic waste; the most common are the various forms of recycling although it is a major global challenge. The primary recycling of plastic waste in other products after reprocessing requires a series of previous treatments which finally charges the cost of the process and in addition having the recycled products with lower and lower properties. The recycling of plastic materials by combustion or incineration for energy production, although an environmentally benign process is only practiced in some countries. However, this process comes up against the difficulty of treating highly toxic gases from the combustion of plastics containing halogenic, sulfuric substances and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from the released fossil carbonaceous materials. Therefore the end-of-life management of plastics (recycling, energy and organic recovery, composting and biodegradation) is a recurring theme and one of intense debates in the last 30 years. Table 1 illustrates a sustainability value scale with respect to the use of plastics. Plastics in numbers in Brazil Brazil, with its more than 210 million people, is the fourth largest producer of plastic waste in the world, with 11.36 million tonnes and one of the least recycled with only 1.28 % recycling, that is, about 145,000 tonnes of plastic per year according to studies carried out by the World Bank for WWF (World Wild Fund for Nature). These data, however, are contested by the Brazilian Association of Plastics Industries (Abiplast), which estimates that the Brazilian recycling average is 25.8 %. The per capita consumption of plastic resins, which is considered an indicator of the degree of economic development of a society, varies around 35 kg / inhabitant per year in Brazil while in developed countries the estimates point to a level of 100 kg/inhab/year for a world average of 45kg/inhab/year. The Brazilian production of thermoplastic resins represents 2.3 % of the world production of 280 million tonnes with a national production capacity of 6.4 million tonnes. Each Brazilian produces, on average, approximately 1 kg of plastic waste per week and more than 2.4 million tonnes of plastic are discarded irregularly, without treatment and, in many cases, in open dumps. Pollution caused by plastic affects the quality of air, soil, water supply systems, aquifers and reservoirs. Burning it can release toxic gases into the atmosphere. Global policy around the circular economy The National Solid Waste Policy came into force in Brazil in 2010 instituted by the Law 12.305 which deals, among others, with plastic waste. The Law establishes strategies for sustainable development and imposes a reverse logistics system, in addition dealing with the product life cycle and encouraging the reuse and recycling of materials, discouraging disposal in landfills whenever there is another more environmentally friendly destination for savings resource. The global trend to have the ban or regulation of plastics in the legislature is real and is ongoing. The European Parliament has approved almost unanimously coming into force from 2021 a ban on disposable plastic products, bringing the ban one step closer to reality in order to counter pollution from the discarded items in waterways and fields. To mitigate these issues, ecologically viable alternatives are being developed through science and technology to promote sustainable development using raw materials from renewable sources. Therefore, the prospect of seeing plastic packaging waste disintegrate quickly as if by magic in the environment, conquers minds, divides opinions and confuses people. The Environment Commission (CMA) that is part of the Brazilian Senate had already approved in April 2018 the bill (PLS 92/2018) that provides for the gradual withdrawal of disposable plastics. According to the text, within ten years, this type of plastic should be replaced by biodegradable materials in items intended for packaging food ready for consumption. Following the initiative of the Senate, the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro State (Alerj) approved in June 2018 the draft law 316/15, which prohibits the use of plastic bags in supermarkets and the use of plastic straws throughout the whole State and their replacements within 18 months by similar reusable or biodegradable ones. The biggest impact initiative was from the largest city in Latin America, São Paulo city, the first city in the southern hemisphere with its more than 12 million people to join the Global Commitment of the New Plastic Economy following the world trend of restricting the use of disposable plastic utensils that can be easily replaced by ecologically viable ones or simply dispensed. For this purpose, the city executive sanctioned and regulated, at the beginning of the year 2020, the draft law 99/2019 approved by the São Paulo City Council, which prohibits the supply of glasses, plates, cutlery, drink stirrers and sticks for disposable plastic balloons to hotel customers, restaurants, bars, bakeries and other commercial establishments. The municipality had already banned plastic straws in the previous year, which had highly positive impacts on society. The ban on plastic straws prepared the population with the strength to change habits and shows the feasibility of this type of Law. With the ban, the items must not only stop being offered by bars and restaurants, but will also no longer be available in commerce and in supermarkets for home use. Instead, biodegradable, compostable or reusable options should be offered, as well as encouraging recycling and driving the paradigm shift towards a circular economy. The project also prohibits the manufacture and import of cosmetics with plastic microparticles as a component, because these microplastics are used in cosmetics as exfoliating. The legislation comes into force on January 1, 2021. The establishments have one year to adapt changing the stock and suiting to the new legislation. A year is the time that the industry is expected to 46 bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/20] Vol. 15

