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Issue 03/2015

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  • Bioplastics
  • Biobased
  • Materials
  • Plastics
  • Carbon
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  • Packaging
  • Injection
  • Renewable

Events First bio!PAC

Events First bio!PAC event deemed great success By Karen Laird New biobased packaging conference fills a need, say key stakeholders at bio!PAC As the newest kid on the block as far as packaging and bioplastics events are concerned, bio!PAC, the new conference on biobased packaging held on 12 – 13 May at Novotel in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, had something to prove. Jointly organized by bioplastics MAGAZINE and Biobased Packaging Innovations, the conference aimed to provide both a showcase for bio-packaging technology and a forum for industry stakeholders to meet and learn about the opportunities and developments in this area. Attendees and speakers at the event unanimously agreed: bio!PAC more than lived up to its billing in both respects. “The importance of an event like this cannot be overstated,” said Francois de Bie, chairman of European Bioplastics and bioplastics Marketing Director at Corbion, who both attended and spoke at the conference. “Biobased packaging is a young field, and there is a lot of ignorance and confusion about what it really is, and what it can do. Events like this can help get the message out by providing clear information, opening up discussion and by demonstrating the capabilities of biobased packaging.” The some 24 speakers at the conference addressed topics ranging from new materials and new applications to the need for a biobased carbon standard, presenting breakthroughs and offering updates on the latest developments. Presentations were held not only by major players in the industry, such as BASF, Innovia Films, NatureWorks and TetraPak but also by a number of lesser-known companies, whose innovations are helping to provide momentum to the field. A good example was Arjan Klapwijk of Bio4Life, a Dutch manufacturer of biobased adhesives and labels, whose presentation about his company’s development of an EN certified solution for fruit labeling created an awareness for a problem most of the attendees had never considered. “Conventional PE adhesive fruit labels end up with the peelings in the compost bin, and are a huge problem at industrial composting facilities. Compostable labels coated with a biodegradable adhesive offer a simple, highly effective solution,” he concluded. One important discussion point throughout the conference concerned the ongoing shift in emphasis regarding biobased packaging materials: from a focus on the end of life to an increasing interest in the beginning of life. As a result, biodegradability is no longer the sole property associated with biobased materials. Now, renewably sourced, durable materials are gaining in importance, a development that has been fueled by the development of drop-ins such as bio-PET and bio-PE, engineered bioplastic compounds and barrier constructions enabling the design of sophisticated packaging. Erik Lindroth, of TetraPak, presented the example of the 100 % biobased beverage carton developed by TetraPak, which is currently being rolled out in Europe. “We have to ask ourselves: where does the material come from,” he said, adding that TetraPak was participating in a project called “Locally grown bioplastics” aimed at developing sustainable local feedstock sources for bioplastics. “Results are expected within 3 to 5 years,” he said. Technology challenges are not the only issues in the biobased packaging industry. “Between 70 and 80 % of the bioplastics market today is packaging”, said Francois de Bie in his presentation. “Why is that? I think because bioplastics have been embraced by both the big brands and by small innovative companies,” he said. “Using bioplastics supports the image of the brand.” But what about the premiums on biobased materials? Are customers prepared to pay more for environmentally responsible packaging? As numerous participants pointed out, the challenge for brand owners now is how to leverage the use of biobased packaging, not only to satisfy consumer demand for responsible packaging and to build customer relationships, but also to drive profits. Next to bringing new insights and ideas, the bio!PAC conference also showed that opportunities abound for biobased packaging now and in the future. To continue the discussion, participants, packaging experts and other industry stakeholders are cordially invited to join bioplastics MAGAZINE for the second edition of bio!PAC, which is now planned for the spring of 2017. The organizers are looking forward to seeing you there! Panel discussion on “Land use for biobased materials” 10 bioplastics MAGAZINE [03/15] Vol. 10

io PAC says THANK YOU... all of the attendees, sponsors, and speakers who participated in bio!pac 2015 Sponsors Media Partner supported by in cooperation with

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