Market By: Leonard SEBIO R&D Biomass Science & Technology Consultant Campinas SP, Brazil adapt on some issues, such as labor. The establishment that disrespects the rules can be punished with a warning, a fine of up to USD 2000 or closing of commercial activities. The respect for the environment does not depend only on national laws. The population feels and understands that actions like this must be done so that the future will be better. The initiative to ban the use of disposable plastic in the city of São Paulo has been closely monitored by National Geographic Brasil. The Legislative Assembly of the State of São Paulo (Alesp) also ratified similar legislation covering the whole state but not yet regulated and sanctioned. Market challenge The Brazilian Association of the Plastics Industry (Abiplast) opposing the initiative said that the prohibitions on disposable plastics bring juridical insecurity, interfere with the competitiveness and financial planning of companies, causing an impact on investments, job creation and even in maintenance of industrial activity. Abiplast argues that instead of banning, the use of these products should be regulated in order to reduce consumption and guarantee recycling. The Association believes that the demonization and the banning of plastic materials is not the ideal way to solve the problems caused by a poor solid waste management in Brazil and its consequences for nature. Abiplast also claims that Brazil does not have composting plants on an industrial scale. Due to this technical limitation, products manufactured with biodegradable material for example, will not be disposed of correctly because landfill biodegradation emits greenhouse gases, impacting climatic conditions. Abiplast emphasizes that the plastic transformation and recycling industry is willing to contribute to building solutions together. The major concern of the industry is not for less because of the imminent closing of jobs as the plastics sector in 2018 generated 13,187 jobs with 4,675 companies in the state with revenues of around USD 9.2 billion while recycling generated 3,116 jobs with 313 companies in 2019. The biggest challenge will be to organize a supply chain in Brazil to meet the great demand for potential biodegradable and compostable plastics. In the current scenario, the Brazilian market has highly limited industrial structures in the biodegradable bioplastics sector. However, the company PHB Industrial / Biocycle produces already on a pilot scale the biopolyester PHB and the Chinese company BBCA will install in the country a corn processing plant for production of some chemical bio-platforms such as PLA, the first of its kind in Brazil. Therefore, the moment is opportune to create a task force by the already world consolidated players in the biodegradable bioplastics sector with the objective of serving the growing market niche in Brazil, ensuring quality and operational scalability. References Associação Brasileira da Indústria do Plástico (Abiplast); http://www.abiplast.org.br/ Assembleia Legislativa do Estado de São Paulo (Alesp); https://www.al.sp.gov.br/ Assembleia Legislativa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Alerj); http://www.alerj.rj.gov.br Senado Federal Brasileiro Comissão de Meio Ambiente; https://legis.senado. leg.br/comissoes/comissao Commission européenne, Les bioplastiques: des matériaux durables pour bâtir une bioéconomie circulaire forte en Europe, Results Packs, CORDIS (Community Research and Development Information Service), 2017. European Commission (2018c). Commission Staff working document; European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy. European Bioplastics, Bioplastics facts and figures, décembre 2018. BBC News, “Plastic: WHO Launches Health Review,” 15 de março de 2018; http://www.bbc.com/news/scienceenvironment International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC) Economy Division of UNEP; www.unep.org/ietc United Nations Environment Programme, Valuing Plastic: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry (2014). World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF); https://www.wwf.org.br www.abiplast.org.br Table 1: Value scale for sustainability in plastic artifacts Material Biodegradation or Composting Biobased Term End of life Carbon neutral mechanism Recycling Conventional plastic Non-biodegradable Biobased polyolefin Prodegradant additive polyolefin- OXO Fossil Polyester biodegradable Biobased Polyester biodegradable Biobased Polyester non-biodegradable Thermoplastic Starch (TPS)/Blends Cellulose derivatives “Cellophane” N (-) N (-) L (-) N (-) Y (+) N (-) Y (+) L (-) Y (+) Y (+) N (-) N (-) S (-) N (-) N (-) Y (+) N (-) S (+) N (-) Y (+) Y (+) Y (+) S (+) Y (+) Y (+) N (-) Y (+) L (-) Y (+) Y (+) Y (+) Y (+) S (+) Y (+) N (-) Y (+) Y (+) S (+) Y (+) N (-) Legend: N= No; / Y= Yes; / S= Short; / L= Long, (-) Lower stustainability, (+) Greater sustainability, Source: Leonard Sebio bioplastics MAGAZINE [02/20] Vol. 15 47

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